The third principle of Jus in Bello, after Military Necessity and Humanity, is Honor. Is honor relevant in modern combat, or an archaic concept that died in the trenches of WW1? Col. Jayson Altieri, USA RET of the US Air War College joins Col. Mayer for the discussion.
Is Just War even possible in modern conflict? Big. Gen. (Chaplain) Patrick Dolan, retired Army Assistant Chief of Chaplains, discusses the possibilities.
Can a war ever be "Just"? Is the ancient concept of Just War still important in contemporary conflicts? What the citizens of the republic should know when the nation decides to use military force.
Mercenary, PMSC, PSC, PMC? Is there a difference? Does it matter? The Russians, along with some academics and media sources say no. Those of us trying to promote responsibility and accountability in the use of force disagree.
Answers to questions from podcast listeners from Dr. Deborah Avant, University of Denver and author of "The Market for Force" and Mr. Doug Brooks, President Emeritus of the International Stability Operations Association. They respond to questions about PMSCs, their status in international law, and interaction with military forces. In short, they answer, "Why follow the rules?"
The recent decision of the U.S. President regarding U.S. military forces in Syria offers an opportunity look at how the enduring substance of war continues to apply to modern conflict. I am not questioning the policy decision. Military force is the servant of policy and policy should always drive the use of military force. The question whether the enduring nature of war was addressed in developing that policy, including the deployment and redeployment of U.S. military force in Syria. So far, it looks hopeful that it was considered. As citizens of the republic, we must be watchful to see that actions follow words.
Only by understanding the nature of war can we learn the natural laws of war. Like other natural law, these are precepts or rules we can derive from observation and the use of reason. These natural laws of war may vary in application, but are applicable everywhere, at all times. The first rule is that, "Young men die." It is not a matter of choosing to follow them. They describe war as it is and always has been. History demonstrates that any success gained while ignoring any of these rules will be difficult and any victory will be temporary. Citizens of a republic should understand these fundamental natural laws of war and be on alert when anyone proposes to use military force.