Foreword by the Editors
This book release stands in the context of the hitherto undertaken efforts regarding the subject matter of military ethics within the established series of civil-military relations seminars the National Defense Academy, Vienna, has offered ever since 1997 as part of the Partnership for Peace Working Program (PWP).
This second volume on Military Ethics is based on the international Civil-Military Relations Seminar VII "Military Ethics (II) - (Military) Leadership and Responsibility in the Postmodern Age, which was held from 10th to 12th November 2004 at the National Defense Academy in Vienna. It was offered within the framework of the Partnership for Peace Initiative in the cooperation area "Democratic Control of Forces and Defense Structures” and carried out on a joint basis by the Institute for Human and Social Sciences (IHSS) of the National Defense Academy, Vienna, and the Center for Civil-Military Relations of the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California.
This volume represents - in three chapters - an anthology of several topics related to the subject area of challenges to political and military leadership and civil-military relations, arising from the altered security environment in the postmodern setting of Western societies. The first chapter depicts the changing scenery for civil-military relations and military leadership, but also describes essential and timeless characteristics of a leadership ethos as well as the enduring power and continued existence of an ethically relevant phenomenon in civil-military affairs. The second chapter turns to the ethical nature of leadership responsibility and illustrates the deep morality residing on the part of military acting. In this sense, the idea of the military being a spiritual school for soldiers of all ranks is portrayed and one example of educating ethics in Professional Military Education is given. The third chapter deals with challenges soldiers and officers have to face with respect to their civil environment. The contributions tackle issues such as the difficulty of value orientation for the profession of arms in a world of postmodernist relativism, the mostly value-grounded cultural divide that needs to be overcome in civil-military relations, and the interrelation of ethics and Action Competence.
Together with the publications "Ethics and International Politics” (Literas: Vienna, 2001), the Volume One of "Civil-Military Aspects of Military Ethics” (National Defense Academy Series: Vienna, 2003), and the release "Military Ethics in Professional Military Education - Revisited” (Peter Lang Verlag: Frankfurt a. M., 2005), the publication at hand is another effort to promote the subject area of military ethics within the Partnership for Peace sphere and hopefully beyond; an effort that will certainly find continuation in the future.
At last but by far not the least, the editors would like to express their appreciation to all the contributors of this volume who are also identical with those who presented the now published papers during the seminar. As the community of both civilian and military defense experts is constantly growing, we express hope that the inputs the Human and Social Sciences Branch of the National Defense Academy, Vienna has provided over the years will bear ever more fruit in the joint enterprises in the wide-ranging field of civil-military relations’ education.