Unit 7: National Security and Foreign Relations
We begin this unit by exploring legal and ethical issues that arise during conventional conflicts, such as war. Next we examine legal and ethical issues that arise during nonconventional conflicts, such as espionage and terrorism.
What are the justifications for war? Should we place ethical limits on practices of war and how we treat "the enemy"? For example, should we ban the use of chemical weapons, prohibit gross uses of military force, and forbid the use of torture? What do countries do when others fail to comply with the treaties they signed? What do domestic moral advocates do when the leaders of their own country fail to comply with these ethical guidelines?
Should we allow women to serve in the military, granting them their individual right to serve their country as they wish, or should we impose limits on the roles they play in combat? What about transgender individuals?
Next, we examine ethical issues that arise in foreign policy. What is America's ethical role in the world? Should it be the world's policeman and do we have an ethical duty to act multilaterally or unilaterally? If so, under what circumstances? What is America's duty to care for the poor, sick, or infirm outside of our borders? Should we place legal and ethical constraints on international trade? How do we balance moral obligations with national security realities and global financial realities? Finally, does the ethical rationale for military intervention supersede state sovereignty rights?
Completing this unit should take you approximately 9 hours.
7.1: Conventional Combat and Intelligence Operations
7.2: Nonconventional Combat and Intelligence Operations
7.3: Gender and Sexual Preference Issues in the Military