NEWPORT, R.I. – James E. Hickey, director of the College of Distance Education at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC), authored a new book, “Precision-guided Munitions and Human Suffering in War.”
The book explores the correlation between the just war theory and precision-guided munitions (PGMs).
The just war theory is an ethics doctrine that holds that violent conflicts need to meet religious, philosophical or political criteria in order to be considered justified.
"At various times in history, new technologies have promised to reduce bloodshed in war, promises that ultimately went unrealized,” said Hickey. “Using the just war theory as a framework, I examined precision-guided munitions to see if this technology actually reduces human suffering in war. I found the results to be very positive.”
Hickey’s colleague at the NWC echoed his sentiment.
"Technology has always been part of warfare, but it has not resulted uniformly in diminishing the frequency of conflict or the amount of human suffering in war,” said NWC professor Timothy Demy. “In an era of increased reliance on complex and controversial weapons systems, Hickey provides a valuable historical and ethical framework for thinking about precision-guided munitions as well as the means and meaning of war, today and tomorrow.”
Hickey is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Naval War College’s non-resident program and has held positions in both government and private sectors, including teaching for three years at the United Kingdom’s Joint Services Command and Staff College.
He holds a doctorate in humanities from Salve Regina University, where he focused on the use of PGMs.
Posted by Dan Marciniak
Note: The views expressed in this book are the author's own and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Naval War College, the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense, or any other branch or agency of the U.S. Government.