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Dr. Martin L. CookNEWPORT, R.I. - Dr. Martin L. Cook, U.S. Naval War College (NWC) professor and Admiral James Bond Stockdale Chair of Professional Military Ethics, gave the academic keynote address for the Journal of Military Ethics 10-year anniversary seminar, in Oslo, Norway, on Sept. 9. 

Cook, the chief co-editor of Journal of Military Ethics, spoke on "Scanning the Horizon of Military Ethics: Emerging Issues and Major Challenges."  The theme of the seminar was "Ten Years of the Journal of Military Ethics - and Military Ethics Ten Years after 9/11."

He followed remarks by Norway's Defence Minister Grete Faremo, who reflected on the ethical dilemmas related to the use of armed force, such as the continued existence of NATO after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the use of armed force to save lives in a humanitarian emergency, and who should be held responsible when military forces violate the laws of war.

"These were difficult and important questions back in 2001, and they continue to be so," said Faremo. "But then came 9/11, and the intersection between ethics and war became even more challenging, as we had to ask ourselves how we can defend ourselves against the danger of terrorism while still living up to high ethical standards."

She encouraged sustained debate on ethics and the need to bridge between the academic community and the personnel who serve in armed forces.

Cook's colleague from NWC's College of Operational and Strategic Leadership, Dr. Timothy Demy, also participated in the day-long program with a lecture on religion and military ethics. They joined leading military ethicists from Norway and the U.S., the two countries which hold the editorial offices of the journal.

Participants debated the most important current challenges within military ethics, including the status and role of military ethics ten years after 9/11, the relationship between religion and military ethics, and the tensions between local cultures and international standards of ethics and law.

The seminar was a joint collaborative effort between the journal, the Norwegian Defense University College (Forsvarets H√łyskole) and Peace Research Institute Oslo in celebrating the publication's tenth anniversary.  The first deadline for the new academic title Journal of Military Ethics coincided with Sept. 11, 2001, which influenced the debate on the use of armed force.

Written and posted by Cmdr. Carla McCarthy, NWC Public Affairs