The Military, War, and Weapons

November 11th is Veterans Day in the U.S., Remembrance Day in Canada and the UK, and Armistice Day in many countries, so we thought it appropriate for this month's From the Archive to feature philosophical conversations about the military, war and weapons.

We begin with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Kennedy joining John and Ken for a discussion of how today's all-volunteer miitary fits into civil society and public life. That's followed by a vintage episode in which the philosophers consider the ethics of war—whether POWs have definite rights, whether non-combatants should be treated differently than soldiers, whether the idea of a morality of warfare even makes sense—with George Lucas from the United States Naval Academy. Next up the hosts tackle two more specific sets of ethical issues and their effects on soldiers: the ethics of torture with Nancy Sherman from Georgetown University, author of The Untold War: Inside the Hearts, Minds, and Souls of Our Soldiers, and the ethics of drone warfare with Bradley Strawser from the Naval Postgraduate School, editor of Killing By Remote Control: The Ethics of an Unmanned Military. Finally, John and Ken welcome renowned cultural critic Judith Butler for a conversation about how media narratives of violence blot out the faces and silence the voices of many of the victims of miitary action, including the warriors themselves.