Explores the moral dimensions of the current global role of the U.S. military.
For the first time in history, the capabilities of the U.S. military far outstrip those of any potential rival, either singly or collectively, and this reality raises fundamental questions about its role, nature, and conduct. The Moral Warrior explores a wide range of ethical issues regarding the nature and purpose of voluntary military service, the moral meaning of the unique military power of the United States in the contemporary world, and the moral challenges posed by the “war” on terrorism.
“Cook’s commanding knowledge of the U.S. military, and his extensive reflection on the moral aspects of the military profession and strategy, make this book both timely and well worth the read … This is … a sobering and alarming sketch of recent U.S. international policy. Let us hope that the U.S. leaders find the imagination and humility necessary to reverse course in the direction recommended by Cook.” — Political Theology
“The author is uncommonly familiar with and sensitive to military practice; the result is an intelligent volume, which examines timely issues from an unfamiliar perspective. Not merely of value to a military audience, this clear and accessible book will provide many valuable insights to all readers interested in the morality of war in the contemporary context.” — Religious Studies Review
“…so densely packed with issues and analysis that it could easily sustain a semester or two of intense study in military ethics by itself … a must-read for anyone struggling to disentangle the many troubling, interconnected questions that worry all those who hope to see the United States retain its global supremacy without undermining its moral foundations. Cook … is a master of the rare art of clarifying complex problems without minimizing their depth and significance or losing sight of their vital real-life implications.” — Parameters
“The Moral Warrior is a thoughtful, subtle, and penetrating study of the ethical challenges that military leaders need to meet as they respond to demanding new missions from Kosovo to Iraq. Martin L. Cook is a fine teacher: clear, undogmatic, and compassionate. I hope his views find a wide audience.” — Michael Ignatieff, Carr Professor of Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
“The book reflects the author’s unique personal and academic background: trained in the study of ethics, he chose to teach at one of the nation’s war colleges, where he became deeply familiar with contemporary military issues in a way unavailable to most. This is throughout a highly intelligent, engaging, and accessible book. It adds the important perspective of what it means in moral terms to be a soldier and sets a new standard for what needs to be included in thinking seriously about the United States’ use of military force.” — James Turner Johnson, author of Morality and Contemporary Warfare
“Martin Cook reflects on the difficult moral choices facing American military and policy planners as they employ the latest technologies to fight a new global war. Cook brings to that reflection not only expertise in philosophy, law, and history, but also a deep appreciation of ground-level, operational detail. He has produced an indispensable resource.” — Joel H. Rosenthal, President of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs
Martin L. Cook is Admiral James Bond Stockdale Chair of Professional Military Ethics at the United States Naval War College.