Title: Double Effect

Author: Midn Alexandar Martin, USN


The purpose of my paper is to affirm that the aggregate killing of noncombatants in the recent war in Iraq was justified by virtue of the doctrine of double effect and by shifting our historical paradigm.  I offer an epigrammatic justification for the war itself in terms of viewing the war as a hostile continuum from the 1991 conflict, a response to Carl Conetta’s recent study on the deaths of noncombatants in the Iraqi war as his studies covered the civilian casualties from American bombing raids, and conclude with a rebuttal against Michael Walzer’s interpretation of the doctrine of double effect.


In this essay I explore the American commander’s use of the long lasting philosophical martial restraint, ‘double effect’ and argue that the Americans have set the standard for the execution and adherence to this principle of double effect in what I call the ‘American Approach to Battle.’


Contact:  MIDN Alexandar Martin