Oct. 30, 2019


The profession of arms in the 21st century is at significant risk of losing its status as a profession due to several salient factors. Because of the rapid development of technology in relation to warfare, for instance, there are growing questions as to how much control human beings will retain of future combat, particularly given the speed of decisionmaking required for victory on the modern battlefield. As well, with the rise of new geopolitical and military coalitions, many are concerned as to how much war will remain an act of and in accordance with the political interests, values, and histories of individual nation-states, especially considering the thornier problem of developing the same for coalitions or allied forces. Furthermore, amid an increase in value-neutral societies (and the concomitant lack of personal moral formation of individual citizens), it may rightly be asked whether values-based institutions such as professional militaries can be adequately shaped to reflect any coherent national ethical consensus.

Oct. 30, 2019


The completion of this work stands on the efforts of many tireless professionals, all of whom are deserving of tremendous thanks. First, the staff officers and noncommissioned officers of both the U.S. Army Office of the Chief of Chaplains and Royal Army Chaplains Department deserve mention, including Chaplain (Major General) Paul K. Hurley, USA, and Rev. Dr. (Chaplain General) David C. Coulter (co-hosts of the International Military Ethics Symposium 2018); Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel) Grace Hollis, USA; Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel) “Bogie” Augustyn, USA; Rev. Father (Lieutenant Colonel) Pascal Hanrahan, Royal Army Chaplains’ Department (British Army); Sergeant First Class Jason Gaulke, USA (action officer); and from NCI, Inc., Ms. Alana Gates and Ms. Tina Mincks (logistical organizers).

Oct. 30, 2019


Character is something that is extremely important. It is something that we want to develop in all of our troops and in all of our officers as we go forward. We already do ethics training, but we’ve got to continue to bring it back to what it looks like on the battlefield for our Servicemembers. They have to understand what doing the right thing in the right way looks like in practice.

Oct. 30, 2019


I commend this book and, more importantly, the professional reflection on the ethical lessons of World War I that continue to shape the profession of arms today. While serving to remind us of the timeless and sacred nature of sacrifice, and how we are called to honor those who have fought and fallen in conflicts near and far while in service to the Nation, the writings in this volume will cause readers to develop their own understanding of ethical judgment. This is a long overdue and needed resource for today’s warriors as we carry on the proud tradition of fighting our nation’s wars.

Oct. 17, 2019

PRISM Vol. 8, No. 2 (October 2019)

“Taking Responsibility in a Dangerous World”—the aptly titled feature by Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy—sets the tone for our latest edition of PRISM.  A non-themed edition, PRISM Vol. 8, No. 2 explores the business of terrorism; lessons learned from 18 years of war; the emergence of hybrid warfare; the potential militarization of robotic automated systems and artificial intelligence; Russia’s resurgence, and Sweden’s strategy of Total Defense in response to Russia’s resurgent assertiveness; as well as the rapid growth of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, and a comparative analysis of international approaches to diplomatic security. The edition features the perspectives of warfighters, scholars, practitioners, and diplomats from Israel, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom, as well as the United States. Distinguished perspectives include those of a Defense Minister, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, former Commander Joint Special Operations Command, and former UN Under Secretary General for Safety and Security. Irrespective of the rank or specialty, each of our newest authors are thought leaders. 

Oct. 4, 2019

Diplomatic Security: A Comparative Analysis

This book's stark litany of attacks against diplomats from other nations—as well as the information presented regarding the steps their individual nations have taken in the name of diplomatic security—reveals that too often, the attention of the public and members of national governments may have been momentarily seized by attacks on their diplomatic outposts. But discussions about anemic budgets and other higher priority matters quickly diluted the collective anger about the deaths of yet another diplomat serving their country, and little changes.

Oct. 4, 2019

"Total Defense"—an Interview with Swedish Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist

"Total Defense" is the total mobilization of a society in a war situation—what you can mobilize on the civilian side and on the military side together, and what you can do on the civilian side to support the military effort. It includes what you can do in private companies, as well as in the public sector and authorities. Sweden had a huge civil defense organization during the Cold War, but since then it has atrophied, and now we are starting the complicated process of rebuilding that capacity. If the military organization is to work in reality, you need this support from the civilian side, such as infrastructure, healthcare, and all these things that are required for effective military operations.

Oct. 4, 2019

The Digital Maginot Line: Autonomous Warfare and Strategic Incoherence

Just as the Maginot Line created an illusion of security, guaranteed standoff, and physical protection that made its shattering during the blitzkrieg of 1940 all the more shocking to the French polity, the pursuit of militarized robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) and artificial intelligence (AI) has led many to believe that the key to a more efficient and secure future lay within these technologies. The United States Armed Forces owe themselves and their civilian leaders honesty regarding a prudent approach to integrating AI and a pragmatic vision of the threats and risks associated with relying on these systems to achieve future policy goals.

Oct. 4, 2019

Artificial Intelligence on the Battlefield: Implications for Deterrence and Surprise

Predicting the future of technology is a risky business. We know with certainty that AI is being incorporated into an array of military missions with the intent of improving our knowledge of the operational environment, adversary capabilities, and the speed and precision of offensive and defensive weapons. We can usefully speculate about how these developments are poised to change the face of modern warfare and how those changes might affect regional and strategic deterrence stability, based on our understanding of established political and military realities. More elusive, however, is a clear picture of how AI might converge with other technologies to produce unexpected outcomes, or “unknown unknowns.” Nevertheless, there are a few possibilities that could have major strategic consequences and alter the underlying realities on which regional and strategic stability are founded.

Oct. 4, 2019

Countering Hybrid Warfare: So What for the Joint Force?

Hybrid threats and hybrid warfare may occur at the same time, prosecuted by the same adversary, as part of an intense revisionist campaign or during war. For example, the current conflict in eastern Ukraine might be viewed as an example of hybrid warfare that is taking place within a wider Russian campaign of regional revisionism and global influence. Likewise, Iranian proxy militia fighting hybrid wars in Syria and Iraq, and against Israel, are part of a wider regional revisionist challenge. Alternatively, any future large-scale war is likely to involve hybrid warfare operations, in parallel with hybrid threats to the homeland. The challenge will be to fight both in parallel.