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When to Go to War, Reducing Civilian Deaths Discussed at Local Symposium

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Aired 4/19/09

Maureen Cavanaugh: The question of what constitutes a "just war" and issues of ethics on the battlefield have been debated by saints, scholars and soldiers for centuries. But the questions remain because in the heat of battle, in the quest for victory, innocents continue to suffer and many soldiers themselves bear the burden of guilt for a lifetime.

The International Society for Military Ethics will hold it's symposium at the University of San Diego this week. The group has been meeting since 1979, discussing and debating issues of professional military ethics. This year, the subjects up for discussion include, the ethical issues surrounding private military contractors and "is there a duty to Obey an order to wage an unjust war?"

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