Carnegie Council’s Global Ethics Corner: Can Moral Injury Be a Wound of War?
by William Vocke
Originally published 10/22/2010 at www.carnegiecouncil.org
William Vocke, the Senior Program Director for the Carnegie Ethics Studio, asks poignantly, “[H]ow deeply does combat wound the minds of combatants?” When combat is approved by legitimate authority, and yet is violent, intense, and contrary to religious teachings sanctifying life, what is the effect on the combatant? Vocke’s questions conclude with the following thought-provoking inquiry:
Are combatant’s experiences potentially more traumatic because of the horrors they face and the legitimacy they receive? Or, is moral injury to soldiers simply a more extreme extension of the moral issues faced by everyone?