Clever or clueless ? : observations about bombing norm debates
Charles J. Dunlap
The American way of bombing : changing ethical and legal norms, from flying fortresses to drones
Ithaca (Etats-Unis) ; London : Cornell University Press, 2014
This chapter gives a military perspective on norms governing airpower. The author underlines the importance of the knowledge of past conflicts to inform the debate, all the while acknowledging that with respect to a highly technological means of warfare such as aerial bombardment, the value of historical examples is temporally limited. He discusses what he calls the "legal cacophony" governing aerial bombardment and shows some sympathy for the position that civilian morale is a legitimate focus in war, calling it "a key element of victory in modern war". He also questions the concept of civilian innocence and the fact that combatants are expected to take more risk than civilians. These ideas are further developed in a discussion of the use of airpower in counterinsurgency operations.