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Sanford Levinson, Paul Woodruff, and Joel Parker

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814785935

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814785935.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

A Fractured Fidelity to Cause

A Fractured Fidelity to Cause

(p.139) 6 A Fractured Fidelity to Cause

Nancy Sherman

NYU Press

This chapter explores the moral psychic reality of war. Cause, unlike camaraderie, can erode a soldier's morale, and soldiers often turn to camaraderie to motivate where cause cannot. Many soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen and airwomen—draftees, reservists, members of the National Guard, and career military alike—insist they are not responsible for the decision to go to war. And yet those same individuals feel morally accountable not just for how they fight but for what they fight for. They hold themselves accountable for their participation in the collective end that defines a particular war. They have chosen the military as their careers, and they know well, from years of service and command, the military good of discipline and order. What they are less clear about is how they should feel when they are uncertain of the justice of a cause or do not trust leadership to take seriously the individual soldier's sacrifices.

Keywords:   morality, war, cause, camaraderie, soldiers, military

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