An Ethical Question on Civilians & Disguised Hostile Forces

May 23, 2007 at 9:01 am (Military Ethics)

In the current scenario of my story (Zombies? Their the Least of Our Troubles) hundreds of people are being forced to flee their homes by fire and other causes. Fear of the infection that was contained in the science facility spreading into the populace, forced the military to order its troops fire on the civilians. This in turn creates more chaos, making it easier for zombies to hide in the crowd if they are there in the first place.

In past history although zombie free in wars such as the Vietnam War enemy military personnel were reportedly disguising themselves as civilians. It was rumored that to protect themselves and others American forces were sometimes forced to kill potential hostile forces in disguise (civilians). In other wars such as OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom), while the civilians are checked for weapons along with IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), they were not simply killed which posed only a slightly greater risk to Allied Armed Forces.

Whether or not any civilians were actually killed this way during the Vietnam War, my question to you is this: Do you believe it is ethical for a military force to kill civilians when there is a high chance that a number of the ‘civilians’, indistinguishable from the harmless ones, will in turn attempt to kill or otherwise harm said military force?

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