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Law, Ethics, and Morality in War During the Battle of Algiers

Law, Ethics, and Morality in War During the Battle of Algiers published on

Authored by U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

The most notorious period of the French-Algerian War was the Battle of Algiers. The war was brought on by many developments beginning with the original French invasion in 1830 and subsequent annexation of Algeria as part of the French empire. Ultimately, the simplistic legal definition of who was French and enduring distinctions between citizens and subjects were at the root of the war. Noteworthy international land warfare laws evolved during France’s rule of Algeria. Notable acts of legislation compounded the discrimination between the French and the Algerians. These laws, many overwhelmingly supported in a nation founded upon the idea of equality, culminated with special powers extended to the military when the politicians and domestic law enforcement entities could no longer maintain the status quo discrimination. Algerians found themselves protected by neither domestic nor international laws. Notwithstanding the legality of French actions, moral and ethical contradictions with French concepts of the rights of man prevented military success from eliminating dissent domestically as well as internationally. Legitimate war must therefore not only be legal but also moral and ethical or popular support may diminish, falter, or even disappear. There are distinctive parallels between the French-Algerian War and the Global War on Terror–The Long War beyond the origins of contemporary doctrine for counterinsurgency. The study of these historical lessons, provides examples of good and bad, right and wrong, insight for success and, just as important, foreshadowing of failed tactics and techniques to avoid.

Publication Date:
Oct 30 2014
1503029743 / 9781503029743
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
History / Military / General


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