"This study explores the moral level of war in the context of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the larger framework of counterinsurgency operations. Operation Iraqi Freedom is a war fought in the moral realm and the resulting operational environment poses complex ethical dilemmas for the U.S. Army. This monograph argues that resistance to U.S. endeavors in Iraq is due to losses in the moral realm for the compliance and support of the Iraqi people, which is critical in defeating any insurgency. In the conduct of research the notion of moral asymmetry emerged. Insurgents are not governed by Western morality. Differences in morality clearly affect insurgents' tactics and objectives. Morally asymmetric operations exploit the U.S. forces' inability to combat the effects of terror tactics. U.S. forces are constrained by the law of war as well as Western values in combating violent insurgencies. The conclusion highlights the importance of ethics in obtaining the support of the Iraqi people, and in improving their perception of the U.S. military."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/