Current Canadian Forces Education and Training for Moral and Ethical Decision Making in Operations


  1. Thomson, M.H.
  2. Hall, C.D.T.
  3. Adams, B.D.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
The Canadian Forces’ (CF) role on the international stage has substantially changed over the past decade. For most of the latter part of the twentieth century, the CF primarily participated in peacekeeping missions (e.g., the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, etc.). Though these operations were typically restricted to non-coercive, diplomatic efforts to uphold a volatile peace agreement between two domestic warring factions, many CF members confronted tough moral and ethical dilemmas while in operations (Thomson, Adams, & Sartori, 2006). With its most recent deployment to southern Afghanistan (Kandahar province), there is also a high probability that CF members will face moral and ethical dilemmas. The CF is involved in counterinsurgent operations on a regular basis, and unlike conventional state-to-state wars, these wars are fought among the people that both insurgent and counterinsurgent forces are trying to win over. Insurgents wage political war through military means, making it extremely difficult for opposing forces to win the hearts and minds of the people they are meant to protect. They also employ strategies and tactics that violate widely held international conventions for waging war. It is important, therefore, to gain a better understanding of the CF’s perspective on moral and ethical decision making in order to enhance operational effectiveness in such situations. As part of a long term research program by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Toronto i

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Canadian Forces;Moral and ethical decision making;Training;Asymmetric warfare;Behaviour
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2010-043 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
31 Mar 2010
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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