- This event has passed.
CANCELED: Killing Civilians in War: Why Did it Happen? Why Does it Happen? The View from History
April 7, 2020 at 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
The notion that some types of people should not be targets for military operations, nor attacked violently by armed forces waging war, did not simply spring from our consciousness, or from any abstract sense of ethics or morality. It evolved historically, and not in any straight line either. Military history identifies the two extremes: times and places where no distinction of any kind between the ‘civilian’ and the warrior was either seen or respected; times and places where such distinctions became, at least in principle, defining themes regarding how to wage war. The obvious question is the direct one: why has killing civilians been such a perennial part of waging war, across time and space? This presentation will approach this question by unpacking two more, from the broadest vantage point of the sweep of military history: why did armies start killing civilians? And why won’t they stop? This presentation is presented by Brian Farrell, professor of military history, with the department of history at the National University of Singapore.