Weaponized NonCombatants: A Moral Conundrum of Future Asymmetrical Warfare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Do noncombatants in warfare receive immunity because of their subjective or objective characteristics? Can a noncombatant be ‘weaponized’, and if so, how does this weaponization change the noncombatant's moral status as protected from direct attack? The purpose of this article is to analyze the moral issues that arise when noncombatants are made into weapons, specifically as delivery systems for biological weaponry. Examining such a tactic, I go on to explore how the problems that arise from ‘weaponized’ noncombatants illustrate deeper problems in the (under-)theorization of noncombatant status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-256
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Military Ethics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2014



  • asymmetrical warfare
  • biological warfare
  • Carl Schmitt
  • morality in warfare
  • Noncombatants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy

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