The 2003 Iraq war was presented a bringing freedom to Iraqis, that is, as part of the idea that Western war is good for ordinary people living in the war zones. While the US military were this presented as ‘forces for good’, a number of soldiers objected to the war, refused their duties or removed themselves from the military in some other way. These military refusers, have so far been given only limited attention in the field of International Studies. While numerous soldiers removed themselves from the military, only a very small number claimed – and fewer still achieved – conscientious objector status. This lecture explores military refusers in order to think about not just their predicament but wider questions about how we produce ethics in relation to war.
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