Throughout life individuals are forced to make decisions. These decisions, made on a daily basis not only affect the individuals but others around them. Due to this, society as a whole has created views on what is right and wrong. Sometimes these “right or wrong” decisions or ethical choices differ from group to group. This can clearly be seen in different professions. For example, a doctor has different obligations to treat an injured person than the average citizen. It is for this reason that organizations create ethical codes to guide their members’ decision making process. This is no different in the world of warfare, specifically counterterrorism (CT). So let’s take a look at the ethical codes used by CT professionals and how they differ from the private sector. Before we look at this lets define what a code of ethics is.
Ethical codes are used to help guide decision making. They do this by defining acceptable behaviors, standards of practice, responsibilities, and isolate occupational identity (Life Skills Coaches Association of British Columbia, 2001). The code is usually in a written form. Commonly it will consist of two parts (Chris MacDonald, 2002). First, it has an aspirational section or preamble that outlines what the organization seeks to be. Second, it will lay out the standards or rules that the members will be expected to fallow (Chris MacDonald, 2002). In my experience this can be as long as three pages or as short as three standards to fallow. Now that we understand what a code of ethics is let’s look at what is commonly found in the private world.
In the private world the codes often deal with business practices. Frequently you will find values such as integrity and honesty as staples. These values are not just important in business, but also life. However, many organizations chose to cover how these values are affected by their particular industry; such as a bank laying down mandatory reporting of money laundering or the passing of counterfeit currency. We will also see standards against discrimination and guidelines for community involvement. Even Home Depot has laid out standards for community involvement “It is our mission to be a good corporate citizen and to serve each community in which The Home Depot conducts business. We will obey the laws and respect the customs of each community and will encourage participation and involvement in community affairs. As a Company, we are committed to the environment and pledge to continue to be an industry leader in looking for products and services that are respectful of our world” (Home Depot, 2011) When we look at this standard it not only covers being and active member of the community but a good law abiding citizen. These are important to an organization as it will promote a positive image of their profession. So how does CT differ from the private sector?
A CT code of ethics will be different from the private sector as it is a type of warfare. In...