Welcome to the Council on Christian Approaches to Defence and Disarmament (“CCADD”)

Christians, like others, have long held widely differing views on the use of military force.   Many believe that the use, or threat, of military force has played a necessary part in the search for peace and justice.

Others hold that military force is contrary to the gospel message of non-violence.  But both pacifists and defenders of ‘just war’ are agreed on the need to search for means to reduce international tension.  Because CCADD does not prescribe a single approach, scholars, officials, military personnel, clergy (including chaplains to the forces), peace-movement supporters, and interested members of other faiths or none, can enter into dialogue with each other.

CCADD provides a forum for debate and channels for dissemination of ideas and knowledge, and offers the chance to talk to well-informed people on many key areas of conflict or related matters.

CCADD on Hamas/Israel and Ukraine/Russia

Pre-Christmas Discussion 2023  and Plans for 2024

Discussion of Defence and Disarmament has moved back during the last two years to live conflicts – in Afghanistan, and now in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. Even for those members with past experience of conflicts, the heavy impact on civilians and limited effect of  international bodies have felt like major reverses.

CCADD provided an opportunity for members to consider the ethical issues over Israel/Hamas at two meetings earlier in the Autumn. Extracts from previous CCADD writings on Muslim/Christian/Hebraic views of conflict were prepared. Professor Sara Silvestri  arranged a series of talks at City University on 18 November about the background to Israel/Hamas.

CCADD has been in touch with the  Ukrainian Church around  our mutual Christmas periods.

There was a pre-Christmas  discussion on 18 December about the challenges posed by  the resumption of these armed conflicts recently.  CCADD has not customarily issued formal statements about conflicts in progress, but some points of note arising from the discussion were:


This conflict follows a pattern going back at least 20 years. Members recalled incidents of both:

Palestinian (usually)  Hamas) terror activities accompanied by periodic surges in rocket attacks on Israel; and disproportionate use of force by Israeli Armed Forces in the similar, if smaller scale,  exchanges going  back to  2002 on the West Bank and in from 2007-9.

There was a sense that simply calling for a two-state settlement  now was no more likely to succeed in  resolving the situation than at various points since 2006.

Just War thinking  couldn’t countenance   brutality towards civilians on the scale that has been occurring.

The apparent detachment of local states understandably nervous about spreading onto their territory but not (at least visibly) playing an active role to resolve flair ups. Similarly the UN was not offering  peace-keeping forces (beyond the Lebanon border) as it had provided during many  earlier periods.

Some technical discussion took place about the feasibility of peace-keeping and the challenges of tunnelled areas.


Reminders that they continued to be in our thoughts and prayers  had been sent to Ukrainian Churches around Christmas. Some members had  expressed  publicly their concerns that Western countries should continue to support Ukraine’s armed forces  and the strategic risks if Russia “won”.

This was territory long fought over with massive casualties most recently 1942-5, The current relative advantage  of defence (over offence) meant that   continuation of the conflict was likely to lead to further heavy losses. There w.as reference to “extinct volcanos” in thinking of both parties.

CCADD Discussion in 2024

CCADD’s Committee envisage a structured discussion, provisionally scheduled  at 1300 on Monday 15 January. After this the chair would summarise the variety of experienced viewpoints CCADD brings to bear leaving open the prospect of developing a work for publication later.

In February, CCADD will be delighted to hear from the new Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies at a lunch-time meeting, followed by discussion.

If you would be interested in hearing or contributing to discussion of the ethical issues arising from current conflicts, please contact our Secretary about attending one of these events as a guest, We are also very open to  new members.

Terms of Membership

Membership is open to all able to conform to CCADD’s ethos of scholarship, courtesy and intellectual rigour within a framework that accepts that Christianity has a voice in contemporary debates over security. CCADD is not a platform for lobbying. It invites engagement from those interested in the practical application of ethics in the fields of defence and disarmament including all who work or have worked in different capacities in government, in academia and higher education, in the armed forces, in international organisations and in religious and secular contexts in the fields of defence and/or disarmament. CCADD therefore welcomes especially, but not exclusively, voices of experience at all levels of decision-making as members, guest speakers and in publications.  Despite varied personal ethical positions, CCADD members are united by the desire for peace and security for this and future generations, recognising that the building blocks for peace require continuing effort to identify, understand and assemble.

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