Douglas Becker, University of Southern California posted on August 12, 2020 12:50
The International Studies community has lost an impressive and brilliant colleague. Amy Eckert passed away suddenly on July 30, 2020. Her contributions in international ethics were significant. She had earned both a Ph.D and a J.D and used her background in philosophy and law to advance our understanding of Morality and Law in modern warfare. In particular she focused on newly emerging war practices such as the use of automated weapons such as drones and the use of private military corporations. She was wrestling with what these new developments meant for traditional western discourse on what we call Just War theory, both how we conceptualize justified use of force (what we call jus ad bellum) and the practices of war (or jus in bello). She wrote Outsourcing War and co-authored The Future of Just War and Rethinking the 21 st Century, laying out her well-developed arguments on these issues.
But her passions were vast. She was dedicated in particular to two specific causes: the humanitarian impact of warfare and the welfare of cats. This was why her most passionate project was publicizing the work and commitment of Muhammad Aljaleel, so co-called “Cat Man of Aleppo.” His work with Ernesto Cat Sanctuary, saving the cats caught in the middle of that conflict in Syria, captured the world’s attention in a BBC video in 2016. It moved Amy. She kept all of us updated as to his narrative, and raised awareness and money to help him and his cats. This represented how she viewed conflict, where our attention should be on those caught in the cross-fire. They had no political or economic stake in the conflict. They were just trying to survive it. War destroys regardless of technology used, and Amy wanted us all to remember this. She was thrilled that he was able to return to Aleppo and is working saving children as well as cats. He represents the human and feline spirit of survival, dedication, and rebirth.
If Amy could have adopted every cat without a home, she would have. Instead, she found this incredible cat at a cate café near her home in Colorado. Truman was an older cat that had difficulty finding a home because he was FIV-Positive. Amy took him home and made him an internet star (at least among her friends). Nothing captures Amy’s heart quite like Truman’s story. When she passed, her friends immediately inquired about Truman. Fortunately, the cat café has found him a wonderful new home. Amy would be very happy to know this.
On July 30, 2020, Professor Amy Eckert of Metropolitan State of Denver passed away. The international studies community lost a colleague. I have lost a dear friend. She will be missed.