I've noticed that Western media – and perhaps society as a whole – pay far greater attention to civilian deaths (and coalition deaths) than to the deaths of enemy military personnel. The best current example of this is Libya – when civilian deaths due to NATO's campaign are suspected, this is heavily reported. But it is hard to get any sense of how many of Gaddafi's soldiers have been killed by NATO. From the point of view of the media (and NATO) these numbers don't seem to matter.
The neglect of loss of military life (on both sides) seems to me indefensible. If Gaddafi's soldiers were entering the conflict of their own free will then we may try to argue (incorrectly, in my view) that their deaths have less moral significance than the deaths of civilians. However, it is likely that many of Gaddafi's soldiers are not in the conflict of their own free will, because defection is punishable by death.
My question is this: shouldn't philosophers fight as hard for the rights of military personnel (whichever side of a conflict they happen to be on) as they do for the rights of civilians (especially those lower-ranking personnel who have no choice but to fight)? I believe that a consequence of this could be greater political will to develop military technologies that focus on disabling military assets (e.g. tanks, aircraft, communication lines) without killing civilians *OR* personnel. For example, focusing on using cyberwarfare to hack into and destroy military infrastructure.