“For war, as a grave act of killing, needs to be justified.” These words were written by Murray N. Rothbard, dean of the Austrian School and founder of modern libertarianism, who spent much of his academic career trying to determine what, exactly, defined a “just war”. In fact, for as long as humans have been fighting wars, there have been quotations referring to the justification and moralities of wars and how warfare can be considered fair and acceptable to each society’s individual standards. While the time and place of each war differs, the reality of the devastation of battle may be found warranted by those fighting using these just war standards to vindicate their actions.
Jus a bellum, the right to go to war, explicitly describes how a nation-state should conduct itself before preparing for war. There are seven sub-categories within Jus a bellum: Just Cause, Comparative Justice, Competent Authority, Right Intention, Profitability of Success, Last Resort, and Proportionality. Just Cause is explained as needing to have a
Throughout history, many people have debated over the ethics of war and peace which lead to the creation of the just war theory. There have been a number of wars in the past and even in today’s world that have been proven to be unjustified by the means of this theory. Any war in my opinion, is hard to justify due to the violence, destructiveness, the nature of humans doing during war, and the impact it has on humans and the world. However, I have chosen to discuss why America’s decision to jump in to World War II was justified and by proving it by using the just war theory, mainly focusing on jus ad bellum.
The legitimate defense of a nation and the responsibility of the Security Council to take actions in the course of maintaining peace within its areas of influence. With the establishment of United Nations and the modernization of war and its materials; the theories and doctrines of the past also needed to evolve. The modern Just war theory in composed of two principles: jus ad bellum, the right to conduct war, and jus in bello, the correct conduct within war. Each principle also has its own set of criteria to follow. Jus ad bellum contains six: Just cause, right intention, proper authority and public declaration, last resort, probability of success, and proportionality. (Orend, 2006)
The ultimate goal of a just war is to re-establish peace and safety. The just war can only be waged as a last resort requiring that all reasonable non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified. A war can be just when it is fought with a reasonable chance of success. The Just War tradition is a set of mutually agreed rules of combat may be said to commonly evolve between two culturally similar enemies. An array of values are shared between two warring peoples, we often find that they implicitly or explicitly agree upon limits to their warfare.
One of the components of war that make it justful is that the cause of the war must be just. In other words, the attacking country must inflict lasting, grave, and certain damage for it to qualify as just to fight back. Also if basic human rights are being violated by a group of people then it is just for another entity to decide to go to war to free the victims of the inhumane aggressors and their torments upon the innocent human beings.
Each of these rules must be shown and satisfied. “Failure to fulfill even one renders the resort to force unjust, and thus subject to criticism, resistance, and punishment” (Orend 61). Just war theory is meant to be more demanding than international law. Even though the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) agreed to send troops to Somalia, this approving body does not automatically render the gesture moral. One must apply the principals of just war theory first.
According to traditional just war theory, a just cause must serve peace and not simply protect an unjust status quo. War must be used as a last resort and all pacifistic approaches must be
The theory is not intended to justify wars but to prevent them, by showing that going to war except in certain limited circumstances is wrong, and thus motivate states to find other ways of resolving conflicts. A war is only a Just War if it is both justified, and carried out in the right way. The circumstances of Just-War Theory must be of: Last Resort, Legitimate Authority, Just Cause, Probability of Success, Right Intention, Proportionality, and Civilian Casualties.
“War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children. This famous quote is from James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, Jr., who served as the 39th President of the United States. It implies that war can be justified under strict circumstances where it can be necessary, but it is still abhorrent. War is defined as a state of armed conflict between different countries or different groups within a country. Justification refers to the action of showing something to be right or reasonable. War brings many negative and catastrophic impacts not just to the country, but to the people living in the country as well, which this paper
St. Thomas Aquinas is another great theologian of the Catholic Church who believed in Just War Theory. St. Aquinas explained three conditions under which war could be justified. First, there must be a Sovereign authority under which war is waged, and a private individual has no capacity to wage war. Aquinas argues that, those in authority are responsible for the general good of the city, kingdom or province under them, and they are allowed by law to use the sword to defend that good from internal disturbance from evildoers. In the same way, Aquinas argues that it is the responsibility of the authority to use the sword to defend the common good from external foes. Therefore, it is Aquina’s stand that those not in positions of power cannot declare war. This is because the defense of the public is the responsibility of the legal authority
In this essay’s scope, the Syrian war has been analyzed using the just war theory. The just war theory highlights situations where waging a war can be justifiable and also provides guidelines on how a war should be fought. In as much as the theory recognizes the need to protect innocent human life even when it involves the use of force, the theory puts in place several principles that need to be met to qualify a war as being just. As for the Syrian situation, the bone of contention is whether the proposed US military intervention is justifiable or not. Those who are for a US military intervention observe that the enormity of the massacre in Syria justifies an external intervention. They point out that an intervention would protect further loss of innocent human life. Those against such a move point out some guidelines that have not been met to merit such an intervention as a just
Additionally, there must be a reasonable chance of success and should only be entered into as a last resort.2 Basically, no one can just go out and start a war against another country without appropriate rationale.
This essay intends to define and give an overview of the ‘Principles of War', the philosophers that coined these principles and with examples from the various countries that used and have their own perspectives on the ‘Principles of War'.