Position paper iraq war and just war theory essay

In recent years, the argument for preemption has gained supporters in the West: surely, the argument goes, it is right on consequentialist grounds to strike the first blow if a future war is to be avoided?

Just war theory pdf

In chivalrous times, the Christian crusader could seek priestly absolution for atrocities committed in war, a stance supported by Augustine for example; today, the law courts are seemingly less forgiving: a violation of the conventions assumes that the soldier is responsible and accountable and should be charged for a crime. Machiavelli, Nicolo The three aspects are by no means mutually exclusive, but they offer a set of moral guidelines for waging war that are neither unrestricted nor too restrictive. McMahan has argued persuasively that a war that lacks a just cause cannot be fought justly. Moseley, Alexander and Richard Norman, eds. The first propagandist of these ideas was St. In Ethics, Religion, and Politics. Consider a war of self-defense: this is considered by most, except absolute pacifists, to be the most justifiable of all wars. One commonly held assumption about the decision to pursue the war against Iraq is that the United States was keen to control the vast oil reserves that were previously under Iraqi control. The notion of proper authority seems to be resolved for most of the theorists, who claim it obviously resides in the sovereign power of the state.

The Just War Theory is a principle of ethics followed in the military that originated from Catholic and Roman philosophy. The choice of this case is due to the various issues regarding the application of just war theory to modern conflict, which will be discussed in the concluding part of the paper.

The three aspects are by no means mutually exclusive, but they offer a set of moral guidelines for waging war that are neither unrestricted nor too restrictive. The only other option outlined to combat this threat was strengthening containment and making it more selective in targeting items relating to weapons production specifically Bluth,p Commonly, the earlier traditions invoked considerations of honor: some acts in war have always been deemed dishonorable, whilst others have been deemed honorable.

Position paper iraq war and just war theory essay

Others, avoiding a rights analysis for it produces many problems on delineating the boundaries of rights and the bearers, may argue that those who join the army or who have even been pressed into conscription come to terms with being a target, and hence their own deaths. Commonly, the earlier traditions invoked considerations of honor: some acts in war have always been deemed dishonorable, whilst others have been deemed honorable. A realist, however, may ask how a people are to regain their freedom if they do not raise arms against their sea of troubles? The issue of intention raises the concern of practicalities as well as consequences, both of which should be considered before declaring war. Is it right that an army should demand unconditional surrender, for instance, when such a policy may entail a protracted war for no incentive is given to the other side to surrender; on the other hand, unconditional surrender implies a derogatory view of the enemy as one not to be respected either in or after war. Yet what is the status of guerrilla fighters who use civilian camouflage in order to press their attacks or to hide? But unless "aggression" is defined, this proscription is rather open-ended. According to traditional just war theory, a just cause must serve peace and not simply protect an unjust status quo. Blair envisaged an international order based upon the foundations of international norms and the use of the United Nations as a locus of legitimacy, which would potentially lead to a united Western world. Finally, only a proper authority can declare. Most theorists hold that initiating acts of aggression is unjust and gives a group a just cause to defend itself. These developments have resulted in divided opinions and conflicting emotions in regard to the foreign policy to be followed in such times.

Although the Just War Theory has had a long tradition it has been criticized for being just relativistic in contradicting the universal philosophical beliefs like the ethic of reciprocity.

Early records of collective fighting indicate that some moral considerations were used by warriors to limit the outbreak or to rein in the potential devastation of warfare. Concern over issues not related to terrorism, such as AIDS and dealing with hunger have reduced considerably.

Despite this, the cause of the war is still a highly contentious issue at the centre of critical debate. Robinson, Paul ed. Thucydides

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The Just War Theory Essay