An analysis of the saint augustines just war theory and the persian gulf war

In contrast to many of these statements, those of John Paul II, while passionate in their appeals for peaceful resolution, were characteristically high-toned, profoundly spiritual, and free of political rhetoric. That is precisely the dilemma that just war was designed to prevent.

St augustine just war theory pdf

Nonetheless, the principle of self-defense can be extrapolated to anticipate probable acts of aggression, as well as in assisting others against an oppressive government or from another external threat interventionism. The possession of right intention is ostensibly less problematic. Reflections on the Revolution in France. Jokic Alexsander, and Anthony Ellis eds. On grounds of discrimination, assassination would be justifiable if the target were legitimate and not, say, the wife or children of a legitimate target. No doubt he would say that the only risks greater than those flowing from intervention would be the risks of not intervening. Numerous prime ministers and foreign ministers were received by the pope even as special emissaries were dispatched by him to Washington, Baghdad, and other capitals. In Ethics, Religion, and Politics. Putatively, a just war cannot be considered to be just if reasons of national interest are paramount or overwhelm the pretext of fighting aggression. Robinson, Paul. Later refinements of the Thomistic argument have elaborated four additional criteria, as set forth in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 4 The damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain. Archbishop Martino, for example, strongly implied that just-war principles are being modified in a manner analogous to the Church's recent reevaluation of the morality of capital punishment. This allows the theorist to claim that a nation fighting an unjust cause may still fight justly, or a nation fighting a just cause may be said to fight unjustly. Yet what is the status of guerrilla fighters who use civilian camouflage in order to press their attacks or to hide? Whilst this provides just war theory with the advantage of flexibility, the lack of a strict ethical framework means that the principles themselves are open to broad interpretations.

During the s and '80s, for example, arms control became a major enthusiasm of the U. Yet the just war theorist wishes to underline the need to attempt all other solutions but also to tie the justice of the war to the other principles of jus ad bellum too.

just war theory book pdf

But war is a complicated issue and the principles are nonetheless a useful starting point for ethical examination and they remain a guide for both statesmen and women and for those who judge political proceedings.

References and Further Reading 1.

Origins of the just war theory

In post-war Iraq date , the rehabilitation programs have met with mixed success and have often been criticized for favoring some ethnic groups over others, i. The same could not be said about reservations concerning the use of preemptive military force, which are serious. Should one not go to the aid of a people or declare war if there is no conceivable chance of success? The principle of responsibility re-asserts the burden of abiding by rules in times of peace on those acting in war to remind them that one day they will once more take up civilian status and should be prepared to do so conscientiously, free of any guilt from war crimes. And who would have borne the responsibility had Saddam acquired nuclear weapons as we have every reason to beleve he was attempting to do? In the political circles, justification of war still requires even in the most critical analysis a superficial acknowledgement of justification. In the end, the first critique reduces to the proposition that might makes right, while the second makes civil society a high-risk enterprise. But as there are several ethical viewpoints, there are also several common reasons laid against the need or the possibility of morality in war. The Jus Ad Bellum Convention The principles of the justice of war are commonly held to be: having just cause, being a last resort, being declared by a proper authority, possessing right intention, having a reasonable chance of success, and the end being proportional to the means used. On the one hand, if the only method to secure a general peace some thing usually held to be good in itself is to annex a belligerent neighbor's territory, political aggrandizement becomes intimately connected with the proper intention of maintaining the peace for all or the majority. 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. Nagel, Thomas Burke, Edmund Should a war be indecisive though, the character of the peace would presumably be formed by the character of the ceasefire — namely, the cessation of fighting would imply a mere hiatus in which the belligerents regain the time and resources to stock their defenses and prepare for further fighting.

On the other hand, the Church's position on Iraq seems to have deeper roots, which trace to major Church pronouncements on war and peace during the s. The unvarnished truth of the matter is that Saddam's regime presented a clear and present danger to the preservation of peace, not only in the Mideast but in the larger world.

The principle of discrimination concerns who are legitimate targets in war, whilst the principle of proportionality concerns how much force is morally appropriate.

Gulf war just war theory

The Church could provide no better service than to reconsider the ways in which the time-honored principles of the grand tradition can be brought to bear on the most pressing problem now facing the world. Moseley, Alexander and Richard Norman, eds. In turn, rights-based analyses may be more philosophically productive in giving soldiers and critics crucial guidelines, especially those analyses that focus on the renouncing of rights by combatants by virtue of their war status, which would leave nominally intact a sphere of immunity for civilians. Whilst this commonly entails the minimizing of war's destruction, it can also invoke general balance of power considerations. Conference proceedings are regularly published, offering readers a breadth of issues that the topic stirs: for example, Alexander Moseley and Richard Norman, eds. A different skeptical argument, one advanced by Michael Walzer, is that the invention of nuclear weapons alters war so much that our notions of morality—and hence just war theories—become redundant. References and Further Reading Anscombe, Elizabeth. It has often been remarked that justice, like history, is written by the victors. Commonly, the earlier traditions invoked considerations of honor: some acts in war have always been deemed dishonorable, whilst others have been deemed honorable. City of God. For a nation threatened by invasion, other forms of retaliation or defense may be available, such as civil disobedience, or even forming alliances with other small nations to equalize the odds. That these propositions involved highly debatable moral and policy issues did not deter religious figures, within and without the Catholic Church, from embracing them with doctrinal fervor.

Whilst this provides just war theory with the advantage of flexibility, the lack of a strict ethical framework means that the principles themselves are open to broad interpretations.

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The Use and Abuse of Just