Just War & Crisis Decision Making

Topics: Nuclear weapon, Cuban Missile Crisis, Laws of war Pages: 7 (1892 words) Published: February 23, 2013
* Just war & Crisis decision making
The closest we have ever come to nuclear war – the Cuban missile crisis Kevin Cossner saves the day!

Introduced to the theory of just war
How just war theory is somewhat of a compromise between a Machiavellian view that justifies all means to a more pacifist view that views war as evil regardless of the reason Just war theory – something that tries to limit the damages of war as much as possible Usually divided into 4 pieces

Jus Ad Bellum – justice before war
Jus in Bello – justice during war
Jus post beluum – justice after war

Jus ad Bellum
Just cause – self defense (UN Charter)
Issues like collective security, pre-emption, prevention – what is our view of self defense We have to try every other thing short of war before we can justify going to war Declared publicly by a legitimate authority

* Only states can declare war, and therefore any war declared by a non state actor is therefore unjust – non state actors cannot declare war * Proportionality – we need to make sure that the benefit outweighs the harm, and we need to make sure that the war is winnable – wars that are not winnable and are not proportional and therefore are unjust * These are the questions we ask before we go to war – now we need to ask questions about the conduct of war itself *

* Jus in Bello
* Few principles, though they are important
* Hague (1899, 1907); Geneva (1949)
* Limit the types of actions that are legitimate in war
* Types of targets that can be selected to attack
* How POWs and injured soldiers should be treated
* Cultureand occupied territories – a lot of examples for the principles of jus in bello * Discrimination: protecting civilians (Geneva; nuclear weapons? (deterrence) aerial bombing (‘smart bombs’)? Terrorism) Discriminate between civilians and the fighting parties

In order to be protected by the geneva convention as a POW you have to wear uniforms – they allow us to disciriminate between civilians and non-civilians When you don’t wear a uniform it becomes more difficult to distinguish between civilians and non civilians Nuclear weapons

Cannot discriminate because they create mass damage and mass casualties – in this view, they are unjust because they fail the test of discrimination If nukes are unjust, then what is deterrence?
If you can’t use nukes ethically, is it even ethical to threaten with them? What about with air power? Obviously we have better technology with smart bombs and drones At what percentage does it become unjust?

Proportionality: double effect (Agent orange)
Jus ad bellum
The benefit brought by the war needs to outweigh the harm done by the war Not about the balance of casualties
(double effect) For almost every effect we engage in in war, there are two consequences – during the attack, we hurt civilians attack has two effects: the one that was intended (blowing up the headquarters of the enemy) and the one that was unintended – killing civilians if we want to understand proportionality, we need to understand both effects the good that we intend to get needs to outweigh the potential benefits of our attacks proportionality is not counting casualities, but rather balancing the good and the bad that every act we engage in might bring about in this case there is a difference between bombing the headquarters of your enemy to end the war (might be just, because the good might outweigh the harm) to another type of attack, such as blowing up a school to terrorise while the first satisfies the test of the double effect, the second would not Agent Orange – environmental conditions that would make trees in Vietnam drop leaves, so the americans would be able to see their enemies Spreading this chemical all over the forest

In principle, this seems legitimate because it is directed at the enemy and has clear strategic reason Problems with the double effect: is not discriminatory (hurting the environment for the...
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