International Relations- Just War Theory

Topics: Laws of war, Iraq War, Peace Pages: 14 (4382 words) Published: October 5, 2012
JUST WAR THEORY| September 132011|
This project is based on the chapter of structures and processes of war under which the ‘Just War Theory’ is analyzed in reference to the US military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks in US.| America’s Just War Theory|


Study is made on the US military attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan in post 9/11 era. Nature of study is qualitative and library based.

The study of the project is limited to the era after the terrorist attack of 9/11 on US. The action initiated by George Bush to combat against terrorism which is famously known as the ‘BUSH DOCTRINE’. The military attacks made by the US on the gulf countries i.e. Iraq and Afghanistan in the light of Just War Theory.


1. What is just war theory?
2. Relation of just war theory in contemporary times?
3. Was just war theory justified by US military invasion on Iraq and Afghanistan?


Just War Theories attempt to conceive of how the use of arms might be restrained made more humane and ultimately directed towards the aim of establishing lasting peace and justice. Contrary to facile accusations of absurdity, the idea of fighting for peace actually does make sense in theory. There is no more contradiction in waging war to keep warfare in check than there is in fighting fire with fire (which firefighters do all the time). Unfortunately, however, what makes sense in theory too often fails in practice. World War I was touted in the U.S. as "the war to end all war." Yet, the world has seen a lot of warfare since the end of World War I, some of it in more or less direct consequence of that war. Armed human conflicts turn out to be more complex, varied and difficult to control than something as relatively simple and predictable as fire. In the following project, the researcher had tried to present an evaluation of the just war theory (JWT) using the US Military Intervention on Iraq and Afghanistan as a case study. These cases have been chosen as the intervention reveals a number of issues regarding applying just war theory to contemporary conflict. It was one of the first conflicts that combined a multinational force with the support of the international community and legitimized under the support of the United Nations and international law. The just war theory focuses around the just cause of going to war and just conduct during war, and this criteria will be introduced before providing different theoretical positions on just war theory. The case study will then be introduced forming the main bulk of analysis, expanding on the positions of just cause and just conduct within the just war framework.



Just war theory has a varied and diverse background. The just war tradition includes the contributions of philosophers and theologians dating back to Roman times. As James Tuner Johnson has pointed out, Just war is an historical tradition formed by experience and reflection, including much that is either specifically theological (or even religious), nor philosophical. It has been strongly influenced by international law, the traditions of chivalry, and soldierly practices derived from the experience of many battles. Just war theory as a method of evaluating military actions has been recognized historically by thinkers as varied as Cicero, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Grotius, and Daniel Webster. It is a theory which has been used by Christians and non-Christians alike to determine whether or not the decision to go to war and the means used to prosecute that war are just. It is crucial to keep this varied and complex pedigree of the just war tradition in mind when dealing with just war theory, otherwise it becomes possible to restrict the "breadth and diversity of the tradition," which could in turn lead to a serious misapplication of the...
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