Just War Theory

Topics: Laws of war, Jus ad bellum, Peace Pages: 3 (815 words) Published: October 26, 2013
Just War Theory and a Thoughtful Realist
One important theory within International Relations shows a moral aspect on how to conduct war. This theory is called Just War Theory. Just War Theory is a doctrine of military ethics from a philosophical and Catholic viewpoint. This theory consists of two parts: Jus ad bellum (the right to go to war) and Jus in bello (right conduct within war).

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 reason to go to war. Not just for recapturing material possessions, but if lives are in danger. Comparative Justice is described, as the suffering and injustice on one side within a war must outweigh the suffering and injustice on the opposite side. Competent Authority must be in order within a war. Nation-states that start war must only start it if the authorities within the nation-state are focused on justice. Right Intention is defined as; force may be only used for a just cause correcting a suffered wrong. Gaining or maintaining economies by a nation-state is not considered just. Profitability of Success indicates that arms are not to be used where unbalanced measures are pertinent to be successful. The Last Resort category is presented as; force in war may only be used if peaceful alternatives have been completely depleted. The final category, Proportionality, is the foreseen benefits of starting war must be proportionate to its expected wrongs.

Jus in bello, right conduct within war, shows how a nation-state should handle different situations within a war. There are five sub-categories within Jus in bello: Distinction, Proportionality, Military Necessity, Fair Treatment of Prisoners of War, and No Means malum in se (evil...
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