RE: Conflict - Just War

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  • Created by: Aoife_
  • Created on: 14-05-13 12:24

Just War Theory

When is it just to go to war?

  • War must be the last resort
  • There must be a serious threat
  • There must be some chance of success
  • Weapons must be used proportionately 
  • The decisions must be made by a legitimate authority
  • The ultimate goal must be restoration of peace

How should war justly be fought?

  • Non-combatants, wounded soldiers and prisoners must be respected and treated humanely
  • Weapons causing large-scale destruction to civilians are not permissable
  • Torture is wrong
  • Civilians cannot be treated as targets of military operations
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Problems with the Just War Theory

There are many examples of conflict which do not fit the definition of 'a conflict between two different powers'. For example; 

  • Civil wars in which governments harm their own people 
  • Conflicts between minority groups which feel wronged by the government of people they live among
  • Conflicts which intend to remove a dictator or government and replace it with democracy
  • The scale of weapons - particularly nuclear weapons - creating difficulty in proportionality and in keeping civilians out of war
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