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War is never justified Essay

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In this essay I shall give a review of the current war on Afghanistan and some of the theories behind it being either just or unjust war.

In these time is can be difficult for people to give their honest and pure opinions on war, partly because of their countries allies, enemies and even their personal friends & foes. People living in the United States of America will be influenced by their leaders getting them to go to a war against Afghanistan in which they call: ‘War Against Terrorism’. There is one problem with this and that is that you cannot wipe out all the wicked off the world as this is impossible. You may be able to stop a significant amount of it but not all of it, it is just physically impossible.

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I said at the beginning of this essay that I would go through some of the theories, so here they are:

1. ‘Realism’: no moral justification

Realism is when the public do not get a decision to go to war, it is all up to the government to decide and work at their own interests on the war.

2. Consequentialism:

Consequentialism is when a war is justified by the consequences on both sides. This prevents any possible tragedies happening.

3. Just War Theory:

The Just War Theory has VERY strict conditions, in fact if a war is justified it must meet with seven conditions:

1.Just cause

2.Last Resort

3.Lawful Authority

4.Formal Declaration

5.Right Intention

6.Prospects of Success

7.Proportionality (good overall effects)

4. Pacifism:

Pacifism is simply that war is never justified, this is what I believe.

Now let me give you three questions that give a simple sum-up of what I have just said:

1. Is war allowed or not? Pacifism versus non-pacifism

2. If allowed, are any ethical limitations suitable? Realism versus ethics-of-war theories.

3. If moral constraints are appropriate, what should they be? Consequentialism, Just War Theory or Pacificism.

I’ll bet there are many more theories out there, but I have just picked these out because it gives a good range of different perspectives.

I will now go through the seven conditions of the Just War Theory and apply them of the war against Afghanistan:

1.Just cause

2.Last Resort

3.Lawful Authority

4.Formal Declaration

5.Right Intention

6.Prospects of Success

7.Proportionality (good overall effects)

Just Cause

Just Cause means that you cannot just attack a random country for some poor reason, for example (this is imaginary): The USA attack Monte Carlo because they are jealous of a wonderfully complex and twisty racetrack they possess.

This would be pathetic as the Americans have the Laguna Seca Raceway and it just seems so childish.

Anyway, back to the point, this theory has to include two states, one being attacked and the other doing the attacking. The problem with this is that no state attacked America, it was an organisation. So this part of the Just Cause Test has been failed. Now for the second condition.

Last Resort

This condition states that if all other reasonable (in the eyes of the theory) options have been exhausted then the best option can be taken. It seems debatable that other options have not been exhausted, so another failure.

Lawful Authority & Formal Declaration

The war must be formally declared to the public and the opposing state. Bin Laden has completely failed this test, but the USA has formally declared their war. This test has been passed with flying colours

Right Intention

Not only do states have to have a just cause, they must let the public know about it, not just some hidden intention like the imaginary example I gave earlier.

If we look at American foreign policy since World War II it shows that the policy has been inconsistent throughout. Through their disobedience of justice we can positively say that the same has happened here, so this test is almost undoubtedly failed.

Prospects of Success

If there are no signs stating that this war will be won, then it will be a disastrous waste of life. The current ‘War against Terrorism’ covers such a colossal span it is evident that the named battle will never be won. Another test failed.

Proportionality (good overall effects)

No war is justified unless the good effects gained by the war are better than the evil it inflicts. The war is causing starvation (including death of it), many casualties, and death because of protests.

According to the just war theory two out of the seven conditions have been passed, so in this theory the war should not be continued.

‘Realist View’

Nothing better will be gained for the Americans, so from this view the war should not have been started either.

Utilitarian view

The verdict is doubtful for utilitarianism, too. Whether the war has better consequences than any alternative approach depends not just on the last point of the Just War Theory, which itself makes it very doubtful that the war can be justified. Also, utilitarianism requires not just that the results of war be on balance but on the war being the alternative with the best results, which is even more doubtful. Completely failed.


According to Consequentialists the key question is: Will the final strategy minimise the bad-effects compared to all the other options? You must consider that all lives are equal.

So, if all lives count equally, then a military strategy that kills many more civilians for the sake of a smaller reduction in military casualties on one side cannot be justified on consequentialist justifications. But this is precisely the reason why the US and its allies have used massive air strikes in what they say is the ‘first phase’ of the war. It seems likely that this strategy does not minimise the bad effects compared to all alternatives and so any consequentialist justification is doubtful.

Summing up

I believe that there is no such thing as a ‘just war’ and countries should stop, tidy up and talk, it would save a lot of lives and be a lot more logical, even if it means translating!

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War is never justified. (2017, Sep 07). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/war-is-never-justified-essay

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Hi, I am Sara from Studymoose

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Hi, I am Sara from Studymoose

Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Click to learn more https://goo.gl/CYf83b


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