Just War Theory Paper TopicsThe military has often used Just War Theory to justify and explain its own actions in fighting and in governing. Most of the time it is an academic book, but there are a few historical war books that are primarily concerned with just war arguments and military actions. This article will discuss just war theory from the book just war: A Guide to Political Theory and History by John E. Hammons.
While many scholars think that the term 'just war' implies that war can only be used as a last resort for a clear violation of humanity, the language of just war theory suggests that war may be used to prevent or restrict grave breaches of human rights. It also suggests that wars may be just because they are necessary for the maintenance of order or the protection of a community's well-being. For example, Hitler used the doctrine to justify the wars against the Jews in Germany.
The military has often used Just War Theory to justify and explain its own actions in fighting and in governing. The United States Army War College does not permit military involvement in situations that are considered to be otherwise unjust because these situations are considered to be impracticable, the military's commitment cannot be withdrawn quickly, and it would cause collateral damage. Some legal scholars argue that Just War Theory can justify most American interventions in the developing world.
Military historians have tried to explain US wars in World War II and Vietnam by arguing that the two conflicts were necessary to prevent Stalinist totalitarianism from taking control of the developing world. They claim that this theory justifies the Vietnam War. However, others argue that Just War Theory was more about preventing communism from growing into a world-wide government, and thus US intervention in Vietnam was unnecessary.
Critics of Just War Theory point out that some of the organizations that developed the theory itself at the end of the Second World War were very worried about the spread of communism in Europe. The United States, the United Kingdom, and Japanall wanted to prevent the spread of communism in the Western Hemisphere. While some argued that communism would not grow too large, others argued that communism had grown too large and was threatening to destroy all societies.
Critics of Just War Theory argue that the doctrine was never truly understood until after the Second World War, when European powers were completely destroyed and communism spread throughout the Western Hemisphere. The Soviet Union dominated Eastern Europe, and the Central Powers in Germany and Japan were all defeated by the Soviet Union.
Others argue that Just War Theory does not cover the situation of the USSR today, as their crimes were a lot more widespread than the crimes of the Nazis. Because of this, many just war theorists do not consider the USSR to be a victim of just war.
Some claim that just war is best understood as an ethical principle and not as a method of preventing wars. Rather, just war is simply the right to take up arms in self-defense, as stated in the doctrine.