Fourth Amendment context offer a logical starting point for providing a similar touchstone for assessing the reasonableness of targeting decisions in armed conflict." In "'Efficiency' Jus in Bello and 'Efficiency' Jus Ad Bellum in the Practice of Targeted Killing Through Drone Warfare?," Kenneth Anderson examines the tension that drone warfare creates between jus in bello and jus ad bellumconsiderations: "The more targeted killing technologies allow more precise targeting and reducing collateral casualties and harm (jus in bello), and that moreover at less personal risk to the drone users forces, perhaps the less inhibition that party has in resorting to force (jus ad bellum)." In "Unlawful Killing with Combat Drones: A Case Study of Pakistan," Mary Ellen O'Connell questions the governments authorization of increased drone attacks and argues these types of attacks "cannot be justified under international law for a number of reasons." One chief reason, O'Connell argues, is that "international law does not recognize the right to kill with battlefield weapons outside an actual armed conflict." (Posted 8/17/11)In "Drone Warfare and the Law of Armed Conflict," Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, Volume 39, No.
This potential can only be realized if four legitimacy factors are fully embraced and complied with: public justificatory deliberation, non-discrimination, meaningful review, and effective temporal limitation." (Posted 12/28/11)In "Explaining Suicide Terrorism: A Review Essay," Security Studies, Volume 16, Number 1, JanuaryMarch 2007, pp.
If one rejects this legitimacy, one must object to all killing in war, targeted and non-targeted alike, and thus not support the view, which is criticized here, that targeted killings are particularly disturbing from a moral point of view." (Posted 2/15/09) In "Can Terrorism Be Justified?" Ethics in International Affairs, Rowman and Littlefield, 2001, Andrew Valls argues that "terrorism, understood as political violence committed by nonstate actors, can be assessed from the point of view of just war theory and that terrorist acts can indeed satisfy the theory's criteria." Although I have argued in "The Senses of Terrorism" that Valls' semantic methodology is fundamentally flawed, I nevertheless recommend the article.
The distinguished panel included John Bellinger, who served as Legal Adviser to the Secretary of State and to the National Security Council during the Bush Administration; Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institute, author of the book Law and the Long War: The Future of Justice in Age of Terror; and Stephen Vladeck, professor of law at American University and coauthor of a brief to the Supreme Court on behalf of Guantanamo detainee Salim Hamdan.
We won the war because we would rather die than live in slavery. Our history proves this. Our deepest aspiration has always been self-determination…. History is not made with “ifs,” but if American leaders had been wiser I think we could have been spared the war. In my opinion, the Vietnam War was not in the American interest. It was a big mistake. U.S. expenditures were vast, and for the Vietnamese people, casualties were enormous. The Americans inflicted insane atrocities. The My Lai massacre was just an example…. Perhaps the American people know this already, but they need to be told again and understand more.
(Added 11/16/09, updated 4/21/15) It is sometimes said that just war theory originates from a Catholic tradition that can be traced to the writings of Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo.
1 (Winter 2004): 13-18; "Unjust War in Iraq," The Pelican Record, Volume XLI, Number 5, December 2004; "Preventive War and the Killing of the Innocent," in David Rodin and Richard Sorabji, eds., The Ethics of War: Shared Problems in Different Traditions (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2005): 169-90; "Just Cause for War," Ethics and International Affairs 19, no.
Also well worth reading in the context of American reflection on warfare is Howard Zinn's argument for pacifism in his essay on "Just and Unjust War." For a very helpful guide to the philosophical varieties of pacifism, see Andrew Fiala's article the Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy.
(Posted 2/24/06) Robert Sapolsky's "A Natural History of Peace" (Foreign Affairs January/February 2006) asks "So what does primatology have to say about war and peace?" Sapolsky's finding: "Contrary to what was believed just a few decades ago, humans are not "killer apes" destined for violent conflict, but can make their own history." (3/3/06) Princeton's WebMedia page includes several good, accessible philosophical video lectures on warfare.
(Posted 1/7/06) In "Defining a Just War," The Nation, October 29, 2001, Richard Falk argues that "The perpetrators of the September 11 attack cannot be reliably neutralized by nonviolent or diplomatic means; a response that includes military action is essential to diminish the threat of repetition, to inflict punishment and to restore a sense of security at home and abroad.
If your head is swimming with historical examples of condemnable warfare, and you can think only of a relatively limited class of ethically acceptable instances, and few or no laudable ones, then you may be a relatively dovish just war theorist (like me).
The general consensus among American historians is that the American War in Vietnam was a “mistake,” although interpretations differ as to what exactly this means. This essay takes the view that the ‘mistake” was a product of U.S. global ambitions and misperceptions that developed in the aftermath of World War II and were compounded over time. It probes deeply into the origins and nature of the war, making it a long article for a website (about 70,000 words), with about one-third devoted to the antiwar movement at home (Part IV). A half-century of excellent scholarship on the Vietnam War is drawn together and frequently cited in this essay.
If you can think of some limited class of ethically condemnable instances or forms of warfare, and your head is swimming with great examples of ethically acceptable and even laudable warfare, then you may be a relatively hawkish just war theorist.