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Analysis of The Main Parts of The Just War Theory

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There are enough open doors in life for everyone to have a successful and happy future. However, there are also many things in life that can abruptly close those doors right in your face, such as war. War can never be justified because not only is it unethical, but it completely destroys the spirit of humans. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize this at all, while some may only consider it from time to time. People are doubtful of the terrible effects of war because they often believe that war can be justified in some situations, if not all. Despite the idea that there are no solutions to conflict besides war, nonviolent resistance is a reasonable method that should be looked into because it can change our world for the better. Fundamentally, the Just War Theory is one that speaks on how and why wars happen, and states that war is justified in select cases. There are three important parts of the Just War Theory — Jus Ad Bellum, Jus In Bello, and Jus Post Bellum. These parts apply to two enemies that have similarities in religion, race, or language. When values are shared between these two groups, they usually agree on the limits of war, and this is when Just War comes into play. However, when there are two groups that are not culturally similar or when there is a difference in rank, these rules do not appertain to the war. The reason why this theory exists is for enemies to be able to understand who will participate in the war, and what will happen regarding relations in the aftermath of it. Often times, when groups agree on certain conditions of the Just War Theory, it is because it will benefit them in the long run, and they are able to avoid political or moral issues that occurred in the past.

In the first section called “Jus Ad Bellum” of the Just War Theory, there are six criteria for war. In a document created by Michael Lacewing, which has all of the details about this idea, states, “The response of declaring war must be proportionate, i.e. the good that can be secured through war must outweigh the evil that will most likely occur. The end must justify the means. And in this calculation, the state must take into account not just the costs and benefits to itself, but those that will affect everyone involved in the war.” As it has been proved countless amounts of time, there is no secure answer of what might happen after the war is finished. There may be many consequences of war – another country may attack, things may be taken over, and a crucial decision may even be made, changing everything around. People who advocate for this theory and believe that it is correct, argue that the end of the war will make everything that happened during the war, much better. This is complete bogus because many countries are left on their own to pick up the pieces, and somehow scavenge for money to pay for all of the damage that another country has caused them. Ultimately, one group may get what they want, but is all of the destruction that war creates really necessary?

This is especially true for wars that go on for a long time – so long, that people completely forget what even started it, and what the goal of it is. The War on Terror is a perfect example of this as it is one that has been going on for sixteen years, ever since the September 11 attacks on the twin towers. In 2016, the United States dropped 26,171 bombs and most of these air attacks took place in Syria and Iraq. Other countries include Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. All of these countries were predominately Muslim countries, and so many innocent people were killed by the drone attacks. The US government was in a mindset that they would kill whoever they wanted, until they actually killed the right person. They overlooked the lives of so many people by grouping them as one, and hoped that the end of it would be “justified.” None of these losses were ever acknowledged by the United States, and neither did anyone think twice about providing war reparations to those people that were cruelly affected by it.

This leads into the second section of the Just War Theory called “Jus In Bellum.” This agreement speaks about how the enemy should be treated by the opposing side. There are also six different criteria for this section, one being, “No weapons or means of war that are ‘evil in themselves’ are permitted. Examples include ethnic cleansing and mass rape.” This idea of the theory, much like all of the other ideas, is completely delusional. The Just War Theory does not accept that weapons are already “evil in themselves,” although this is so obviously true. Weapons are meant to cause harm to other people, mentally and physically – as soon as the engineer begins crafting the instrument, it is only meant for destruction and evil. War has become so normalized and casual that using weapons to wreak havoc is not something that is seen as immoral. Although weapons are just one inhumane factor of war, another obscene aspect is wartime sexual violence. Rape has been committed by combatants for a very long time, and it is just something that is expected of war. During the Vietnam War, there was a plethora of assaults which were done by South Korean and American soldiers. A Vietnamese woman posted her story on a petition website, where she explained how a soldier came and raped both her and her mother in their shop. Their lives were changed forever, and they could do nothing but accept it. So many people’s lives wouldn’t have been affected as they were if the war never happened. This is another reason why Just War Theory would never work. Preventing rape from happening in a world where not everyone is fully aware of the consequences and effects of it is truly impossible to do. If women who were once raped are still struggling today to get recognition from the government of the things they experienced, than it is completely unreasonable to believe that citizens would ever stop committing these heartless crimes.

The last viewpoint of this theory is called “Jus Post Bellum,” which is the last aspect. This concludes the whole entire theory and speaks about the aftermath of the war, “The discrimination between combatants (including political leaders) and noncombatants still applies when seeking punishment. Public, international trials for war crimes should be conducted.” In connection to the previous paragraph, many different war crimes are completely unrecognized. There are international rules, in places like Syria, which protect citizens and prisoners of the war who aren’t participating in it. According to a CNN article, some of these war crimes include torture or inhuman treatment, purposely causing suffering, causing serious injury to body or health, and destruction of property. What’s completely mind-boggling is that these war crimes are an exact definition of what the war is. There haven’t been any prosecutions made against anyone in Syria, however there have been many allegations made. Nevertheless, no further investigation has been done to get justice for the victims. Jus Post Bellum does not come even close to answering for the monstrosity of war. Through the whole entire process of war, so much damage is done that it can take a very long time to fix, and even then, they may never go back to how they once were. This makes the Just War Theory an illogical mindset which would never work in the world we live in today. None of the details listed in the theory could ever justify war. However, there is a clear solution. The concept of nonviolence should be implemented and always used, no matter the conflict. This type of resistance is used to achieve goals of social change by participating in protests, civil disobedience, and many other methods. Citizens can partake in this, which is what makes it so powerful and effective. People like Ghandi, Henry David Thoreau, and MLK all have partook in nonviolent resistance. If nonviolence was looked into by our world, it would completely change the mindset of war. War is a vicious cycle that will continue as long as people feed the fire. The more that people depend on violence as their number one priority, the more damaged this world will become.

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Analysis Of The Main Parts Of The Just War Theory. (2021, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 23, 2023, from
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