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Lecture 8

LEC8 – Preventive and Preemptive War Oct 6 2009

Course Code
Tom Hurka

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PHL378: War & Morality
LEC8 Preventive & Preemptive War
Oct, 6th, 2009
Iraq War
! rhetoric as preventive war
! better rhetoric would have been to argue war in 2003 as the continuation of the Gulf War and
US pursuing the CJC of disarmament of Iraq (WMD)
! but even if that were the case, there may be a proportionality issue even if they had a JC, last
resort is not an issue, because they tried everything (UN inspectors etc)
! CJC: humanitarian, links to Al Quaeda, spread of democracy
! these all depend on changing the government, hence these should only be permitted had
changing the government been a IJC
Legalist Paradigm
! war is justified only when there is aggression
! read strictly this requires only when there is actual aggression
! Waltzer thinks this is too restrictive
Pre-emptive War vs Preventive War
! preventive war: avert future threat
! pre-emptive war: imminent threat
! the different b/w the two is of degree and not kind
! McMan: pg. 170
! distinction b/w preventive & pre-emptive
! Waltzer: preventive war is not permissible (Spanish Succession), pre-emptive war (Six day
War) is
! McMan: pg. 170
! Bush doctrine asserts the right of preventive defence under the guise of pre-emption
Pre-emptive War
! Waltzer: pg. 74
! Webster's conditon for pre-emptive war is too strict
! pg. 81: Conditions for pre-emptive war
1. manifest intent
2. active preparation
! mobilizing army on border
3. doing anything other than fighting greatly magnifies the risk
! last resort / necessity
In preventive war, there is no 1. or 2.
! McMan: pg. 173
! Paralysis case
! Israel 1967
! Lackey: Israel's ports being blocked is an act of war, hence its not pre-emptive war
! Waltzer:
! McMan
! the other side by threatening to attack or attacking you made themself liable
! a nation has done something to make it liable to be attacked when it is attacking you and
during pre-emptive war
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