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LEC 12 – Proportionality and Necessity Oct 20 2009

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Tom Hurka

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PHL378: War and Morality
LEC 12 Proportionality & Necessity
Oct, 20th, 2009
! original geneva convention talked about how to treat soldiers, war etc.
! additional. protocol 1: laws regarding conducts of war about civilian
! Hurka: “consequence conditions” are the 5 jus ad bellum conditions
! not consequentialist conditions b/c they do not do weighting of total harm vs. benefits
! Gulf War
! in 1991 gulf war, some ppl critisize war b/c it would be disproportionate b.c
it was likely to do massive environmental damage in Gulf region
turn into big middle eastern conflict
Kuwait was not very important
! US senator
describe Gulf War as “small disturbance in a distance part of the world, enough to
justify sanctions but not military action”
! Afghanistan
last resort: ppl worry this has not been reached
! we should continue to pursue individuals who did criminal act as opposed to
overthrowing government
! lots of aerial bombardment and lots of afghan civilians were killed
! there were only 3000 people killed but we killed more than 3000 people in
! this is the wrong comparison, we should instead compare against the number of
ppl that would have been killed
! Powell Doctrine
when you fight a war, you fight it to win by using lots of force
electric plants were bombed which lead to less power for troops but also leads to no
water filtration in Iraq, lead to massive civilian casualty
thus, ppl say this was disproportionate
! Iraq War (2001)
! objections to war
not a lost resort, original goal was eliminate WMD, but could have been done through
U.N. sanctions
disproportionate after the fact: cost of the war is enormous and casualties, no
functioning democracy
Reduction of Conditions
! hope of success can be reduced to necessity / proportionality
! last resort / necessity
! comparative version of necessity
! in proportionality you measure relevant benefits vs. harms
! LR condition is a proportionality condition, comparing the overall Benefit vs. Harm of
another alternative to war to war itself
aka. LR is a comparative version of the proportionality condition
only if there is no alternative that has a better benefit vs. cost quantitatively speaking
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