September 25 , 2013
Revisions Reprise: Anticipations and Interventions
- The only just war is a response to aggression
- Non-intervention is a key pillar of just war theory
- If you may the exception to the rule of no intervention
o Preemptive war is when the knife is poised in mid air and about to
come down, you don’t have to wait for the blow to strike first in this
Walzer is in favor of preemptive war
o Preventive war is war when there are rumblings in the distance of
war but no guarantee. Powers are growing and they may or may not
be a concern to you but you are concerned about it.
Walzer is not in favor of preventive war; says to wait and
see if anything happens.
- A security dilemma is when you risk your security in an attempt to improve
- Walzer denies the middle range, should a states man or woman have the
right to prevent a general security dilemma before it actually arrives.
Therefore isn’t preventive war a good thing?
- Walzer says just because you think your neighbor has weapons does not
mean you can attack him. You need to have evidence and clearly being
threatened to do anything, otherwise you are being aggressive.
o Civilians, if civilians are being attacked (hard to tell between who is a
solider and who is a civilian) then that’s a problem.
o One is allowed to win a war against soldiers but it is a different
manner when one is attacking civilians, ethnic groups, etc.
o Issue of civil wars and intervention is a very thorny complicated
situation. How do you intervene successfully, who intervenes, who
wants to spend their own resources on it?
o Interference is aggression! If you interfere with another state it is
aggression unless they interfere with you. You can’t interfere in the
right of states.
o You can’t impose political solutions top-down. People have to believe
that this is a formal government that they want, not one imposed of
them by another state. Thus the people have to solve this problem
themselves, another state cannot intervene.
o Counter intervention, two powers fighting for control of the state and
a third power then comes in. You are justified in coming in and
removing that 3 power. Again NON-INTERVENTION! o There has to be some kind of line, some kind of principal for
intervention. For Walzer it is when civilians are suffering and
being denied human rights. Besides that there is no other reason!
o However, when you enter into a civil war for example you assist the
weaker side, which only continues the bloodshed for longer. Even if
you join the stronger side which is wrong, they sooner they win the
sooner the bloodshed stops. These issues are thorny and complicated,
just because you don’t like what’s going on in your neighbors’ country
does not mean you can go in and fix it.
o Usually when other countries become involved in stopping genocide
and the denial of human rights, it is for that reason but also for
separate personal reasons.
- Walzer says US intervention in Vietnam, the facts didn’t hold up and
therefore their involvement was unjust.
o Couldn’t the US have had a higher morality in resisting communism?
o Might there not be certain circumstances where the bigger issues are
at play and involve intervention?
Ex. Wouldn’t starting a preventive war against Hitler be a good
thing? The bigger issue is at stake is Hitler’s oppression and
denying Jews human rights, etc. True this was at first an
internal problem and intervening would be aggression but are
we not to look at the bigger issue here?
The War Convention (Jus in Bello)
- Justice in how we fight a War justly
Citizens and soldiers are not responsible for the wars; the
political leaders may bear the crime of the war. If you are
drafted, how is it your fault since you are only serving your
- Soldiers fight justly and unjustly in the conduct of wars; we presume soldiers
are told to fight and are not decision makers. For the most part it is not the
soldiers war, therefore for the soldiers they are not responsible for starting
this war however, they are responsible for how they fight that war.
- Citizens and soldiers are different. Soldiers are legitimate targets, are
civilians legitimate targets? NO.
- Killing soldiers is not murder. If you are a prisoner, you surrender, then you
become a civilian. To kill the guard then is a c