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University of Waterloo
International Studies
Brian Orend

INTST 101 Introduction to International StudiesBrian OrendUnit 12 PostWar Reconstruction The point of this final module is to focus on the issue of whether it is a good idea to force regime change in a society defeated by war and to focus especially on the ongoing postwar social reconstruction projects in Afghanistan and Iraq A secondary goal is to draw together many of the themes and issues with which this course has been concernedPostWar Reconstruction is a subunit of posttheory of postwar justice in general Recall that according to just war theory there are three phases of war and we need rules of justice to guide decisionmakers and actors during all three We already discussed in a previous module the rules of jus ad bellum and jus in bello Let us now lay down the rules for jus post bellum as just war theory understands itJus post bellum Rules Jus post bellum refers to justice during the third and final stage of war that of war termination It seeks to regulate the ending of wars and ease the transition from war back to peace There is little international law heresave occupation law and perhaps the human rights treatiesand so we must turn to the moral resources of just war theory I have spent considerable time on this topic and propose the following rules for jus post bellum1 Proportionality and Publicity The peace settlement should be measured and reasonable as well as publicly proclaimed To make a settlement serve as an instrument of revenge is to make a volatile bed one may be forced to sleep in later In general this rules out insistence on unconditional surrender2 Rights Vindication The settlement should secure those basic rights whose violation triggered the justified war The relevant rights include human rights to life and liberty and community entitlements to territory and sovereignty This is the main substantive goal of any decent settlement ensuring that the 1INTST 101 Introduction to International StudiesBrian Orendwar will actually have an improving affect Respect for rights after all is a foundation of civilization whether national or international Vindicating rights not vindictive revenge is the order of the day 3 Discrimination Distinction needs to be made between the leaders the soldiers and the civilians in the defeated country one is negotiating with Civilians are entitled to reasonable immunity from punitive postwar measures This rules out sweeping socioeconomic sanctions as part of postwar punishment 4 Punishment 1 When the defeated country has been a blatant rightsviolating aggressor proportionate punishment must be meted out The leaders of the regime in particular should face fair and public international trials for war crimes 5 Punishment 2 Soldiers also commit war crimes Justice after war requires that such soldiers from all sides to the conflict likewise be held accountable to investigation and possible trial 6 Compensation Financial restitution may be mandated subject to both proportionality and discrimination A postwar poll tax on civilians is generally impermissible and there needs to be enough resources left so that the defeated country can begin its own reconstruction To beggar thy neighbour is to pick future fights 7 Rehabilitation The postwar environment provides a promising opportunity to reform decrepit institutions in an aggressor regime Such reforms are permissible but they must be proportional to the degree of depravity in the regime They may involve demilitarization and disarmament police and judicial retraining human rights education and even deep structural transformation towards a minimally just society governed by a legitimate regime More below as the main focus of this module2
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