A Just War Can Never Happen? Essay

1812 WordsApr 12, 20158 Pages
A Just War can never happen? A Just War is one which has to be fought but is conducted according to certain conditions. These were developed by Thomas Aquinas (c1225-74) and Francisco de Vitoria (c1483-1546) and are still referred to by Christians today. The theory is not intended to justify all wars but to prevent them by showing that going to war - except in certain limited circumstances - is wrong. The intention was to motivate states to find other ways of resolving conflicts, prevent war and to limit its effects. The conditions of a Just War are: * it must be fought by a legal recognised authority, eg, a government * the cause of the war must be just * the war must be fought with the intention to establish good or correct evil * there must be a reasonable chance of success * the war must be the last resort (after all diplomatic negotiations have been tried and failed) * only sufficient force must be used and civilians must not be involved Some wars can appear to meet all of these conditions. For example, World War Two (1939-1945) would appear to have been a Just War: * it was fought by Germany and the Allied countries who were legal authorities * Germany was being attacked for invading other countries * the intention was to correct the evil Hitler was doing for Nazi Germany * the Allies felt that they had a reasonable chance of success and they did win * all forms of negotiation with Hitler and the Third Reich had failed * most of the fighting was limited to the armies concerned and to harbours and munitions sites This looks as though it was a ‘properly constituted’ Just War, but actions like the Allied bombing of Dresden, a two-day raid by almost 2,400 bombers that destroyed the city and killed perhaps 135,000 civilians to virtually no military purpose, certainly broke the final condition. World War 2

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