Monday, January 24

On Just War (part 3)

The final part to Aquinas methodology for thinking about Just War, is "How?", that is to say: How to execute Just War? Certainly one could envision a war, which had just cause, was initiated legally by a sovereign ruler, but was executed in such a way that the war could no longer be considered Just. Aquinas also indicates that part of this question focuses on the intentions of those engaging in war, but I have enfolded that part of the question in the previous essay subtitled "Why?". The execution of Just War requires the following from her military:
  • That the military not specifically target the civilian population and try to respect civilian loss of life and property as much as possible.
  • That the military policies and procedures describing and enforcing a code of conduct. It should be recognized that infractions will occur in wartime.

Again, looking at the War foremost in the public mind currently, Iraq, it is clear that our behavior satisfies the criteria given. While detractors list Abu Graihb as a prime example of how our conduct is not just, but to the contrary the military had halted and was in the process of addressing (via court-martial) all involved before the press "exposed" the infractions. We did have procedures in place, and they were working to minimize such occurrences.

The final essay in this series will examine my partial list of many historical conflicts and to judge them by the criteria laid out.