Just War Theory

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Saint Augustine

Just War Theory consists of two primary components, first determining if a war may be justly conducted (jus ad bellum) and how it must be conducted (jus in bello). It is based largely on the work of Augustine.

A liberal version of the Just War Theory, initially advanced by Woodrow Wilson, is to eliminate all war as somehow being inherently unjust. In practice, this approach promotes disarmament and capitulation to uses of force by Leftist regimes.

Jus ad bellum - Is a war just?

Under jus ad bellum, only legitimate authorities can wage war for the right reasons (usually this means a defensive war, or a war of defending the weak against a violent oppressor [1]) and only as a last resort if every other peaceful means to avert war have been used to no avail. A just war can only be waged if there is a serious evil that needs to be stopped. Further there must be a realistic chance that the evil can be stopped without starting a greater evil. If this happens the war reaches a just conclusion. A war started for just reasons and justly waged may still reach an unjust conclusion.

Jus in bello - How must a just war be conducted?

Minimum force should used be to achieve just goals. Civilian areas without military target should not be attacked. Force used should not be out of proportion to the wrong which the war tries to right. Efforts should be made to minimize casualties, especially civilian casualties. The enemy are also people.

Catholic Church on Just War Theory

Just War is a Christian theory of moral ethics that goes back to Saint Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. It attempts to delineate the precise conditions under which a War can be a called a Just War: "the task of just war theory is to seek a middle path between them: to justify at least some wars, but also to limit them (Ramsey 1961)." [2]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy.

At one and the same time:

- [1] the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

- [2] all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

- [3] there must be serious prospects of success;

- [4] the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the "just war" doctrine.

The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good." [3]

Russia-Ukraine war

See also: NATO war in Ukraine

The International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICJ) ruled that Russia did not finance terrorism in its defense of separatists in Ukraine and the court refused to find Russia guilty of downing Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) as Ukraine had asked.

The case was brought to the ICJ by Ukraine after Hillary Clinton's defat in the 2016 Presidential election, three years after the U.S.-backed coup in Kiev overthrew the democratically-elected President Viktor Yanukovych.

When Russian speakers in Donbass rebelled against the unconstitutional regime change which they did not vote for, the coup leaders in 2014 launched what it called an “anti-terrorist” military operation to put down the rebellion.

Russia responded by helping ethnic Russians with arms and other military equipment. Ukraine claimed to the court that that was in breach of a treaty barring terrorism financing.

But the ICJ ruled that the treaty only covered cash transfers made to alleged terrorist groups. This “does not include the means used to commit acts of terrorism, including weapons or training camps,” the Court said in its judgement.

“Consequently, the alleged supply of weapons to various armed groups operating in Ukraine… fall outside the material scope” of the anti-terrorism financing convention, the Court ruled. The Court also said it had no evidence to show that any of the armed militias in Donbass fighting against the government could be characterized as terrorist groups.

The ICJ added that the court “rejects all other submissions made by the Ukraine.”[4]

The ruling is highly significant in undermining Kiev’s claim to be fighting a war against terrorists in Donbass, an essential part of the Ukraine’s and the West’s narrative in justifying its brutal operation that left more than 10,000 civilians dead.

Russia intervened in the Ukrainian civil conflict in February 2022 amid indications that Kiev was beginning a new offensive against Donbass. Ukraine and the West had failed to implement the Minsk peace agreements endorsed by the U.N. Security Council.

Western alliance and Ukrainian officials later admitted they never had any intention of implementing the deal and pretended to buy time to build up its forces against Russia.

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