When is War Justified?
War is justified and only justified when a nation is acting out of self-defense to protect their nation as a whole. One might argue that humanitarian wars or wars that are fought because they seem morally right are also justified. However, wars like these do not protect the interest of their nation as a whole, and are usually fought to establish political connections rather than to protect the nation.
In the article, “When is War Justified?” by Elijah Sweete, he states that, “A defensive war is the most clearly justified and generally involves a direct attack by another nation or outside force on one’s own territory or physical assets.” Defensive wars are always fought out of the best interest of one’s nation and therefore cannot be proven unjust. A group (nation) cannot afford to be attacked by another group and respond by doing nothing. The only logical option left is to fight back in order to protect one’s assets. It may not be the most popular decision to engage in a war, but the only other alternative is to surrender and allow your assets to be taken. To fight back out of self-defense is just and must be done in order to protect one’s nation from harm. A well-known example is when America was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor. America responded to this attack by bombing Japan and putting an end to this engagement. If America had not responded in this way, then how many more casualties would they have suffered? America’s act of self-defense revealed to Japan that they don’t want to engage in a war with America and in effect caused Japan to retreat and make peace with America.
Humanitarian wars are not justified because a nation is fighting out of political justice rather than self-defense. The general hope of a nation fighting a humanitarian war is that the death and destruction inflicted by the war will be less than the death and destruction from not going to war. However, humanitarian wars usually cause lots of death and...
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