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Walzer’s Just and Unjust Wars

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The essay is a short précis of Michael Walzer’s “Just and Unjust Wars” a book written in the year of Vietnam War. Walzer recognizes that war is not a new thing.

His work entirely resolves around issues concerning moral within an armed conflict. He clearly brought to light the rights and wrongs of war that include assigning responsibility for violence, prevention, cordon, impartiality, attack and revenge.

His argument stems from two principles, the justice of war and justice in war, (jus ad bellum and jus in bellum) respectively (Walzer, 2004). Jus ad bellum refers to fairness of the conflict itself-was loss of human lives justifiable? Jus in bellum squarely analyses the manner with which the war was carried out were lives lost in a just/fair battle?

The rule of jus ad bellum according to him are having just cause, considering the war as a last resort after evaluating and trying to use other alternative, declaration of war by the proper authority, having right and good intention, capability of succeeding and finally the results opt to balance with the efforts used.

The other rule, jus in bellum has been coined from the principles of discrimination and proportionality. The former brings to light and consideration the genuine targets in the conflict because it is morally wrong to engage innocent persons while the later is concerned with the amount of force to be used during the war.

His work is full of examples that push readers to face complexities of moral judgment. With the belief that armed conflicts are nothing other than hell and the desire to not confuse violence and force, the book brings to light human responsibilities in wars. His arguments stems from two principles, jus ad bellum and jus in bellum (Walzer, 2004). Although the work helps in decision making, striking a balance between all the mentioned principles seems to be a challenge.

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