Ethics Beyond War's End

Ethics Beyond War's End

Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Ethics Beyond War's End
    Book Description:

    The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have focused new attention on a perennial problem: how to end wars well. What ethical considerations should guide war's settlement and its aftermath? In cases of protracted conflicts, recurring war, failed or failing states, or genocide and war crimes, is there a framework for establishing an enduring peace that is pragmatic and moral? Ethics Beyond War's End provides answers to these questions from the just war tradition. Just war thinking engages the difficult decisions of going to war and how war is fought. But from this point forward just war theory must also take into account what happens after war ends, and the critical issues that follow: establishing an enduring order, employing political forms of justice, and cultivating collective forms of conciliation. Top thinkers in the field-including Michael Walzer, Jean Bethke Elshtain, James Turner Johnson, and Brian Orend-offer powerful contributions to our understanding of the vital issues associated with late- and post conflict in tough, real-world scenarios that range from the US Civil War to contemporary quagmires in Afghanistan, the Middle East, and the Congo.

    eISBN: 978-1-58901-897-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. 1-16)

    In October 1944 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill flew to Moscow to meet with Soviet leader Josef Stalin. Part of their discussion centered on British and Soviet spheres of influence following an Allied victory over the Axis powers. Churchill nonchalantly jotted on a piece of paper his suggested percentages of British and Soviet spheres of influence: 50–50 in Hungary and Yugoslavia, 90 percent for the Russians in Romania, and 75 percent in Bulgaria, whereas the Brits were to have 90 percent influence in Greece. Churchill pushed the paper across the table to Stalin, who ticked off the various countries...

  5. CHAPTER 1 MORAL RESPONSIBILITY AFTER CONFLICT The Idea of Jus Post Bellum for the Twenty-First Century
    (pp. 17-34)

    Just war thinking is commonly described today as having two main elements: the jus ad bellum, which deals with the question of moral responsibility in the resort to the use of force, and the jus in bello, which deals with moral responsibility in how such force is actually used during an armed conflict. It may be argued that this way of sorting the issues leaves out another important question: that of the nature of moral responsibility after an armed conflict has ended. Some recent writers have accordingly argued that a third element is needed and should be developed in just...

  6. CHAPTER 2 THE AFTERMATH OF WAR Reflections on Jus Post Bellum
    (pp. 35-46)

    As a distinct category, jus post bellum is not part of classic just war theory. But it isn’t entirely missing from the theory either. The original idea was probably that post bellum justice was included in the criteria for ad bellum justice. The inclusion would have been twofold: first, a war can only be considered just if there is a strong possibility of success, and in order to judge that possibility, political leaders must have some idea of what success would look like. And, second, the requirement of a just intention means that whatever is taken to constitute success has...

  7. CHAPTER 3 JUS ANTE AND POST BELLUM Completing the Circle, Breaking the Cycle
    (pp. 47-64)

    Nature offers two versions of what the noted astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington called the “arrow of time”—namely, physical processes that are either irreversible or reversible. Irreversible processes embody the linear vector that Eddington himself had in mind with this phrase. They are linear in that they have a definite temporal direction, a concrete origin, some well-defined temporal duration, and a terminus, and, consequently (as the eminent English-American philosopher A. N. Whitehead put it), a “perpetual perishing.” Indeed, as Whitehead remarked, “time itself is a perpetual perishing”—a metaphor that seems especially apt for war.¹

    But nature also exhibits other...

    (pp. 65-76)
    Robert Royal

    Near Bayeux, France, the site of the massive D-Day invasion of World War II, there is a small British cemetery. It holds the remains of British soldiers who fell a generation earlier, liberating France during the First World War. A Latin inscription on the monument translates approximately as “To the fallen conquered who liberated their conquerors from conquest.” When I visited it was unclear whether the monument was built by the British, which seems more plausible, or the French, which would have been a bit gauche. Nevertheless, it expresses gratitude to the fallen inhabitants of an island, England, conquered a...

  9. CHAPTER 5 A MORE PERFECT PEACE Jus Post Bellum and the Quest for Stable Peace
    (pp. 77-96)

    Just south of the Department of the Treasury near the Ellipse in Washington, DC, stands a monument to General William Tecumseh Sherman. Although Sherman is best known for his statement that “war is hell,” a claim used to justify the scorched-earth policies he adopted on the march through Georgia, there is a different statement, dated February 23, 1882, featured prominently on the monument: “War’s legitimate object is a more perfect peace.” Unlike war is hell, which challenges the just war theory’s basic premise that the conduct of war is subject to moral restraint, Sherman’s statement regarding the object of war...

    (pp. 97-122)

    This chapter focuses on ethical principles found in just war theory as they are practiced and applied during the different phases of war. The underlying assumption is that understanding the role ethics plays throughout a conflict will contribute to a more durable just peace. Focusing on how ethical principles are put into practice or ignored throughout the different phases of a war may make the invisible visible, even through the fog of war.

    What happens at each phase of a war matters. It is not just the initial determination to go to war, or how to fight it, or how...

    (pp. 123-144)

    Just war is not just about war. It is about a way of thinking about political life more generally, especially where the use of coercive force is contemplated and, sometimes, activated. The political vision or framework that just war is nestled within and helps to constitute is best called an ethic of responsibility. The just war position carves out territory that puts it at odds with hard-core realpolitik of the sort embodied in the infamous Melian dialogue in Thucydides’s classic The Peloponnesian War, where the Athenian generals declare high-handedly to the hapless Melians that “the mighty do what they will...

  12. CHAPTER 8 ENDING THE US CIVIL WAR WELL Reconciliation and Transitional Justice
    (pp. 145-174)

    In his widely acclaimed study of the ending of the US Civil War, historian Jay Winik dramatically narrates the war’s last month and argues that Northern and Southern leaders ended this deadly conflict well.¹ During a mere but momentous thirty days, these political and military men—especially President Abraham Lincoln and generals U.S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, William T. Sherman, Joe Johnston, and Nathan Bedford Forrest—avoided the bad endings of most civil wars and internecine conflicts when they decided and acted to reconcile adversaries and create one nation where before there had been only loosely allied states.

    Winik asserts...

  13. CHAPTER 9 JUSTICE AFTER WAR Toward a New Geneva Convention
    (pp. 175-196)

    The topic of the aftermath of war has only recently been getting the attention it deserves. Historically, it was assumed that, as the old saying goes, to the victor go the spoils of war. As a result of this widespread belief, there is actually next to no clear international law regulating the termination phase of war. We have witnessed these struggles, as I describe below, in the contexts of Afghanistan and Iraq. This, however, is a bad state of affairs that needs to be changed. In fact, there are numerous reasons why there needs to be a brand-new Geneva Convention...

  14. CHAPTER 10 “JUST PEACE” An Elusive Ideal
    (pp. 197-220)

    Absolutely central to the case for a theory of jus post bellum that has garnered support only relatively recently is the ideal of a just peace. This centrality is evident in both types of context in which we may invoke the tenets of such a theory. The first is where jus post bellum is added to the traditional bipartite structure of just war theory, which holds that the ultimate goal of a just war must be a just peace. This addition is needed in at least three ways. First, some sense of what this goal means is needed not only...

  15. CONCLUSION Toward a Twenty-First Century Jus Post Bellum
    (pp. 221-230)

    In May 2009 the national military of Sri Lanka convincingly smashed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after nearly three decades of war. The conflict was particularly bloody, killing many thousands of civilians, landmines contaminating vast swathes of agricultural regions, terrorism haunting major cities, and introducing black widows (female suicide bombers) to the global lexicon. However, the end was decisive: The Tamil Tigers were bested on the battlefield and their senior leaders were killed, and at the time of this writing—two years later—there is no question that the government won and the LTTE has essentially ceased to...

    (pp. 231-236)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 237-246)