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Ending Wars Well

Ending Wars Well: Order, Justice, and Conciliation in Contemporary Post-Conflict

Eric D. Patterson
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Ending Wars Well
    Book Description:

    Though scholars of political science and moral philosophy have long analyzed the justifications for and against waging war as well as the ethics of warfare itself, the problem ofendingwars has received less attention. In the first book to apply just war theory to this phase of conflict, Eric Patterson presents a three-part view of justice in end-of-war settings involving order, justice, and reconciliation. Patterson's case studies range from successful applications ofjus post bellum,such as the U.S. Civil War or Kosovo, to challenges such as present-day Iraq.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-18352-8
    Subjects: Political Science, Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. CHAPTER 1 Ending Wars Well
    (pp. 1-19)

    The defining conflict of our time is the 2003 Iraq war. Iraq’s multidimensionality of issues—preemption, prevention, sovereignty, terrorism, religion, the obligations of post-war reconstruction, the role of the UN, and the like—combined with the visceral, personal effect it has had on millions of people makes it more than a regional conflict or historical footnote. Iraq is the illustrative case of our generation, the war from which historians, academics, policymakers, and students will draw analogies, comparisons, and lessons for the foreseeable future. Many debates continue concerning the decision to use force, how the military instrument was employed, or the...

  5. CHAPTER 2 New Just War Thinking on Post-Conflict
    (pp. 20-37)

    In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, President Obama became one of the few American presidents explicitly to acknowledge the just war tradition. Obama described the tradition’s purpose as restraining or regulating the “destructive power” of violent conflict. Hence, according to the president, war is justified only if certain conditions are met, such as last resort and self-defense. President Obama also went on to describe the terror of unrestrained conflict, including holy wars and technologically sophisticated total wars. The just war portion of the speech reads:

    And over time, as codes of law sought to control violence within groups, so did...

  6. CHAPTER 3 The Primacy of Order
    (pp. 38-66)

    On the evening of March 20, 2003 (Washington time), President George W. Bush approved a “decapitation” strike designed to eliminate Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and perhaps avert, at the very last minute, a full-scale invasion of Iraq. The Iraqi regime had violated seventeen UN resolutions, and Coalition forces—led by the U.S.—demanded that Hussein leave the country and Iraq submit to weapons monitoring and verifiable inspections by the international community.

    Hussein defied the UN, refused to depart, and the Coalition was ready to invade early on March 21 (Iraq time) when Bush ordered the decapitation bombing on two sites....

  7. CHAPTER 4 Justice: Incurring What Is Deserved
    (pp. 67-101)

    Following the disastrous Russian winter of 1812–1813, Napoleon’s disintegrating army staggered back to France. Despite the horrors of that winter, including hunger, cold, and partisan attacks, Napoleon and the French army survived to win several battlefield victories the next year. It was simply not enough; the coalition against Napoleon took Paris in March 1814. Napoleon determined to march on the city, but his generals—led by Ney—forced him to step down. Napoleon’s abdication and the ostensible end of the Napoleonic Wars were written into two lenient treaties, those of Fontainebleau and Paris. In the former, Napoleon abdicated the...

  8. CHAPTER 5 Conciliation: Coming to Terms with the Past
    (pp. 102-131)

    From the outset of his presidency, Abraham Lincoln faced the question of how to reunite a fractured nation. The conflict, which unofficially began two months prior to his inauguration with the secession of seven southern states, became a war of attrition lengthier and more appalling than anyone could have imagined. When the South surrendered after four long years, 620,000 troops had been killed and as many as half a million more civilians lay dead.¹

    President Lincoln presided over the war’s entire duration. The choices that he and others made ensured that there was no recurrence of warfare, no cycle of...

  9. CHAPTER 6 Connections and Contradictions: Just War Thinking vs. Other Post-Conflict Approaches
    (pp. 132-160)

    Just war thinking is moral decision-making by political and military actors when deciding how and when to employ military force. The tradition is open to debate and reflection by citizens, scholars, and religious authorities, but its goal is not endless academic disputation—the goal is to allow for informed, moral policy at all stages of conflict. This is not to discount the voice of reflection—just war thinking can be particularly helpful in retrospective consideration of moral issues in past conflicts to inform policy. This book, however, extends just war thinking, from its usual realm of ad bellum and in...

  10. CHAPTER 7 21st-Century Challenges: R2P, Stability Ops, Afghanistan, and Beyond
    (pp. 161-179)

    War is paradoxical. It can be the scene of some of humanity’s worst suffering—as seen in East Timor, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Sudan in recent years. It can also be the setting for individual acts of valor, of courageous choices, and of historic statesmanship. War can also be decisive—it can set in motion a process that destabilizes entire regions for decades, or, alternately, it can result in a reordering of political realities that is stable and enduring.

    There is no magic formula for ending wars well. That being said, just war thinking offers interrelated principles for post-conflict peace: Order,...

  11. Afterword
    (pp. 180-182)

    This manuscript was largely completed in 2010. Thus, just before it goes to press (spring 2012), it is worth reflecting briefly on the many political developments of the past two years, particularly in the cases discussed herein. Of course, in most instances little has changed: East Timor and the Balkans remain tense, with outsiders footing tremendous bills for peace and security. The size and poverty of some of these places make it hard to imagine that they will ever be robust, thriving countries. Pakistan is more violent and less stable today. On the other side of the border, President Obama’s...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 183-202)
  13. Index
    (pp. 203-206)