Just war theory is the most prominent standpoint on peace and war ethics. The theory deals with the right to resort to war and proper conduct of war. This policy equips international policy makers with accurate criteria to use to allow them evaluate the morality of interventions of specific arms of the military.
Criteria like just means, fair treatment of wounded and captives and just cause are the standpoint of the theory. The theory determines whether it is just to suffer because of war. Interstate wars began back then in historical periods and they still exist today though the causes and the methods have changed with time.
Some examples of military interstate wars include Persian Gulf War and the Libyan War in which the United States participated. This essay highlights the Persian Gulf War and the Libyan Wars which the United States participated and it evaluates whether they were conducted for justness.
Persian Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War was waged by United Nations and it was endorsed by alliance force from 34countries led mainly by the U.S. to fight Iraq for invading and annexing Kuwait.
The Iraqi troops had invaded Kuwait at the beginning of 1990 and this action was condemned by international nations. The U.N. Security Council immediately declared economic sanctions on Iraq. U.S. forces were then deployed in Saudi Arabia to prevent them from conducting more harm. The U.S. urged other nations to send their armed forces to Iraq to help in the war.
The U.S led intervention made Iraq, in part of the peace terms, accepted to recognize the sovereignty of the Kuwait republic. Kuwait also became less prone to Iraq invasion as Iraq had been ordered to get rid of its weapons of mass destruction. The no fly zone imposed over Iraq for a while ensured peace and stability in the region.
The United Nation invasion to fight the Iraq people was of significance; it offered a platform for Kuwait to reconstruct and develop its economy without the fear of invasion from Iraq. This therefore means that the war was conducted for justness.
The Libyan war
Following the Arab uprising, especially in Egypt and Tunisia, Libya was soon too caught up in the war wave. In the wave of the uprising, rebels organized attacks against Gadhafi’s government troops. In retaliation, Gadhafi responded by using military force on the opposition.
The amount of force used was too excessive in that civilian casualties were witnessed in large numbers. As a result the United Nations Security Council voted to impose a no fly zone over Libyan airspace. The Libyan rebels could not fight the Gadhafi’s troops alone and the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces were to help in the ousting of Muammar Gadhafi.
The U.S.A provided intelligence and technical assistance to the NATO forces. At the end of the operation, Muammar Gadhafi was ousted and executed, and that marked the end of his reign in Libya. There was a sense of ‘freedom’ among Libyan citizens. It had brought an end to the bloodshed and violence that had rocked the nation. This was another instance where U.S.A had gone to war and the outcome was positive.
Brough, Michael. Rethinking the Just War Tradition. New York: SUNY Press, 2007.
Freedman, Lawrence. & Karsh, Ephraim. The Gulf Conflict: Diplomacy and War in the New World Order. New York: Scribners, 2007.
Ronald, Bruce. Libya – Continuity and Change. New York: Routledge, 2011.
Michael, Brough. Rethinking the Just War Tradition. (New York: SUNY Press, 2007), 102.
Lawrence, Freedman. & Ephraim, Karsh. The Gulf Conflict: Diplomacy and War in the New World Order, 1990–1991. (New York: Scribners, 2007), 110.
Bruce, Ronald. Libya – Continuity and Change. (New York: Routledge, 2011), 122.