Archive Category: Just War: From Augustine To George W. (In Progress)

Just War Part 15: Vietnam & Desert Storm

The World Wars veered us away from traditional Just War doctrine by rewriting its jus in bello (how a war is fought justly). Vietnam, on the other hand, stretched its jus ad bellum (just reason to war). Many Americans voiced moral concerns with the war in Vietnam. Henry Kissinger wrote…… Read More

Just War Part 14: Holy War Protest

Neither America’s nor Britain’s population protested on a large scale Allied bombing campaigns during World War II. Many historians say that a sort of holy war mentality had taken over, overriding any moral outrage the population would have ordinarily expressed. Americans and Brits are said to have “feared the consequence… Read More

Just War Part 13: American Bombers in WWII

What exactly was America’s war ethic during World War II? Depends. There’s the official policy stated at the beginning of the war: American military leaders announced they would be differentiating noncombatants from combatants. The air force declared it would bomb only facilities which directly supported the enemy’s military. “During World… Read More

Just War Part 12: Total War

Billy Mitchell General William “Billy” Mitchell, sometimes called the Father of The U.S. Air Force, flew against Germans over France in World War I. He returned home convinced that air power would make land and sea power obsolete in future wars. Fighting wars from the air, he also predicted, would… Read More

Just War Part 11: Giulio Douhet

There are no more prominent theologians left in our history of Just War thinking. From here on out the leaders of government and military will steer the Just War tradition to the present. Beginning with Giulio Douhet. Italian Brigadier General Douhet (1869-1930) presented his revisions to Just War doctrine in… Read More

Just War Part 10: Emmerich de Vattel

Hugo Grotius is considered a transitional figure in Just War history – transitioning Just War doctrine away from religion. That transition is complete by the time Emmerich de Vattel puts pen to paper. Born in Switzerland (1714), Emmerich de Vattel served as a diplomat for the king of Saxony. In… Read More