The Ethics of War

2021-05-05 15:10:37
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War has been a dominant characteristic of the human history. It has been associated with different civilizations and the legacy of past conflicts and possible future battles. Like any notable human activity or action, war significant moral q queries are raised by concerned parties (Lee 103).

Are there new ethical codes to govern how war is propagated? Are there laws that ensure that war is not misused or pursued selfish reasons?

Many a times countries go to war, which contrary to popular opinion at times it is justified. The justification is founded on ascertainable reasons that can touch on an array of areas. For a war to be said to be ethical, there is a need for such a country to illustrate reasonable cause to do so (Chan and Card 76). In the recent past wars that are aimed at protecting or saving the innocent are perceived to be just.

One reason countries go to war is self-defense. A country is justified in its endeavour to protect itself in case an enemy invades it. For instance, if an enemy crosses borders to a sovereign territory the aggrieved nation has the right to defend its boundaries through the initiation of an elaborate declaration of war. The declaration must be affirmed to have been made after pursuing other amicable options. A nation is further justified in its quest to go to war if it perceives an ally country is being invaded unjustly by an enemy. By the virtue of being an ally, a nation can choose to show its loyalty by aiding in war (Chan and Card 94). In the previous world wars countries participated out of their obligation as allies to some of the fighting nations. In World War II a lot of alliances were struck pitting two sides against each other. France and Great Britain fought alongside Poland after Germany invaded it. When Japan attacked a United States fleet in Pearl Harbour, other countries such as Italy and Germany joined to defend Japans actions against the US.

Human rights violation over the years has been used as a basis for engaging in war with other countries. Countries that are deemed to by tyrannical are invaded with the sole intent of freeing the innocent civilians from the clutches of dictatorship. The Iraq example, for instance, saw US invade the country to flush out the then President Saddam Hussein and his administration (Lee 109). The invasion saw America take the initiative of helping the country rebuild itself founded on the tenets of democracy and human rights. Such a war is justified due to its sole intent based on freeing the civilians or exterminating bad leaderships that irresponsive the demands of the public.

In conclusion, war is a destructive force that can alter the course of different civilizations. Wars are destructive and usually shunned in the contemporary society. However, some scenarios may prompt for their occurrence. As aforementioned, reasons such as self-defense inspired by invasions by an enemy state are justifiable and can fall within the ethical war codes. The conflict, however, should occur after exhaustion of amicable solutions. Other justifiable scenarios centre on aiding an ally under invasion. In history, alliances have been used to win wars or put to an end to prolonged feuds. The World Wars, for instance, were grounded on alliances between various friendly nations that shared same ideologies or interests.

Works Cited

Chan, David K, and Claudia Card. Beyond Just War: A Virtue Ethics Approach. Basingstoke [England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Print.

Lee, Steven. Ethics and War: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2012. Print.

 

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