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August 22, 2005




http://freedomspeace.blogspot.com/2005/04/roots-of-war.html> This is a much more substantive challange to Just War theroists. Again at a prudential level. The requirement for a reasonable level of success, I assume, means rather more than 50.0001%. Thirty percent seems a little low.

If you use it note the carful phrasing because of the limits of his evidence, or you will be eaten alive.



I do no think the legitimate public authority problem is as difficult as many people make out. The law in question is not exactly table discussion so it is often approached as a new item when actually there is a well developed law.

Of course this is a “prudential judgment” item just because the “proper authority” requirements are met does not say any thing about the rest of the jus ad bellum criteria.

In International law armed conflict can be divided in to a declared wars and other lawful combat (various names are used.) A declared war requires that the country against whom war is declared be a properly constituted nation state. An easy example is the American Civil War. The Union never declared war on the Confederacy. The Union was of the position that the confederacy was a rebellion and the Confederate government was not legal. If the Union had declared war on the confederacy it would have been acknowledging the legitimacy of the Confederate government and could no longer claim it was in rebellion.

Additionally a declared war has several other attributes. All the citizens of one country is legally and enemy of all the citizens of the other country. There is no geographic limitation on the legal effect. A ship on the high seas can be attacked anywhere. The citizens of the two counties cannot engage in normal commercial relations even in neutral countries. A declared war requires a formal peace treaty to end. It is sometimes described that a declaration of war is not an announcement to fight, rather an announcement to stop talking.

A state of lawful combat can be limited in geographic scope, to whom it applies, be concurrent with negoiations, and ended with a lot less formability. It also provides the means to suppress rebellions or deal with organizations like Al Quaida which no one to give the status of being a lawful nation state.

In my opinion, a declared war in pretty much obsolete in a globalized world with nuclear weapons. But if Congress’s power to declare war is obsolete where does that leave us?

The constitutions give congress the power to raise Armies. That is, pass the law thqt establishes them, laws governing them, and laws governing their use. Congress also votes the budget, which in the case of the Army and Air Force the appropriation cannot exceed two years. In 1953 a very comprehensive law was passed, since added to in the post Viet Nam era. Generally speaking for more than short notice actions that require quick response the President always goes back to Congress for authority.

Every military action that I have looked at since 1953 the letter of the law was scrupulously met.

This is not so much a question of proper authority problem in the meaning of the Just war doctrine. The “I”s are always doted and the “T”s are always crossed. The problem is political will; Congress is usually not willing to conduct aggressive reviews of the other criteria while bullets are flying.

Of course as we both know from roe vs Wade just because it is legal does not mean it is moral.

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