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Is There Such a Thing as a Just War?

The justification, as well as the principles behind war has been debated upon over the centuries. Wars have been waged as early as the first dawn of human history. However, as human civilization developed and became morally inclined, man began questioning the validity and necessity for groups to engage in wars. Although most agree that violence is not a good thing, the problem lies in the fact that some people could really be violent, based on their beliefs, culture and the necessities for survival. Therefore, the question evolves toward how violence of war could be countered, or at least, be justified.

The just war theory is an attempt to identify when wars are justified, providing guidelines for justifiable cause and justifiable means, and though wars could never really be not violent, it is sometimes a necessary evil to counter a more destructive force. Introduction History is written with wars. The outcome of wars has often determined the course of history, and one could only guess how we are supposed to be living today if the great wars we know from the past have ended differently from how they did.

People engage in wars for various reasons: from expansion of territories to the settling of political conflicts, and from plunder and pillage to the obliteration of hostile neighbors. Whatever the reason, the people who join wars find it necessary given a particular circumstance. Even as man’s morality slowly departs from the violence of war, the states find it hard to completely do away with its concepts. Some suggested that wars be made only when all peaceful solutions fail.

The just war theory is an attempt to identify when engaging in war is justifiable or not. It is widely accepted that states have the obligation to defend itself and its citizens, and to defend justice. As the protection of human lives and morals are, first and foremost, the reason of government and it is sometimes necessary to resort to force to fulfill its duties, just war is, therefore, a necessary evil, so to speak.

Picture this: A head of state have just received an intelligence report that a huge army from a foreign land is marching fast towards his city. He has confirmed the reports and learned that the intention of the marching army is to invade his state and know that they have already invaded other states. He tries to resort to diplomatic negotiations but failed. He is left with two options: to defend his city and his people or submit to tyranny. Which would be the more reasonable choice?

Let us further complicate the dilemma by adding that he knows there is no chance of winning a battle against such a huge force of invading army. However, he also know for a fact that when he surrenders, men will be forced to join their army or be sold as slaves or worse, murdered; women will be raped and after that, women and children will be kept as slaves. To make it simple, the head of state is faced with a situation where the most possible outcome is total annihilation.

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