Critically discuss when is it justifiable to go to war. When considering logical justifications for when circumstances of war are plausible, it is important to also equally take into account moral perspectives. Given that emotional and psychological wellbeing is an inherent requirement for the functionality of the human race, this significantly impacts state decisions to engage in war and the level of support that is gained from its citizens. However, this moral compass has not prevented historically conflict between nations from occurring purely due to nihilistic beliefs or unavoidable situations where military defence was deemed as an appropriate response. Extremist perspectives should be undoubtedly rejected as neither pacifism nor aggressive warfare are sustainable stances nations can adopt in the modern-day world. Political conflict amongst nations cannot be avoided given the nature of varying government structures and regimes worldwide. Disagreement is inevitable even amongst different parties within the political sphere of a country alone, thus war as a manifestation of hostility is inescapable. Similarly, with the proliferation of ruthlessly destructive weapons impacts of war are even more dire. Hence, war is only justifiable when attacks are only acted as a mechanism of defence or resistance towards military action initiated by another agent or nation first. Even in this situation, ensuring that the lives of innocent citizens are preserved is critical as the collective damage should not exceed the level of the initial attack. Otherwise, there is insignificant difference between the brutality adopted by both parties in combat and will contribute towards greater collateral damage for both. War is also an acceptable course of action given that the purpose is not to forcefully obtain or conquer areas that are not equitable territory. It is important to explore in detail, the specific conditions which allow for a concrete reasoning to undergo defence-based war whilst taking into consideration public wellbeing. Wasserstrom effectively explores existing perspectives on the ‘Morality of War’, in-order to determine if a uniform principal can be established. Thus, for the purpose of gaining insight into possible reasonings for war that can be deemed as valid, this detailed study will be closely examined. Unquestionably, war should be avoided at all costs given the detrimental consequences it does induce for all parties involved. These repercussions include social, economic, and political degradation, requiring years of committed efforts to revive. For example, the longlasting trauma inflicted on the Japanese during World War II (WW2) due to nuclear bombardment, prompted a significant decline in industrial output and consequently financial stability. Apart from economic damage, a total of 140,000 Hiroshima’s population died immediately from bombing with additional causalities due to radiation poisoning (Morris, 2020). Although, the catastrophic harm experienced by the Japanese is undeniable however their role during WW2 is equally condemnable as that of the United States. Rielly argues that Japanese employment of kamikaze attacks on American navy at initial stages of the war, paved way for barbaric warfare and exacerbated the intensity of conflict. Given high stakes for both parties, ruthless war tactics became normalised and appropriate mechanism for attaining victory. Specifically, more than “400 incidents of Kamikaze attacks occurred on American ships” however, these figures remained unaccounted for a substantial period of time due to greater focus on the mutilation of Japan (2010). Despite, the origins of WW2 stemming from different causes however, both American and Japanese responses are prime examples of unjustified warfare which could have been settled through less damage causing means. A gradual sensualisation of nihilating warfare has contributed to acceptance of this phenomenon and validity for its use in circumstances where achieving absolute control is the fundamental objective. Morally, this is incorrect due to the level of social harm that can be potentially caused from nuclear warfare, but it also does not abide with the principles set by Just Ad Bellum in which the good achieved in a war must outweigh the bad. Given that nuclear destruction is irreversible and holds potential to mass eliminate, any war that utilises this sort of methods even for a just cause can be characterised as unjustified. National defence to protect citizens against forceful takeover or any jeopardy to independency is a legitimate reason for engaging in war. Even in this case, there are certain rules that must be complied with to ensure the war does not deviate from its sole purpose of border protection and security. War can only be considered as justified if the motive behind resistance does not intend to cause greater harm than initiated by the opponent. This involves taking necessary military action to prevent infiltration yet carefully considering nonaggressive tactics that prevents causalities of citizens. When considering Wasserstrom’s position it can be agreed that it is difficult to assess which individuals constitute as innocents and should therefore be not be put in any form of danger. Quite evidently a grey area exists amongst the notion of preserving the lives of “innocents” as it is unknown if only noncombatants meet the criteria for this classification. Wasserstrom establishes that it is common to shed combatants in a negative light and exclude from protection given that they are involved in the front-line. Accepting the “claim that non-combatants are all of those persons who are not in the army” is deceiving since there are other civilian involved in warfare completing backend duties (1969). Distributing propaganda and active involvement in ammunition formation can technically be deemed as active involvement, thus making it difficult to distinguish and protect innocents. Consequently, this means that participating even in war based purely on safeguarding national security is to some extent morally wrong as human value should be equal in spite of military position or obligation to participate based on job profile and pure circumstance. Several philosophers have deeply explored and studied the principles of just war established by jus ad bellum as there is uncertainty given the level of broadness it encompasses. In this manner, Fabre and Lazar investigates the importance of numbers in determining the legitimacy of war. Originally, suggested by Mcmahan “the number of aggressors to defenders” plays a role in determining if killing is permissible and can be put into context when speculating whether British forces taking action against 20 Argentine combatants to ensure the safety of 1,800 inhabitants in Falklands Islands can be substantiated (2014). At its core, the purpose of this defence is for maintaining sovereignty over inhabitants that wish to remain subjects however, this is potentially debatable as a justified reason for conflict, considering the territory was initially taken through force. This dismantles the argument if defence against aggression or another nation attempt to overtake is warranted. Taking into account past military actions of the British, who have forcefully taken possession of territory worldwide using deplorable tactics; defence is unjustified regardless of the low opportunity cost involved. Alternatively, if national security is at risk in a similar scenario, then numbers would play a critical role in discerning what action is appropriate to take. Duty of care exists for political leaders of a state towards citizens and is unquestionably the primary goal or acceptable form of conducts. Wasserstrom asserts that an inherent assumption for a political leader or state to act in favour of its citizens will exist infinitely due to being “imposed by virtue of the position or role they fill” (1969). Consequently, the livelihood and security of a nations citizens is most certainly of top and utmost priority to those involved in governing as compared to those that do not reside within their borders. This is natural behaviour since acting in favour of citizens is necessary for re-election purposes and attaining public support for a longer political career and term. Taking a moral perspective is profoundly rare in reality however, an obligation to consider or value life exists to a certain extent and is the appropriate protocol to follow in a “just war”. Similarly, no matter the level of credibility for the cause of war, it cannot be proclaimed as reasonable if rationality is not taken into account or ruthless means are utilised for achieving an end. Furthermore, from a moral standpoint war is validated if the motive is to avoid deteriorating harm where possible via humanitarian intervention in a situation where a state lacks resources or appropriate facilitates to sustain effective defence or resistance against attacks. An international obligation to protect and preserve human rights as a part of international treaties means that members should act in adherence and take prompt measures if an abuse is detected. This applies towards circumstances such as those of Cambodia in 1978, representing a prime example of where Vietnam’s intervention liberated Cambodians from the terrorising rule of Khmer Rouge. Although, there were 30,000 Vietnamese troop casualties, the military operation proved as successful against the ongoing brutality of Khmer Rouge, responsible for massacring up to two million civilians (Doyle, 2014). Criticism surrounding Vietnam’s actions exists due to the prolonged presence of troops in Cambodia even after executing elimination has meant perceptions towards this intervention have shifted. To some extent, this is reasonable as humanitarian intervention is required by definition only when an escalation of situation can be observed, or a resolve has not been achieved. Persistent intervention or extended occupancy can be viewed as problematic or holding wrongful intention of dominance over territory. War as a manifestation of concern undertaken by other nations is a justified reason for conflict however, this should be relatively short and successfully achieve the objective which was publicly set out. The extremely protracted war in Afghanistan is symbolic of an unavailing attempt of intervention by American troops and is highly condemned for both its origins and unnecessary damage that has effectuated. USA operations in Afghanistan can be perceived as a persistent struggle to legitimise its actions since 2001 and adhere to the principles of Just war. Connah argues that the terrorist attack of 9/11 set pretext for US to take action for self-defence as there were obvious alternative routes which could have been employed against the Taliban instead of placing civilians through relentless grief. Initially, the war was propagandised as a “just and noble war” and picturised Americans as victims who were trying to bring an end to violence and oppression (2021). In reality, if acting in the best interests of civilians was a prime objective then significant consideration would have been placed into assessing ramifications of US involvement and be short-lived. Developing or cultivating a relationship of trust with civilians through establishing schools and health clinics is not sufficient or a reasonable reimbursement for the level of psychological and physical harm that was inflicted during the course of the war. Civilian causalities most definitely bring into question the ethical aspect of engaging in war and if this decision lacked moral accountability. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reports a total of 1,659 civilian deaths from armed conflict in the first half of 2021 (United Nations, 2021). This figure fails to count for additional deaths in previous years which have not been formally registered or identified by sources at ground level. Given the expanse of damage triggered by the war in Afghanistan, the decision to engage in conflict is worthy of vilification and exemplifies a scenario in which there is a lack of justification. This is based on the inability for the war to achieve its purpose and have detrimental repercussions on individuals who satisfy the definition of “innocents”. Thus, humanitarian intervention can only be utilised as vindication when the intention of preserving human rights is considered and practically applied during military warfare. In addition, proportionality is another logical reason for just war to take place whereby the good achieved is profoundly greater when compared with the negative consequences produced. However, current proliferation of nuclear weapons and extremely injurious arms, absolute harm is inevitable and can only be prevented in rare circumstances. Wasserstrom asserts that the “conception of total war” waged by Nazi Germany during WW2 has meant that acceptance of chivalrous warfare increased and, in a way, distorted moral values of rightful behaviours (1969). Prisoners of war and wrongful acts on the battlefield have also heavily been normalised historically hence, reducing possibility for adhering to the principle of proportionality. Putting this notion into today’s context, by examining the current war in Ukraine, it is evident that the purpose behind sustained defence is the interest of safeguarding citizens from any jeopardy to their independence. Although, a total death toll of 2,435 Ukraine civilians since February is an alarming figure however, Russia’s decision to invade has meant there are no alternatives at hand for maintaining security and sovereignty (United Nations, 2022). From a defence standpoint, Ukraine’s decision to retaliate is justifiable yet, Russia’s advances are prominently immoral and deprecated worldwide. Cancian contests that Ukraine’s decision to defend territory is foolish considering its limitation of resources and capacity of meeting Russia’s level of military attack. An independent poll in Ukraine prior to invasion revealed that religiously and culturally the nation was deeply divided therefore, making it more vulnerable towards offense. Naturally, a lack of unity corresponds with military weakness and warfare skills to effectively challenge the force of Russian troops (2022). Taking this into consideration, the war is an example of one that is not justified given prominently low prospects for success of Ukraine against Russia’s miliary power. In contrast, there is both right intention behind Ukraine’s resistance as well as the last resort in an attempt to ensure civilians remain liberated. War itself is difficult to justify and reason purely since collateral harm and damage is experienced by both parties involved. This is inevitable and cannot be prevented due to the nature of conflict, which requires military force to essentially achieve an end or objective desired. As a result, distinguishing circumstances for when war is acceptable or an appropriate action to take is increasingly complex. When assessing the origins or causations of war, accounting for moral obligations is equally as important. The radical or nihilistic view that war cannot follow an ethical footprint is both flawed and incorrect considering that this may the only valid option in circumstances where alternatives fail to exist. National defence and humanitarian intervention are critical examples of situations in which war is rationale and must be undertaken to ensure safety of civilians is preserved. Similarly, in adherence with the principles established by Jus ad Bellum, war that occurs due to right intent and also holds convincing prospects for success can be considered as logical. One important ethical facet which must be viewed is proportionality whereby, the damage inflicted is weighted as lower than the positive consequences. In other words, if stakes for fighting a war are extremely high, then this will provide sufficient reasoning for engaging in war. However, aggressive warfare that does not comply with protecting lives of ‘innocents’ cannot be deemed as permissible. Both realism and pacifism are defected in their perspective of viewing conflict or war since practically there are situations that can be justified or are completely unjust. Although, the Just War Theory does clarify and establish common scenarios of well-reasoned military conflict however, each situation must be assessed independently for all factors involved. Reference list 1. Australian Financial Review. 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