Just War Theory In A Post-Cold War World

Journal of Religious Ethics 20 (2):237-257 (1992)
The past thirty years have been marked by an energetic renewal of traditional just war theory. Now changes in relations among nations and changes in military technology may require a recasting of the just war ethic comparable to its recasting by Vitoria and Suarez in the six-teenth century. After reviewing the way the just war tradition met the practical tests posed by Vietnam, nuclear deterrence, and the Gulf War, I will argue that the erosion of the Westphalia legacy and the collapse of the cold war press two questions upon us: Can any modern war be defended as just? Are there resources in the just war tradition for assessing what constitutes morally defensible, even morally required, intervention by one state in the affairs of another?
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