Ending War Short of Victory? A Contractarian View of Jus Ex Bello

Ethics 125 (3):720-750 (2015)

Daniel Statman
University of Haifa
In light of the enormous suffering brought about by war, war might be justified only if the benefit it yields is significant enough, namely, a clear and durable victory over the enemy. The logic of this argument leads to a Clausewitz-style war of “annihilation.” I argue that the best way to justify the ending of war short of such annihilation is by relying on a contractarian view of jus ex bello. I conclude by exploring the implications of this view to warfare in which no effective social contract is in place
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DOI 10.1086/679561
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