Threats, Values, and Defense: Does Defense of Values by Force Remain a Moral Possibility?   [open pdf - 65KB]

"Two deep and broad streams of moral reflection on war run through Western history. These streams have their thematic origin in a single fundamental question: Is it ever morally allowable to employ force in the protection and preservation of values? The moral tradition of pacifism has resulted from a negative response to this question, given in various ways under various historical circumstances. A positive answer, given in ways no less conditioned by historical circumstance yet with a similar depth of underlying consistency and wholeness, has produced the other moral tradition on force and violence, which it is both convenient and proper to call by a familiar name: just war tradition. We should note two characteristic facts about this tradition. First, it is a moral response to the question of value and force that is not only historically deep but is a product of reflection and action across the whole breadth of this culture's experience. [...] The second characteristic fact about just war tradition is that it preserves two kinds of moral response to the question of value and force, not merely one: limitation always accompanies justification."

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U.S. Army War College, Parameters: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/parameters/
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Parameters: United States Army War College Quarterly (Spring 1985), v.15, p.13-25
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