Just War Theory Of American Sniper

Superior Essays
War and Combatants When two different parties have opposite opinions, there is always a confliction somewhere. In the case of American Sniper, there is a scene where the sniper is in position and looking out for his troops that are passing through town. The sniper is up on top of a building and he sees two civilians in his sights. One female civilian who appears to be a young adult and one male civilian who appears to be young about ten years old. The two are seen walking out of a building and they stop in the middle of the road. The U.S. troops that are traveling through the town have to pass through this road where the two civilians are standing. The sniper witnesses the female civilian had over a grenade to the young boy. The young boy …show more content…
Within the just war theory there is a type of just war theorist. The traditionalists, who justify the morality on war based on international law. In international law it is not permitted to target civilians. Civilians can also be considered non-combatants. On the other hand, soldiers are permitted to target other soldiers or combatants. When there is two combatants, it doesn’t make sense just to kill them for no reason. It only make sense if there is reasoning behind the killing. So, from that, the question of what makes the target a legitimate target begins to arise. What makes this person in the war a legitimate target? Could the uniform of a solider has been a key factor in identifying a combatant of war? In the civil war the Union wore blue and the Confederacy wore grey. Throughout history uniforms have changed but there is always a way to tell who is on which side and who is in the military versus who is not. Now in present day, we are fighting in a war on terrorism. The U.S. is engaged with ISIS and there are often times where the ISIS combatants are dressed up as civilians. So, in this case we have an enemy combatant that is disguised in civilian clothing. Now, there is no potential to say that the legitimate target of an enemy within war is dictated by the uniform that they are wearing. It comes down to three different things, discrimination, proportionality, and …show more content…
This is called Combatant Equality, but I am not focused on justification of actions. I am rather focused on the targets within war and when is it permissible to target them. In Michael Walzer’s Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations, he states that individual human beings get enjoyment out of basic rights to life and liberty. This implies that it is not permitted for other people to harm them in some ways. Walzer goes on to say that engaging in fighting, the combatants who do so automatically lose their right to life and liberty. To find the legitimate target, a person must first be a threat which makes them not on the same side as each other, entailing that it is permissible for them to target each other. This brings me back to the question stated at the beginning of my paper. When is it permissible to target an enemy? It is permissible to target an enemy when that enemy is presented as a possible threat. If the allied forces are targeting the enemy, then the enemy is now allowed to target the allied force. The combatants on each side are permitted to target each other. If a civilian is committing an act of aggression or poses a threat, then they too are permitted to be targeted. The only people that are not permitted to be targeted are the noncombatants. Unless, the

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