War Theory And The Russian Federation 's Annexation Of Crimea

1327 Words Aug 19th, 2016 6 Pages
War and conflict have been a part of the human experience for most of recorded history, and many scholars use the concept of just war to analyse wars in their own time and in the past, and to consider how to create long lasting peace. Just war theory forms the basis of much of international law today, and still can be used to analyse modern day conflict, such as the Russian Federation’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Just war theory in its most coherent form was first discussed by Saint Thomas Aquinas in the 14th Century, and has gone on to be analysed and debated by many scholars since. A more contemporary analyst of just war theory, Michael Walzer, wrote “War is always judged twice, first with reference to the reasons states have for fighting, secondly with reference to the means they adopt” (Walzer, 1977). The judgement of the reasons states have for fighting is known as jus ad bellum, or the justice of war, and the behaviour of states during war is known as jus in bello, or justice in war. These concepts are related, but separate, and it is possible for one to be fighting a just war, but not practice justice in war (Walzer, 1977). Aquinas says of war “in order for war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the authority of the sovereign by whose command the war is to be waged” (Summa Theologica, II-II, Q40, Article 1). Therefore, only those who are the true and lawful leader of a legitimate state may declare war. Aquinas argues that private individuals should…

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