Evaluating The History of War


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  • Level: High school
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  • Course Code: HSY315
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Question :

This assessment will cover following questions:

  • Which historical factors gave rise to warfare and how warfare was interpreted and understood in different historical periods.
  • Explain just war theory and its applicability in 20thand 21stcentury warfare.
  • How do historical conquests echo in the modern world?


Answer :


The history of war is considered one of the interesting topics of research which helps in evaluating the reasons behind a fight, as well as its impacts on people and on a country. For this purpose, a number of approaches like military history can be used to understand conflict between two parties. The war takes different character such as preoccupation with conventional war between two states over the year. War not only has an impact on society, economy, culture and environment but also different political implications. The main objective of the report is to determine if the idea of war becomes redundant or unnecessary. For this purpose, the concept of just war theory and its history will be taken, with its applicability in 20th and 21st-century warfare.


The War Theory

To address the ever-growing requirement for a set of beliefs, concepts or even changes in rules of activities for fighting a war, the just war tradition has been applied. In the 20th and 21st centuries, the pace of war has completely changed due to higher technology weapons, cyber warfare, drones and more. The war theory mainly deals with the justification of the way wars have been fought, with specified reasons. on the basis of theoretical or historical aspects. Hereby, theoretical aspects ethically justified the war and analysed if warfare is or is not taken. On the other hand historical aspects refer to “ just war tradition” applies rules and agreements of history to justify the reason. It supports to examination of ethics and philosophic vision (Williamson, 2016). Christian philosophy proposes just war theory which interprets three statements. i.e. taking human life isn't the appropriate way in war. All states are obliged to safeguard their citizen, protect docile human life and maintain transparency in justice which keeps safe moral values of human beings. Just war theory also refers to the tradition of military ethics which is studied by military leaders, policy-makers, ethicists and theologians. The main goal of the theory is to ensure that war is virtuously justifiable on the basis of a series of criteria. Such criteria are mainly divided into two sections i.e. “right to go to war” and another is “right conduct in war”. The first section interprets that morality should be applicable in the war without concern while others interpret that the morals or ethics should be conducted within war. While the third section also includes war theory that's “just post bellum”. It interprets that the morality of post-war should be settled and reconstructed. Just war theory expresses that war is not the worst or terrible option for people. Sometimes, it is significant to justify the law even outcome is desirable or undesirable (Ward and Burns, 2018). On the other hand opponents of the just war theory express that war is not justifiable for the war because it leads to the separation of human beings and the destruction of money, culture and economy. Some philosophers postulate that individuals are not required to fight while opponent soldiers claim that war is the way to fulfil the demands of individuals. Some philosophers state that war is proposed to a stricter pacifist standard while opponent states that war occurs for nationalist standards, which means war is required to serve the nation's interest in being justifiable. War theory is basically designed to achieve the objective of war so that understand whether it is important or not for the 21st century. The main reason for the just war theory because in the 20th century war was the Cold War. Between 1945 and 1983, the war converts into a bloody war due to military conflict. In these decades, around 20 million people are killed due to 100 major military conflicts (Karoubi, 2017). Besides this economic crisis also occurs which reduces humanity in people in 21st century. Thus, the warfare concept changes from the 20th century to the 21st century.

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Origin of the war

Just war theory is based on a nation which applies ethics and morality within war, whereas many philosophers state that all nations don't conduct ethics and morality within war for a prolonged period. Some nations apply rules of the war theory within the war, which is evident that just war has become obsolete today. Augustine offers a base for just war theory in Western literature. On the other hand, Thomas Aquinas organizes Agustine's reflection into existing criteria which shows the relation of the just war theory and its applicability in the 21st century (Schmelzle, 2019). In simple terms, Thomas Aquinas rectified the war theory rules and aware significance of just war theory in the 21st century. Philosopher expresses that civil society should raise the voice of justification for the war. There are three traditional categories which include just war theory.

Rules of Just War Theory

As per the rule of Jus As Bellum, This perception is necessary for going to war: “The right to go to war,” It is interpreted by a philosopher. “Just authority” is the first situation of the just war theory which is also known as competent authority. According to the theory it has been evaluated that just war should start up by political authority in their political system so that shows the existence of justice. While deceptive military action is considered a violation of the order. The main reason for the condition is that. There doesn't have any genuine process of the just war within the system which shows a genuine process of justice. That is why just war should be initiated by the political authority in the political system. “Just Cause” is the main debate topic for some discussion over the justification of the war. Number of nations and leaders who pay war, claims to do all things on the basis of just cause. The main goal of political authority is to identify wrongs which are committed by a number of nations for which war is proposed by another opponent (Betts, ed., 2017). Few leaders contradict the nation to keep safe itself from unprovoked attacks. “Just intention” Just war theory fixes a limit to the increase of the war. Just war limit shows the pursuit and safety of the just cause. “Last resort” Nation considers war which exploits all powerful solutions including political and diplomatic. Thus the type of condition expresses dispute against national pride which often leads to war as a resort choice (Robinson, 2017). While some nations comprise and encourage winning the solution of a short war. But the last resort situation requires approaches such as political and diplomatic to get a solution properly.

Jus In Bello states that The situation occurred for the just conduct of the war. It provides specifications of behaviour for the nations, soldiers and individual soldiers in war. Most people think “everything is fair in war and love” but it is not appropriate in any war. Soldiers who go for war, possess ethical and moral behaviour and maintain the standards between lawful behaviour and criminal behaviour. The soldier follows rules because they have been policed, imprisoned and in court. Philosopher agrees that soldiers don't show legal and moral discipline when turned into enemies for opponents. Most of the militaries become violent in just war due to the international rule of law. Various cases occur in which just war is not considered prosecuted. That's why just war theory is like a philosophical idea which can be applied in terms of the legal process. Just war theory requires the criteria for justifiable behaviour. Criteria are “Proportionally” which mentions the force which is applied in war. Various level of force is permitted for applying in the war (Popenoe, 2017). These forces can be measured against the requirement of force which is used to correct the just origin and restricted by just intention. “Discrimination” A fighter should have the ability to identify between combatant and non-combatant so that a large number of the population such as innocent, non-military people don't make the target of the attack.

The rule states that Just In Post Bello is applied when war is completed, in that state steps are required to transform the nation of war into the peace of the nation. Jus post bello organizes the theory for identifying principles over the period. Some principles are advised by the philosopher such as “Status quo ante bellum” In simple terms “the way things were before the war” Soldiers should address rights, property and borders which makes them understand how can break before going in war. “Punishment for war crime” is an important step for governance because political leaders sometimes become combatant. That situation requires justice before attempting serious offences. “Compensation of victims” is another rule of war theory, according to the rule innocent and non-combatant victims are compensated for their losses. In simple terms number of soldiers who survive their lives for their country, in that state soldiers' families who aren't involved in the war, are compensated by the government in the form of money and property.

Peace treaties” principal should be fair for all parties involved in a war or found guilty of the war. Just war theory gives guidance to armies before any serious offences by political leaders, combatants and soldiers (Mackay, 2018). It is also known as ethical restraint in war. Thus, three criteria of the just war theory define various principles which can lead to desirable outcomes for a nation. These criteria support to identification of combatants and non-combatants. It gives justification for war and converts a war state into a peaceful state.

Responsibility” a nation doesn't fault for undesirable side effects which are caused by military activity. Even there are three conditions where the country is not responsible such as – the worst effects don't occur intentionally. Another is goods of the war should outweigh the damage which is done by the military. The third situation is military action which is executed deliberately to obtain the best consequences (Burne, 2016). Thus, these criteria help to interpret and accomplish issues which are become debate topics among philosophers, politicians and military planners. On the other hand civil society maintains itself from unprovable attacks, and unjust war. That's why just war theory plays a significant role in identifying justice and law within war.

Ethics of war in this regard, helps to explore the moral limits and chances of conflict. It maintains principles against the moral strengths and disposition of the circumstances.

Differences between total war and just war

Total War refers to a war which is not bounded by any rule or regulation in order to weapon use, territory or fighter involvement, in simple terms when a large population doesn't follow any rules during fighting, and they keep the idea that “everything is fair in love and war”. In this war, both types of people are involved such as military personnel and target civilians (innocent and non-military populations). The main reason for the total war is when a high number of the population possesses a high sense of patriotism.

On the other hand, the Just war theory offers guidance to act in the right way in potential conflict conditions so that no harm occurs. In this war, the innocent and non-combatant population never targets and provides high defence. The main goal of the just war theory is to reestablish peace in a nation.

The first war starts in the 21st century when a large population of nations wants to war for demand. In 1913 the world's population was 10% and war started in 1914, it was an unbreakable war because armed conflict didn't take place for a short period. The war occurred between territorial states but people didn't want to harm civilians. Military conflict took place in some 40 years, and due to conflict peace war converted into cold war. The peace war was in 1919 and transformed into a formal and informal conflict of the military in 1990. The main reasons of the war concept change are ethnic conflict, economic volatility and empires in decline phase into the 20th century to 21st century. A philosopher says that the just war theory is a good theory that leads to peacefulness in war and a large population applies rules of war and saves civilian life.

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How the idea become redundant in the 21st century

Just war theory is specially designed to give guidance before, during and after the war. It gives guidance to each person who is involved in the war such as political leaders, combatants and non-combatants (Levering, 2016). There are two types of philosophers who give arguments on just war theory. According to a philosopher who postulates that just war theory is applied to those nations who are financially strong and determined for ethics, but there are lots of nations which is financially inefficient and don't have proper resources for utilizing according to ethics. The second philosopher expresses that the Just war theory can apply for a short time but cant apply for a prolonged time. According to the philosopher, the nation doesn't follow the just war theory within war because the military knows how to get the enemy and how to treat them.

In the 20th century, a large number of the population was unaware of ethics and morals. They just want to be involved in war without following rules because armies think that everything is executed in love and war. They have a high sense of patriotism for the nation that's why they target civilians during war. Due to unethical war large number of the population is unable to define the wrong and right steps. The 20th War led to deficiencies in nations such as economic, political, socio-cultural, environmental legal etc. The nation became a war nation but was unable to convert into a peaceful state due to unethical laws in war. Even leaders are unable to introduce new strategy which influences development in civilians. In the 20th century population didn't have too many arguments with their enemies. They are mentally stable and patient. Soldiers have self-control over their emotions. Political government also doesn't involve in the war so diplomatic types of leader don't play with their life. In the old century, armed conflict took place and they became violent.

In the 21st century, just war theory is required because Thomas Aquinas states that Just war theory is good for the nation because it gives guidance to the army, military and civilians on how to use principles during fighting in the war. It maintains a standard of armies in front of enemies. It helps the government to measure time extension in the war and interpret the data which can impact on nation and its civilians. It also helps to identify combatant and non-combatant civilians. Thomas expresses that just war theory follows criteria which is classified into three sections and each section addresses rules and regulation (Ferrill, 2018). These principles support nations to identify the limitations of enemies and give fair justification in war. Military and individual soldiers keep them safe by applying ethical war theory which leads to safety from unprovoked war. The rest of the philosophers claim that just war theory is not more effective for soldiers and armies because during war each rule can't be implemented. It leads gives guidance but is unable to address enemies' activities, There are various philosophers who postulate about just war theory. Some philosophers agree with the just war theory while others disagree with the theory.

Just war theory has some requirements such as just cause, last resort, valid authority, proportionality, probable success and existing strategy. These all are requirements of the theory. In the 21st century soldiers are able to find limitations of enemies and the potential of armies which can lead to desirable outcomes in a nation. Just war theory helps civilians because it can make them safe from unprovoked attacks. It gives fair decisions in war and maintains a standard of armies. On the basis of laws in war, the government is able to save innocent civilians from violence. On the basis of just war theory, the government is able to save personnel weapons (Ewence and Grady, eds., 2017). International law assists nations in defence against unprovoked attacks. Armies and the military enable them to identify criminal behaviour and non-criminal behaviour with enemies which saves them from committing offences. Valid authority rule helps the 21st century to keep them self-dependent in each type of situation while decriminalising law helps soldiers to keep their families protected. This theory model gives guidance for justification within war. Even it gives guidance before war where the government allows soldiers to apply their rights, properties and boundaries. Exist strategy is a part of the just war theory which provides direction to soldiers or armies on how to implement strategy and take desirable advantage. It is a beneficial theory for soldiers, armies and civilians.


It can be concluded the just war theory supports military, armies and non-combatant civilians. This report has concluded just war theory and its history which is expressed by Thomas Aquinas. Philosophers have concluded about the just war theory model, In this report, it has been concluded that the 20th century was peaceful but in the half-century, it transformed into the Cold War, and that period required the just war theory concept. Just war theory is reductant for the 21st century and non-reductant for the 20th century. To get more details about online assignment help meet our experts.

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