The Just War tradition–an umbrella term for a set of ideas and customs concerning the circumstances in which nations may take military action in their own defense or on behalf of others–draws on a rich history of religious justifications for, objections to, and arguments about war. Here is a new collection of essays concerning its application in American law and politics: America and the Just War Tradition: A History of U.S. Conflicts (Notre Dame Press), edited by Mark David Hall and J. Daryl Charles.
America and the Just War Tradition examines and evaluates each of America’s major wars from a just war perspective. Using moral analysis that is anchored in the just war tradition, the contributors provide careful historical analysis evaluating individual conflicts.
Each chapter explores the causes of a particular war, the degree to which the justice of the conflict was a subject of debate at the time, and the extent to which the war measured up to traditional ad bellum and in bello criteria. Where appropriate, contributors offer post bellum considerations, insofar as justice is concerned with helping to offer a better peace and end result than what had existed prior to the conflict.
This fascinating exploration offers policy guidance for the use of force in the world today, and will be of keen interest to historians, political scientists, philosophers, and theologians, as well as policy makers and the general reading public.