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Old 11-05-2010   #13
Chris Case
Council Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 14
Default Preventive War

Originally Posted by Bill Jakola View Post
Okay, Chris, you are going to have to educate me. I do not see how preparing our force to be more responsive to a rapidly changing enviroment is illegal.

Bill Jakola
Here you are asserting a slightly different claim, but I assume the intent is the same. Preparing to be responsive to a "rapidly changing environment" is not illegal. I did not make that claim. Your claim went beyond preparation to an ability "to respond to the next challenge rapidly and at the earliest sign of trouble, by actively seeking out the weak signals, we are more likely to address the problem when it is small and less costly in resources of blood and treasure, to nip the problem in the bud so to speak." This is called preventive war in Just War Theory and preventive war is illegal in international law [see UN Charter, Art. 39-51]. This is rather uncontroversial. President Bush's NSS in 2002 makes an expanded claim for preemption "where the threats are large enough [p. 15, note 1]," but it did not claim a right to go around the world finding "weak signals" and eliminating possible future threats. Some claim that his NSS advocated preventive war and that this is the "Bush Doctrine," but neither the President nor his legal advisors made that claim. If you are interested, check out Jus ad Bellum criteria for more information on when it is considered justified for states to resort to the use of force.
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