Ethics Beyond War's End by Eric Patterson

By Eric Patterson

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have targeted new awareness on a perennial challenge: how you can finish wars good. What moral concerns may still consultant war's payment and its aftermath? In instances of protracted conflicts, routine struggle, failed or failing states, or genocide and battle crimes, is there a framework for constructing an everlasting peace that's pragmatic and ethical?

Ethics past War's End offers solutions to those questions from the simply struggle culture. simply conflict pondering engages the tough judgements of going to battle and the way struggle is fought. yet from this aspect ahead simply warfare thought should also take into consideration what occurs after battle ends, and the severe matters that stick to: setting up a permanent order, applying political different types of justice, and cultivating collective different types of conciliation. best thinkers within the box -- together with Michael Walzer, Jean Bethke Elshtain, James Turner Johnson, and Brian Orend -- supply strong contributions to our knowing of the important concerns linked to overdue- and publish clash in difficult, real-world eventualities that variety from the united states Civil battle to modern quagmires in Afghanistan, the center East, and the Congo.

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Justice did not extend to regime change. It did extend to the imposition of restraints on the Iraqi regime, but the purpose of those, or at least their initial purpose, was to make the old border safe. This was a contested view at the time, especially because President Bush had called for rebellions against the Baghdad regime, and when these occurred and were savagely suppressed he did nothing to help the rebels. Still, stopping the war after the liberation of Kuwait was in accord with the classic view of a just ending and a just peace.

The terms of unconditional surrender in each case seemed, indeed, to imply the opposite, and the example of Versailles reinforced the worst implications. But the policy choice to rebuild the defeated societies instead reflected the mix of moral (humanitarian) and self-interested motives I have identified above in other connections. The ending of an armed conflict, however, often comes about not through clear-cut victory but as a result of negotiated agreements that impose their own specific obligations on the parties to the conflict.

Modern democracy includes everyone, men and women, rich and poor, majorities and minorities, and so it offers greater protection than a regime of oligarchs, patriarchal chiefs, or clerics of the dominant religion. Protecting women—or, better, empowering them so that they can protect the aftermath of war 45 themselves—is especially important, since they are often the first civilian victims of war and the last beneficiaries of reconstruction. Giving them the vote is only a first step, but it is an important step toward guaranteeing their security.

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