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Just Peace: Can Army Doctrine Flip The Script?


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Since the inception of the Just War theory, international leaders have codified many of its principles into international treaties and laws. Through countless centuries, these principles codifying how one justly declares and conducts war have become foundational to military standards and embedded into military doctrine. Over the 2000-year history of the Just War principles, and their adoption into modern military doctrine, the character of war has significantly changed. Many theorists and spiritual leaders alike have witnessed the stringent criteria of the Just War principles likened to a mere checklist referenced by political leaders to justify combat actions taken against another nation state; it is time to examine this unequivocal misinterpretation and misuse of the original intent of the theory. The past five years have shown increased pressure from spiritual figureheads to replace or modify the Just War principles to a Just Peace framework. These efforts are focused on influencing world leaders to revert back to the original intent of a Just War...war as the very last resort. This thesis critiques the doctrinal principles of military necessity and proportionality and examines relevance of the Just Peace theory in current Army doctrine.



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