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Just War ReconsideredStrategy, Ethics, and Theory$
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James M. Dubik

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813168296

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813168296.001.0001

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Jus in Bello’s Missing Piece

Jus in Bello’s Missing Piece

(p.7) 1 Jus in Bello’s Missing Piece
Just War Reconsidered

James M. Dubik

University Press of Kentucky

Just war theory is a theory of practical morality applied in the most complex of human activities. War is the realm of ambiguity, whether for soldiers and their military leaders fighting it or the senior political and military leaders waging it. Those responsible to decide and act—from soldiers and their immediate military leaders to senior generals and political officials—often do not have the luxury of time or anything close to complete information or understanding. In every war, learning takes place at both the tactical and the strategic levels. Any practical morality, and certainly a theory of responsibility designed to explain and guide the conduct of war (whether war fighting or war waging), must take into consideration these actual conditions in which moral agents decide and act. Explanation and justification, however, first require understanding, and a complete understanding of the conduct of war reveals that jus in bello concerns more than “right conduct in the midst of battle, after the war has started,” as Brian Orend claims. Jus in bello also has a larger, war-waging scope. The absence of the strategic, war-waging dimension of jus in bello forms the gap in the traditional just war theory.

Keywords:   jus in bello, just war theory, practical morality, war, military

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