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The mushroom cloud from Buster-Jangle Charlie, yield 14 kilotons (at 143 m • kt −1⁄3), during the initial phase of stem formation. The toroidal fireball is visible at the top, a condensation cloud is forming in the middle due to intense updrafts of moist air, and the forming partial stem can be seen below. The cloud exhibits the reddish-brown hue of nitrogen oxides.

Just war theory[]

Just war theory is a sect of war philosophy thought to have been founded by St. Augustine of Hippo. The philosophy of just war theorizes what aspects of war are justifiable according to morally acceptable principles. Just war theory is based upon four core criteria to be followed by those determined to go to war. The four principles are as follows: just authority; just cause; right intention; last resort. 

Just authority[]

The criterion of just authority refers to the determined legality of going to war, has the concept of war and the pursuit of it been legally processed and justified?

Just cause[]

Just cause is a justifiable reason that war is the appropriate and necessary response. If war can be avoided, that must be determined first, according to the philosophy of just war theory.

Right intention[]

To go to war, one must determine if the intentions of doing so are right according to morality. Right intention criterion requires the determination of whether or not a war response is a measurable way to the conflict being acted upon.

Last resort[]

War is a last resort response, meaning that if there is a conflict between disagreeing parties, all solutions must be attempted before resorting to war.


Just War Theory has two sets of criteria, the first establishing jus ad bellum (the right to go to war), and the second establishing jus in bello (right conduct within war).

Jus ad bellum[]

Just cause
The reason for going to war needs to be just and cannot therefore be solely for recapturing things taken or punishing people who have done wrong; innocent life must be in imminent danger and intervention must be to protect life. A contemporary view of just cause was expressed in 1993 when the US Catholic Conference said: "Force may be used only to correct a grave, public evil, i.e., aggression or massive violation of the basic human rights of whole populations."
Comparative justice
While there may be rights and wrongs on all sides of a conflict, to overcome the presumption against the use of force, the injustice suffered by one party must significantly outweigh that suffered by the other. Some theorists such as Brian Orend omit this term, seeing it as fertile ground for exploitation by bellicose regimes.
Competent authority
Only duly constituted public authorities may wage war. "A just war must be initiated by a political authority within a political system that allows distinctions of justice. Dictatorships (e.g. Hitler's Regime) or deceptive military actions (e.g. the Operation Menu|1968 US bombing of Cambodia) are typically considered as violations of this criterion. The importance of this condition is key. Plainly, we cannot have a genuine process of judging a just war within a system that represses the process of genuine justice. A just war must be initiated by a political authority within a political system that allows distinctions of justice".
Right intention
Force may be used only in a truly just cause and solely for that purpose—correcting a suffered wrong is considered a right intention, while material gain or maintaining economies is not.
Probability of success
Arms may not be used in a futile cause or in a case where disproportionate measures are required to achieve success;
Last resort
Force may be used only after all peaceful and viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted or are clearly not practical. It may be clear that the other side is using negotiations as a delaying tactic and will not make meaningful concessions.
The anticipated benefits of waging a war must be proportionate to its expected evils or harms. This principle is also known as the principle of macro-proportionality, so as to distinguish it from the jus in bello principle of proportionality.

In modern terms, just war is waged in terms of self-defense, or in defense of another (with sufficient evidence).

Jus in bello[]

Once war has begun, just war theory (jus in bello) also directs how combatants are to act or should act:

Distinction  of targets
Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of distinction. The acts of war should be directed towards enemy combatants, and not towards non-combatants caught in circumstances they did not create. The prohibited acts include bombing civilian residential areas that include no legitimate military targets, committing acts of terrorism and reprisal against civilians, and attacking milaterily and\or politicaly neutral targets. Moreover, combatants are not permitted to attack enemy combatants who have surrendered or who have been captured or who are injured and not presenting an immediate lethal threat or who are attacks on parachutists|parachuting from disabled aircraft (except airborne forces) or who are shipwrecked.
Proportionality of the war's conduct 
Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of proportionality. Combatants must make sure that the harm caused to civilians or civilian property is not excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated by an attack on a legitimate military target and objectives. This principle is meant to discern the correct balance between the restriction imposed by a corrective measure and the severity of the nature of the prohibited act.
Military necessity\necssity of war
Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of military necessity. An attack or action must be intended to help in the defeat of the enemy; it must be an attack on a legitimate military target|legitimate military objective, and the harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. This principle is meant to limit excessive and unnecessary death and destruction.
Ultimate domestic responsibility
A country is not responsible for unexpected side effects of its military activity as long as the following three conditions are met:
  • (a) The action must carry the intention to produce good consequences.
  • (b) The bad effects were not intended beyond military necessity.
  • (c) The good of the war must outweigh the damage done by it.
  • (d) Those who commit war crimes against the invaded victim nation will be punished.
Fair treatment of prisoners of war
Enemy combatants who surrendered or who are captured no longer pose a threat. It is therefore wrong to torture them or otherwise mistreat them.
No means malum in se
Combatants may not use weapons or other methods of warfare that are considered evil, such as mass rape, forcing enemy combatants to fight against their own side or using weapons whose effects cannot be controlled (e.g., nuclear weapon|nuclear/biological weapons).

Carl Von Clausewitz's principles of war[]

The initial essay dealt with the military tactics of combat, and suggested the following general principles:

  • discover how we may gain a preponderance of physical forces and material advantages at the decisive point
  • to calculate moral factors
  • make the best use of the few means at our disposal
  • never lack calmness and firmness...without this firm resolution, no great results can be achieved in the most successful war
  • always have the choice between the most audacious and the most careful solution...no military leader has ever become great without audacity

Based on the above, Clausewitz went on to suggest principles for tactics, the scale of combat that dominated European warfare at the time:

  • The Defence
  • The Offense
  • The Use of Troops
  • The Use Of Terrain
  • forces are more effective in a concentric rather than in a parallel attack; attack concentrically without having decisive superiority in an engagement (military)|engagement
  • always seek to envelop that part of the enemy against which we direct our main attack
  • cut off the enemy from his line of retreat

Clausewitz also included in the essay general principles of strategy by saying that Warfare has three main objects:

  • (a) To conquer and destroy the armed power of the enemy; always direct our principal operation against the main body of the enemy army or at least against an important portion of his forces
  • (b) To take possession of his material and other sources of strength, and to direct our operations against the places where most of these resources are concentrated
  • (c) To gain public opinion, won through great victories and the occupation of the enemy's capital
  • use our entire force with the utmost energy
  • the decisive point of attack
  • never to waste time
  • surprise plays a much greater role in tactics than in strategy
  • pursuit
  • forces concentrated at the main point
  • an attack on the lines of communication takes effect only very slowly, while victory on the field of battle bears fruit immediately
  • In strategy, therefore, the side that is surrounded by the enemy is better off than the side which surrounds its opponent, especially with equal or even weaker forces
  • To cut the enemy's line of retreat, however, strategic envelopment or a turning movement is very effective
  • be physically and morally superior
  • stores of supplies, on whose preservation operations absolutely depend
  • The provisioning of troops is a necessary condition of warfare and thus has great influence on the operations
  • independent action

Strategic defence:

  • Politically speaking defensive war is a war which we wage for our independence

Strategic offensive:

  • The strategic offensive pursues the aim of the war directly, aiming straight at the destruction of the enemy's forces

Successful preparation for war[]

  1. Try to gain public support at home and abroad!
  2. Try to undermine enemy moral with sabtarge, propaganda and secret ops!
  3. Maitain the elements of fear, surprise and security!
  4. Use intelligence, espionage, disinformation, propaganda, secret ops and sabotage to wrong foot and outwit the enemy!
  5. Ensure that your supply lines will not break and both supplies and manpower are kept at a adequate measure to carry out the war!
  6. Have a simple, effective, flexible and easily achievable battle plan!
  7. Never underestimate the enemy!
  8. Expect the unexpected!
  9. Always know your enamy! Get familiar with the enemy's local and national affairs, military strength, languages, infrastructure capabilities, public opinions, culture, etc!
  10. Have a final exit plan, along with both local retreating plan for indervidual fronts and an emergency withdraw plan if the war becomes unwinnable!
  11. Minimise the breaches of international law and avoid committing war crimes!
  12. What goes around, comes around! The enemy will learn, adapt, regroup, retaliate and take revenge!!!

Also see[]


  1. https://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl201/modules/Philosophers/Augustine/augustine_justwar.html
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principles_of_war#Clausewitz
  3. http://wesmd.com/lead-like-a-general-the-us-armys-nine-principles-of-war/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principles_of_war
  5. https://www.slideshare.net/MadMark/9-principles-of-war
  6. https://usacac.army.mil/sites/default/files/documents/cace/CSI/CSI_BM_POWSlides.ppt
  7. https://www.clausewitz.com/mobile/principlesofwar.htm
  8. http://dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a435689.pdf
  9. https://quizlet.com/25673867/9-principles-of-war-flash-cards/
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_war
  11. https://usacac.army.mil/sites/default/files/documents/cace/CSI/CSI_BM_POWSlides.ppt
  12. https://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl201/modules/Philosophers/Augustine/augustine_justwar.html
  13. https://www.equip.org/article/just-war-tradition/
  14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_war_theory
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Childress
  16. http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl201/modules/just_war_theory/criteria_intro.html
  17. https://www.equip.org/article/just-war-tradition/