Just Wars in History
Freedom is Never Free
Often we hear that all war is wrong. Wrong for the defenders as well as for the aggressors. That war is wrong even when waged with the sincere purpose of defending the innocent and restraining evil. Yet much of the religious and political freedoms, which we take for granted today, were won through wars approved of by the churches of those days. The great Christian Theologian, Augustine of Hippo, spelled out the Christian criteria for a Just War: Jus ad bellum (a just cause for war), Jus in bello (just conduct during war) and Jus post bellum ( a just conclusion of a war). A just war requires a just cause. Innocent life must be in imminent danger and intervention must be to protect life. Only duly constituted authorities may wage war. War must be a last resort, only after exhausting all peaceful means. There must also be a reasonable probability of success to justify involvement in a war. The benefits of the war must be proportional to the costs and risks of the war. In a Just War there must be a clear distinction between combatants and non-combatants.