Theory Of War Essay

1538 words - 6 pages

Theory of War
The Theory of War is an ideology of what is acceptable in the context of war which covers aspects of war including reasonable cause, treatment of prisoners, what kind of tactics are aloud, and so. All of these are split in to two different categories; with one being the right to go to war, and the conduct of war. Many influences of the Theory of War include many Christian ideals which can reflect religions impact on the world.
Some of the first known ideas that relate to the Theory of War date back to 400 BCE with the Mahabrarata, an Indian epic which doesn't directly establish war theory but lays down some of the principles of war theory in concern with how war should be conducted. In the epic there is a talk amongst a bunch of brothers who contemplate if war is ever justified. As discussion ensued they came to an agreement on certain things that would justify the start of a war an approved war tactics. Criteria that were agreed upon consisted of just cause, chariots only used on chariots, no poison arrows, fair treatment of the wounded, as well as no attacking civilians. With this gives us a sense of ethical conduct in war and responsibility to abided by those rules if we want others to follow them.
Saint Augustine and then much later Thomas Aquinas laid out their contribution to the Theory of War in the Christian perspective which can be found in the Just War Doctrine of the Catholic Church. Saint Augustine a Christian theologian believed that peace should be the first option and war being the last possible option if all other methods are ineffective. In addition to that he stated that if one needs to defend himself, by killing another it does not break the commandment thou shall not murder especially if commanded to do so by God. While Augustine defined authority Aquinas focused more on what made a war just. What he believed to cause a war to be just was that it must be for the good of all people, not for self gain, and peace must be one of the top priorities.
Hugonis Grotii a jurist of the Dutch Republic whose main interests were philosophy and theory of war had a particularly interesting view on the rules of war along the fighting parties involved. In book 3 of De jure belli ac pacis libri tres, Grotii insists that everyone involved are forced to act according to the conduct of war even if the cause of the war is justified or not. This show restraint and maybe a bit of sophistication by both sides in a situation that my not deserve such an agreement.
We can use history and take a look at it through the Theory of War to see if some of the wars were really all that just not only in the aspects of how they started, but also with how all sides conducted themselves during the war. The main cause for World War 1 starting was that Serbia wanted freedom from the Austria-Hungary Empire so a Yugoslav nationalist assassinated the heir to Austria-Hungary; resulting in Austria Hungary attacking Serbia, which crossed with a whole...

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