War refers to an organized and armed conflict that takes place between nations due to some reasons, which may be just or unjust (Shaw, 2008). This usually leads to extreme aggression, high mortality, and social disruption in the target nation. Justice refers to moral appropriateness based on rationality, ethics, natural law, equity, or religion. War and justice have a close relationship because it is the concern of people to know the cause of the warfare, as well as the target people, who should experience casualties (Shaw, 2008). A nation may pursue a war in another country based on justified or unjustified reasons. The casualties may include the innocent civilians, militaries of the target nation, and combatants of the attacker. This paper will consider the distinction that exists between justice of war and justice in war, as well as whether the civilians receive equal treatment on both sides.
Justice of war has principles that require the retaliator to have a just ground and right purpose in declaring a war. The retaliator should declare war properly and openly with some reasonable expectations of becoming the winners (Shaw, 2008). The retaliator should publicly announce the purpose of waging war to create awareness in the target nation. It has been common that the retaliation against the initial attacker is just because of the principles governing justice of war (Shaw, 2008). For instance, people can consider the response of Americans to the September 11 attacks as just. It is evident that the principles that govern justice of war do not consider the protection of innocent civilians both in the retaliating nation and target nation (Shaw, 2008). The aim of this kind of war is to become winners by eliminating the immediate threats that the initial attacker poses. However, most people argue that an aggressor should wage a just war, which will discriminate combatants and civilians, who are innocent. Therefore, it is necessary for the attacker to understand justice in war to protect innocent individuals from the impacts of war.
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Justice in war differs from justice of war because the former has principles that require recognition of the innocent individuals, as well as the assignment of moral responsibilities to evaluate how the attacker conducts the war. According to the principles of justice in war, the initial aggressor is always morally responsible for the causalities of the innocent combatants and civilians. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the initial attacker to put measures in place toward protecting the innocent individuals from the effects of war during retaliation. However, the retaliator can avoid unnecessary casualties on the innocent combatants and civilians by selecting targets precisely, additionally devising the most appropriate techniques to attack the targets. The appropriate techniques of attack become an issue when the innocent individuals are close to the military targets.
In conclusion, justice of war differs from justice in war based on the principles that govern the justification of the causeI, as along with identification and discrimination of the innocent combatants and civilians (Shaw, 2008). Justice of war may fail to consider the protection of the innocent from the effects of war. The most significant thing in justice of war is to end the threat that the aggressors pose. Justice in war considers the innocent persons and attributes the moral responsibility of their casualties to the initial attackers. The retaliators may be responsible for the casualties if they affect innocent people unnecessary (Shaw, 2008). However, when the aggressor's military exists in proximity to the innocent civilians, both the aggressor's military and innocent people will experience the casualties. Therefore, justice of war does not take care of the innocent individuals because the main aim is to end the threat. On the other hand, justice in war takes care of the innocent people by attributing full moral responsibilities to the initial attackers (Shaw, 2008).