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The Ethics of Just War

Former Australian Major General Michael Krause joined The Ethics Centre for an uncensored and intimate discussion about the philosophy of Just War.
This exclusive event adopted Chatham House Rule – no recordings, no media. The discussion was open, frank and contained to the room.
Syria’s civil conflict has been fracturing the country for four years. Around 200,000 people have been killed, 7.5 million displaced internally and over four million driven out of the country.
War is the problem, but could it also be the solution? Syria has become so unstable even International Crisis Group is suggesting western military intervention is the best solution to the conflict between the Assad regime, rebels and the growing power of Daesh.
Australian counterinsurgency expert David Kilcullen reports, “ISIS now controls more than half of Syrian territory”. While Europe struggles with the growing humanitarian crisis that is showing no signs of relief, Australia joined the United States and other countries to conduct airstrikes in Syria.
Given the scale of human suffering flowing from Syria’s instability, is this military campaign just? Are western forces obliged to help? Could airstrikes and external armies bring greater peace to Syria and make it safe again?
When is warfare just?
Suggested readings:
Alexander Moseley, Just War Theory
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Dr Matthew Beard, How should we think about war? Understanding Just War Theory
The Conversation