Preemption: Military Action and Moral Justification

Paperback | December 5, 2009

EditorHenry Shue, David Rodin

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The dramatic declaration by U.S. President George W. Bush that, in light of the attacks on 9/11, the United States would henceforth be engaging in "preemption" against such enemies as terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction forced a wide-open debate about justifiable uses of militaryforce. Opponents saw the declaration as a direct challenge to the consensus, which has formed since the ratification of the Charter of the United Nations, that armed force may be used only in defense. Supporters responded that in an age of terrorism defense could only mean "preemption." This volumeof all-new chapters provides the historical, legal, political, and philosophical perspective necessary to intelligent participation in the on-going debate, which is likely to last long beyond the war in Iraq. Thorough defenses and critiques of the Bush doctrine are provided by the most authoritativewriters on the subject from both sides of the Atlantic. Is a nation ever justified in attacking before it has been attacked? If so, under precisely what conditions? Does the possibility of terrorists with weapons of mass destruction force us to change our traditional views about what counts asdefense? This book provides the most comprehensive assessment to date of the justifiability of preemptive or preventive military action. Its engaging debate, accompanied by an analytic Introduction, focuses probing criticism against the most persuasive proponents of preemptive attack or preventivewar, who then respond to these challenges and modify or extend their justifications. Authors of recent pivotal analyses, including historian Marc Trachtenberg, international relations professor Neta Crawford, law professor David Luban, and political philosopher Allen Buchanan, are confronted byother authoritative writers on the nature and justification of war more broadly, including historian Hew Strachan, international normative theorist Henry Shue, and philosophers David Rodin, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, and Suzanne Uniacke. The resulting lively and many-sided exchanges shed historical,legal, political, and philosophical light on a key policy question of our time. Going beyond the simple dichotomies of popular discussion the authors reflect on the nature of all warfare, the arguments for and against it, and the possibilities for the moral to constrain the military and thepolitical in the face of grave threat. This book is a project of the Oxford Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War.

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The dramatic declaration by U.S. President George W. Bush that, in light of the attacks on 9/11, the United States would henceforth be engaging in "preemption" against such enemies as terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction forced a wide-open debate about justifiable uses of militaryforce. Opponents saw the declaration as a d...

David Rodin is Research Fellow in Philosophy at the Changing Character of War Program, University of Oxford, and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, the Australian National University. His research covers a wide range of topics in moral philosophy including the ethics of war and conflict, bus...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:December 5, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199565996

ISBN - 13:9780199565993

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Table of Contents

Henry Shue and David Rodin: Introduction1. Hew Strachan: Preemption and Prevention in Historical Perspective2. Marc Trachtenberg: Preventive War and U.S. Foreign Policy3. Suzanne Uniacke: On Getting One's Retaliation in First4. Neta C. Crawford: The False Promise of Collective Security Through Preventive War5. Allen Buchanan: Justifying Preventive War6. David Rodin: The Problem with Prevention7. David Luban: Preventive War and Human Rights8. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong: Preventive War - What Is It Good For?9. Henry Shue: What Would A Justified Preventive Military Attack Look Like?