Accession Number : ADA180475

Title :   Just War Tradition in the Nuclear Age: Is it Ever Moral to Push the Button?

Descriptive Note : Student essay,

Corporate Author : ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s) : Carney,James L.

Report Date : 23 MAR 1987

Pagination or Media Count : 41

Abstract : Because of the massive destructiveness of nuclear weapons, many 'nuclear ethicists' have asserted that their use in war is contrary to just war traditions which have guided Western moral thought since at least the Fifth Century. This position creates a significant dilemma for US officials who must keep their fingers on the nuclear 'trigger' as part of our national defense strategy. This essay examines the dimensions of that dilemma by reviewing the principles of the just war tradition and applying them to modern total war concepts. It concludes by examining three possible solutions to the dilemma, (1) deployment of a strategic defense system, such as that contemplated by SDI; (2) arms control; and (3) establishment of a world police authority under the auspices of the United Nations to enforce nuclear disarmament and to intervene, if necessary, to prevent a total conventional war between the great powers.

Descriptors :   *NATIONAL DEFENSE, *ETHICS, ARMS CONTROL, DEFENSE SYSTEMS, MILITARY STRATEGY, WARFARE, CONVENTIONAL WARFARE, NUCLEAR WEAPONS, UNITED STATES

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE