The theme of this module is the link between winning the war and winning the peace, and how and why one does not always lead to the other.
What does it mean to win a war? How would one know if victory is achieved? What does victory signify? How should an army that is victorious in battle treat those that it has just vanquished? And what does that same army owe to the society whose army it has just defeated? The introduction to this module will address these questions.
The principal framework for engaging with the normative aspect of the question "what does it mean to win a war?" is an area of the Just War Tradition known as the jus post bellum - justice after war. The purpose of this sub module is to introduce the main features of this framework.
What moral responsibilities do the victors have toward the defeated society once their war is over?
One would think that as a war is nearing the end, and one side is ‘losing’ in the traditional sense of the word, that the fighting would tail off. This is often not the case. This section looks at the ending of the American Civil War and the arguments for and against different ways of bringing the war to conclusion.
The decision by the United States government to use atomic weapons against Japan to end the Second World War might be the most discussed end of war debate in human history. The impact of the US decision crossed ethical, strategic and political thresholds and ushered in a new era in warfare. The decision also shaped the post-war settlement in ways that continue to have resonance to this day.
The 1991 Gulf War was waged by an international coalition against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. This section provides an overview of the kind of issues that arise in actual post-war situations.
This section will look at the practical and ethical dilemmas soldiers will confront in the course of their dealings with occupied populations, and local partners.
What does a victorious army owe to the society whose army it has just defeated? This last section looks at how local populations should be treated, and what sorts of dilemmas this involves for the victorious side.