Is war ever justified?
Many wars have taken place since ages as far back in the bible making war part of the society. Many people believe that wars are necessary, especially in situations where all diplomatic methods have been exhausted. In my view, war is not justified because many people use war as an excuse to further their interests. Whenever external forces become a threat, most leaders resort to war as a way to suppress the opposition. That is why leaders are quick to justify their action of going to war because they consider war necessary to fulfill their greed. War is not justified because of its aftermath; wars cause death, destruction, loss, strained relationships, and suffering.
One of the severe consequences of war is the loss of innocent civilians’ lives that cannot be replaced. Frequent wars eradicates hopes and dreams of many people, destroying their homeland and making people live in constant fear of being attacked. Fighting in the name of bringing peace cannot be justified because it contradicts the meaning of peace itself. Even though some people believe that under exceptional circumstances, war is justified. I do believe that negotiations can also be used in these exceptional circumstances to prevent war in the first place. The most common argument is that war is acceptable when it is in self-defense or when liberating citizens from an oppressive regime. If only war can save more people than killing them, then war can be justified.
Looking back at two major world wars the First World War and the Second World War that prolonged for four years more than 40 countries participated in the war and both wars resulted in over 37 million casualties with properties being damaged. Scholars justify war using the principle of utilitarianism; they believe that war will improve the lives of many people, however, in reality; many innocent citizens are the ones who die. Selective killing cannot be achieved especially by using modern equipment; most people go to war to win not to lose. Therefore, they will use all the lethal weapons like bombs that will affect innocent people like in the case of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The outcome of any war is destruction that includes people, habitat, infrastructure, livelihoods, and relationships. War has never promoted any good virtues like prosperity, harmony or tolerance. Those who survive are not safe either, and war cannot bring back the dead. We should not cling to the common myth that war can fix anything, taking away innocent lives and restoring property is not justice.
Countries should embrace alternative ways like negotiations than engaging in war. We should all know that human lives are too precious to be measured by personal agendas. If we cannot prevent wars, we do not have the morals to justify war itself. The real solution is not war, but war seems to be the easiest solution. There are better and sustainable solutions for resolving conflicts than engaging in war. Making sacrifices and compromises and talking about our differences without shading innocent blood are some of the better options. War is not a good entry for peace building, for any war to be justified there should be some degree of morality in which the wars are fought. Fighting with dignity includes treating our enemy well during and after the battle, treating war prisoners humanely and not targeting innocent people, which in this case is not possible. I do believe that war is not justified at all and it is not necessary. Nobody has the right to kill people in the name of restoring peace or protecting it s citizens from potential threat.