Legitimate Authority and Just War
Providence: A Journal of Christianity & American Foreign Policy, No. 11, pp. 60-66 (Spring-Summer 2018)
9 Pages Posted: 7 May 2019
Date Written: July 2, 2018
Recent just war theory discussions have emphasized the just cause and right intention prongs of jus ad bellum, but have offered only cursory analysis of the legitimate authority prong in the American context. This article argues that legitimate authority depends in part on domestic law and that the sovereign's war powers must be exercised in accordance with the rule of law. In the American context, where sovereignty is divided, the Constitution's allocation of war powers should guide analysis. The article provides a survey of executive and congressional powers over war and hostilities, and then applies those legal rules to conflicts in Libya, Syria, and North Korea.
Keywords: just war theory, just war, Libya, Syria, North Korea, legitimate authority, war powers resolution, war power, constitution, armed conflict, military intervention, jus ad bellum
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