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War is Necessary
June 15, 2012

War, or armed intervention as it has often been referred to, has remained an inseparable part of human existence. Throughout histories, there have been numerous instances of communities or countries rising up against others. Some of the armed interventions that attracted global attention include the Napoleonic and revolutionary uprisings that broke out in Europe in the late 18th century, the two World Wars of the early and mid 20th century, and the American Civil war. Worthwhile to mention is that war has, and continues to generate unprecedented controversy. On the one hand, there are those who depict armed intervention as a necessary step that has to be taken in order to promote the common good (Brough, Lango, and Linden 12). Others argue that war is totally unjustified. Despite the various views advanced, a critical appraisal shows that war is indeed necessary for defending a people, bringing peace, and taming intrusive militants.

War is necessary for instances where it is the only feasible way of achieving desirable outcomes (Bellamy 61). For this philosophical justification to hold, a just cause for war has to be clearly established. Various situations have been described as just causes for conflict. For instance, armed intervention is said to be justified in instances where the lives of a country’s population are jeopardized. Besides instilling fear, terror groups threaten the very existence of civilians. In such a case,  conflict is justified since it is the most appropriate way of protecting human life, averting the potential contravention of human rights, and protecting the general welfare of a country’s population. Indeed, international law self-defense as a justification for war (Sorabji, and Rodin 105; Bellamy 98). A country that decides to rise up against another as leverage for the wrongs inflicted on its population as a result of external aggression is justified in so doing.

Essentially, peace is preferable to any conflict. More often than not, however, peace becomes highly elusive, making the path of war the only available alternative. When conflict erupts between two groups, say neighboring countries or distinct political factions, there are often attempts to find an amicable solution. However, one party to the conflict may be unwilling to resolve the dispute. Throughout history, countries have violated peace conventions. Such acts of commission or omission have the impact of delaying justice unnecessary. In instances where diplomatic channels to dispute resolution fail, battle thus becomes the only alternative available (Russell 130). A case example is an Israel-Palestine conflict which has raged on for many years. The unwillingness by either Israel or Palestine to reach a compromise regarding the disputed Gaza strip has resulted in unprecedented bloodshed.

War is also necessary for quelling the intrusive military insurgency. Leftist military groups have historically posed an obstacle to peaceful coexistence and the advancement of developmental objectives. A recent example is provided by the Al-Shaabab militia of Somalia. The group, known for its piracy activities in the Indian Ocean, has relentlessly attacked ships, kidnapped marine personnel, and demanded heavy ransoms. It even went as far as kidnapping tourists and military personnel on Kenyan soil. Kenya was eventually forced to wage a military operation which continues to date. Such armed intervention targets invasive combatants and thus justified.

Though war often brings unprecedented loss of human life and extensive destruction of property and infrastructure, it is sometimes an unavoidable course. Armed intervention is not only justified but necessary in instances where its intent is to protect human life and human welfare, where other avenues to conflict resolution have been unsuccessful, and when targeted against intrusive combatants.