Jeff McMahan - Wojna prewencyjna i zabijanie niewinnych (Preventive War and the Killing of the Innocent)

"The United Nations Charter prohibits states to use force against other states except
in ‘individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs’.1 In the past, it
may have seemed reasonable to insist that permissible defence must await the actual
occurrence of an armed attack. Because war is usually disastrous for all concerned
and to be avoided if at all possible, and because successful defence has often been at
least possible against a military attack, it may not be imprudent for a state
threatened with attack by another state to make every effort to avoid war by
diplomatic means and thus to defer military action until its adversary actually
strikes the first blow. It is also possible to deter the attack by threatening the
potential aggressor both with military defeat and with the destruction, if war occurs,
of assets that the aggressor values – for example, in the case of a tyrannical regime,
military assets on which it depends for control of its own population.
But terrorist threats that many states now face cannot be dealt with in these
traditional ways. Traditional forms of military defence are ineffective, indeed
irrelevant, in confronting threats from small bands of terrorists operating covertly,
often within the cities of those they hope to intimidate and coerce. And because
terrorists often operate independently of targetable military or political centres and
usually are not representative of any clearly identifiable or delimited group, they are
not easily deterred by threats of reprisal, retaliation, or destruction of valued assets.
Thus, where terrorist threats are concerned, deterrence is difficult, and once ‘an
armed attack occurs’, it is already too late for ‘individual or collective self-defence’."...

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