Jus Ex Bello And Just War As A Non-Zero-Sum Game

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
West Point Press
Popularized by Darrel Moellendorf with his 2008 paper of the same name, jus ex bello is an emerging field of exploration in Just War Theory. Though jus ad bellum, jus in bello, and jus post bellum are widely considered to cover most lines of inquiry in Just War Theory given proper interpretation, their domains of the cause of war, the conduct of war, and making peace, respectively, have left questions open of when and how to continue or end a war. Such questions are even more concerning given recent protracted conflicts such as the Global War on Terror, and they are precisely the kinds of questions jus ex bello seeks to address. Besides Dr. Moellendorf, another notable figure in the field, David Rodin, explores the theory under the terminology of jus terminatio. We choose to use Moellendorf’s terminology in discussing the extent of both theories broadly but elect to use one or the other where specifically appropriate in the paper. As a new field of thought, jus ex bello’s tenets need work, and we intend to show how its current structure can lead to the paradoxical situation of two sides in a conflict being simultaneously justified. This may represent the need for revision, but we also give thought to the utility of the idea, such that further work corroborating it as, indeed, not paradoxical, could still be a fruitful advancement of Just War Theory.
CDT Caleb Anderson ’23 is a double major in Philosophy and Physics. Alongside his two main academic interests at the Academy, he works with the Robotics Research Center in the development for and integration of unmanned systems at the small unit level. He hopes to branch Infantry. He is from Little Axe, Oklahoma. CDT Charles Batkin ’24 is majoring in Philosophy at the United States Military Academy. Originally from New Zealand, he emigrated to serve in the United States Army. After West Point, CDT Batkin hopes to commission as an Infantry Officer. CDT Lizette Van der Walt ’24 is an International Affairs major with minors in Regional Area Studies of Europe and Eurasia. She has previously been a member of the Army Women’s Crew Team and is the Assistant Cadet In Charge for Research and Engagement for the International Affairs Forum, working to expand research in the field of International Affairs at the Academy. She is from Ball Ground, Georgia.
Political Science and Security Studies
Anderson, Caleb; Batkin, Charles; Van Der Walt, Lizette. “Jus Ex Bello And Just War As A Non-Zero-Sum Game.” West Point Journal of Politics and Security 1, no. 2 (2023): 1-6.