National Defence and Just Wars

Is State Military Action Ever Justified?

However much people may disagree on the how big the state should be, it is almost universally acknowledged that “national defence” – the protection of the citizenry from invasion by foreign states – is regarded not only as the primary function of the state but also its very raison d’être. Indeed, together with domestic security and protection from private criminals, such a function is joined at the hip with the state’s monopolistic use of force. Thus, it is difficult to imagine how, without this function, the state could exist as a distinct institution.

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