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US / RUSSIA Collaboration

War or the threat of the use of force is the traditional approach to conflict resolution in the conduct of international relations. Each national state "tends to reserve a monopoly on violence for itself;" however, through the mutual diplomatic recognition of one another, national states have also "recognized the legitimacy of the wars they have waged."

Francisco de Vitoria in 1525 established the modern concept of international law with respect to war, which holds that war is licit as a last resort, when all other means of persuasion have failed. Thus, war becomes an extension of political participation, diplomacy. This concept goes on to hold that the cause which justifies war is the violation of a right, and that "an essential condition for the licitness of a war is that the evils resulting from it will not be greater than the good intended." A major problem with this premise is the perception from which the evaluation is made. The United States government, as an example, found no problems in justifying the activities of the Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua, while, at the same time, denouncing the guerrilla activity in neighboring El Salvador. Many other governments assessed the two situations differently from the American assessment. It largely depended upon whose ox was being gored. Almost any action can be justified as a means to an end. War is also justified on other grounds. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel thought that war was the catalyst through which the purpose of mankind was brought to fruition. Thus, humanity had to either accept war or stagnate. It was Friedrich Nietzsche who provided the most pervasive justification for war of any type and the romanticized concept of a just war for a just cause. In Thus Spake Zarathustra, he said that "a good war hallows every cause." American historians often cite Nietzsche as the philosophical guru for the Nazis in the Germany of the 1930s and 1940s; however, Americans have...

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US / RUSSIA Collaboration. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 02:42, September 21, 2017, from
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