Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 104

moral justification for an initial strategic offensive in support of an organized violent movement. It is assumed that U.S. strategic policymakers can assess if military actions are likely to support the nation’s strategic goals. Nonetheless, they would not make decisions to intervene in another country based on national interest alone. Among other considerations, they need to understand the moral issues. They need a decision-making model that could help them determine if military intervention would constitute just war; this paper proposes such a model. In addition, military leaders need to understand both practical and moral issues from a military standpoint so they can advise policy makers. Irregular Warfare and Unconventional Warfare The dissimilar nature of the strategic purpose and character of the adversaries makes irregular warfare very different than traditional (or conventional) warfare.5 Joint doctrine describes traditional warfare as “a violent struggle for domination between nation-states or coalitions and alliances of nation-states.”6 When U.S. special operations forces organize, train, and support a nonstate group, it is known as unconventional warfare: “activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary, and guerrilla force in a denied area.”7 Special operations forces, rather than conventional forces, conduct unconventional warfare because they are organized, trained, and equipped to do so; and its activities are likely to occur when and where use of conventional forces would not be appropriate. As unconventional warfare is a core task of U.S. Army Special Forces, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command takes the lead in preparing its special operations forces to conduct unconventional warfare. When U.S. special operations forces conduct this type of action offensively, the United States violates the territorial integrity and political sovereignty of another nation. The perceived need to protect U.S. interests does not appear to justify the action morally. Nevertheless, other circumstances may justify going to war in this manner. The next three sections analyze traditional justifications for war articulated by Walzer as a legalist paradigm, key concepts of 102 legitimacy, and a theoretical moral basis for nonstate groups to use violence against their government and for other nations to intervene. Then, the discussion uses the proposed moral basis for intervention to develop a decision-making model designed to help U.S. policy makers integrate a timely moral analysis with policy decisions. Walzer’s Legalist Paradigm Any list of just war principles contains the foundational idea that nation-states hold a monopoly on the use of force. According to joint doctrine, nation-states choose to wage war against other nation-states to satisfy a wide range of national interests.8 Walzer guides a nation-state’s decision making when considering war as a policy option—up to a point. While aggression is never justifiable, according to Walzer, two types of force can be justified morally: defense from state aggression, and support to another state that becomes a victim of aggression.9 Walzer describes a theory of aggression he refers to as the legalist paradigm, in which he assembles six propositions he considers widely accepted—if not always articulated—by the international community. Walzer’s six propositions are excerpted here (minus the intervening paragraphs): 1. There exists an international society of independent states. 2. This international society has a law that establishes the rights of its members—above all, the rights of territorial integrity and political sovereignty. 3. Any use of force or imminent threat of force by one state against the political sovereignty or territorial integrity of another co