Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 107

IRREGULAR WARFARE Decision making under Walzer’s revisions to the legalist paradigm. These kinds of cases for intervention are consistent with the core principles of The Responsibility to Protect as laid out by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2001)24. Depicted graphically, the scale might look something like figure 2. The decision point becomes less absolute. While intervention may be morally justified and legal, national interests will determine whether or not intervention may be deemed prudent. When a guerrilla war is considered just for reasons such as government tyranny, oppression, and deliberate harm to citizens, and when considering state-sponsored intervention in support of such a revolt, even with Walzer’s revisions the moral decision point comes too late. I propose a sixth revision that would establish a new decision point: Should one nation find it morally just, legal, and prudent (in that order) to intervene by coming to the aid of a violent resistance movement or guerrilla war in another nation, intervention may tip the scales towards that political community’s achievement of self-help status, thereby earning its legitimate political community rights. A temporal decision-making model under the proposed sixth revision to the legalist paradigm. Wars of self-determination, civil wars, and guerrilla wars pose especially complex moral issues. From Walzer’s point of view, guerrilla war might only be considered justified if it passed a high threshold. Walzer refers to this as a “continuum of increasing difficulty.”25 Within this continuum, at some point guerrillas may acquire war rights. Conversely, at a later point, the government attempting to counter them may ultimately lose its war rights. Moreover, Walzer says that some of these endeavors will reach a tipping point, specifically when they garner the overwhelming majority of popular support and achieve the condition of levée en masse, or mass mobilization.26 He asserts that when guerrilla war achieves that degree of backing, an antiguerrilla war can no longer be won; therefore, waging war against the guerrillas can no longer be morally justified.27 Logically, Walzer’s tipping point appears synonymous with an insurgency or gue rrilla war passing the self-help test. When insurgencies, resistance movements, and guerrilla activities emerge in response to government oppression and deliberate harm of its subjects, an outside state-sponsored intervention in support of these activities enables Walzer’s tipping point to be reached earlier. Therefore, should U.S. policy makers believe an intervention on behalf of an internal community waging war against a tyrant is morally just and in the U.S. national interest, deciding when to intervene may differ from deciding to intervene under Walzer’s first four revisions, primarily due to the requirements of the self-help test. The proposed sixth revision accounts for the gap. Moreover, it seems consonant with Walzer’s “continuum of increasing difficulty.” The sixth revision also provides a moral basis for responding to an internal community’s suffering due to “deliberate state action” when there is not a “large scale loss of life” to trigger “the just cause threshold” described in The Figure 2. MILITARY REVIEW  September-October 2014 105