I’m working on my next project which is a systematic
assessment and the relationship of all the Mormon scriptures on warfare. On
occasion I found something that expresses an idea that I have previously
expressed. This has happened in the past with both preemptive
war and strategy.
I like to share them because it’s a good way to highlight what I’m reading and
thinking as I’m reading. Also because it’s a good boost to know that my
analysis and instincts are so keen that I find them repeated in previously unread
texts!! Those texts are often seminal works in the field and yet you get them
in plain language and for free from your humble blogger.
Here are the newest comparisons. I wrote this back in 2011
(based on a draft written in
2009!! I had the danger of nuclear weapons and the need for preemptive war
when I wrote point #5):
“It is difficult to justify offensive action based on possible future events or latent evil,”
Micheal Walzer wrote:
We can make only short-term predictions, and we have no way that even mimics mathematics of comparing the costs of fighting to the costs of not fighting, since [the first] set of costs is necessarily speculative,
Both examples explain how the argument for war is tough because it’s based on possible events or just speculative.
In my seven-part
series on preemptive war one of the major lessons regarded the benefits of
choosing the time and place of the battle instead of having the enemy seize the
initiative and bring the battle to you. This
is one of several times I make the point:
Just as the people of Zeniff likely learned, it was better and less bloody to fight a battle at a time and place of their choosing, then having to hastily form their own army (Alma 16:3), and then later fight at a disadvantage.
Again, Michael Walzer wrote in the anticipation spectrum
about the difference between preventive and preemptive war. He wrote a nation
A manifest intent to injure, a degree of active preparation that makes that intent a positive danger, and a general situation in which waiting, or doing anything other than fighting, greatly magnifies that risk.
The key point of similarity is that waiting to fight is too
great of a danger and thus a nation must attack.
I hope you enjoy the same insights each said in two
different ways. Who do you think said it better? I appreciate the chance to
read these great texts and that my ideas often match them so well. I’ve got
more research coming and I hope to share it with you soon.
Thanks for reading!! I work as a free lance author. Providing ad free research over the last ten years takes time and effort. If you found value in this work please consider donating using the paypal button at the bottom of the page, or buy one of books using the Amazon link at the top left.
Deane, “Offensive Warfare and a Defense of the Bush Doctrine’ in War and
Peace: Mormon Perspectives on War, (Greg Kofford Books, 2012) 38.
Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical
Illustrations, (Basic Books, 1977) xvi.
Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars, 81.