Just War as Punishment

John D. Carlson discusses “Just War” theory as a responsibility to punish wrongdoers. In Syria, he argues, the United States has ducked its responsibility and has allowed Assad to continue terrorizing the country’s citizens. “Punishment was needed most for those unwilling to acknowledge their wrongs and the norms that such wrongs violate. Retribution, then, elicits from the offender the affirmation that a moral framework exists at all,” Carlson writes. “Assad, however, was able to sidestep this process completely.”

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