ISBN: 978-1-108-83428-5

Gregory M Reichberg


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This book brings together papers from a 2019 conference at the United States Military Academy (West Point) that was ‘inspired by the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and its notorious example of how not to end a war’ (ix). The idea of ‘ending wars’ is construed broadly to include not only the post-war framing of a political settlement, but also how objectives of war are formulated ante bellum; how fear of being discounted and replaced by other actors (‘political humiliation’) prompts conflict; how wars impact on the moral psychology of combatants (‘moral injury’); how open-ended (‘endless’) wars come to be fought; how the moral principles that govern resort to war differ from those that govern its termination (‘jus terminatio’); how once war is underway proportionality considerations can modify the evaluation of the war’s jus ad bellum rightness or wrongness (the ‘proportionality budget’); how special rules of conduct (a post bellum ‘Leiber code’) should guide military behavior in the post-war transition to peace; and how wars truly end only when efforts of reconciliation enable the warring parties to definitively set aside their differences, so the conflict does not arise anew. The result is a marvelous set of essays that together provide a stimulating overview of cutting-edge issues in contemporary ethics of war.