Johnson sets out a moral basis for understanding when armed force can be justified. He analyzes specific problems posed by contemporary warfare: the question of military intervention to ameliorate or end conflicts, the question of warfare against noncombatants, the problem of cultural differences inflaming conflict, and the tension between those who would punish war crimes and those hoping to reconcile adversaries. The author concludes with a discussion of how to reshape and renew an international consensus on the proper purposes and limits to war.
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