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Preemption – Military Action and Moral Justification - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Preemption: Military Action and Moral Justification

Henry Shue and David Rodin


The dramatic declaration by US President George W. Bush that, in light of the attacks on 9/11, the United States would henceforth be engaging in ‘preemption’ against such enemies as terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction forced a wide-open debate about justifiable uses of military force. Opponents saw the declaration as a direct challenge to the consensus, which has formed since the ratification of the Charter of the United Nations, that armed force may be used only in defence. Supporters responded that in an age of terrorism defence could only mean ‘pre-emption’. This book provides ... More

Keywords: George W. Bush, pre-emption, military force, war in Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, age of terrorism, 9/11

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780199233137
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199233137.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Henry Shue, editor
Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford; and Senior Research Fellow, Merton College, Oxford
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David Rodin, editor
Research Fellow in Philosophy at the Oxford Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Australian National University
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