Your line of reasoning perilously underestimates the weight of evil in human affairs; deter the ability of political leaders to counter it effectively. If we consider the philosophy of Aquinas, his perception of just war is modeled on his more fundamental idea of legitimate defense. Hence, they conclude that the only correct rationale to resort to armed force is the simply defensive posture of repelling the attack. Aquinas never sought to limit the resort to armed force to simple self-defense. He did, in fact, think that occasions may arise when offensive war is warranted-to regain things wrongly taken, to thwart and punish organized evildoing, or to protect innocents from harm. Not only self-defense against actual attack or second use of force, but even a first use of force or offensive war may be necessary when it is the most successful response to wrongdoing. It has been argued for instance that the Allies would have had good reason to instigate hostilities against Nazi Germany in 1936 when in a blatant breach of his treaty commitment Hitler remilitarized Germany. On this perceptive, as articulated by thinkers such as Aquinas in the classical just-war tradition, the distinction between defensive and offensive force does not diminish the distinction between just and unjust war. To the contrary, limiting force to strict defense would have the adverse effect of paralyzing action in the face of an unjust status quo or a dangerous military peril.
Speaker # 2: As you have given the example of Aquinas, let me tell you, Just-war theory presumes war to be immoral unless sufficiently justified. Those who would declare war must show they have six essentials firmly in hand: just grounds, capable authority, right standards, right purpose, exhaustion of options, and the possibility of success. When fighting, warriors must target only combatants and not civilians and expect a final outcome whose benefits will outweigh the battle’s high costs.
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