Publication:
JUST STRIKE: A COMMANDER'S GUIDE TO PREEMPTIVE SELF-DEFENSE

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Authors
Huntsman, John D.
Subjects
imminence
preemption
imminent threat
self-defense
moral risk
just war
Advisors
Strawser, Bradley J.
Date of Issue
2018-06
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
The imminence requirement for preemption can make all the moral difference in deciding to launch a lethal strike. Influenced by Michael Walzer’s just war criteria for preemption, I provide three necessary conditions to strike first in self-defense. A commander must justifiably believe three things: that an unjust aggressor is poised to attack, that her capacity to avert an attack is constrained by an imminent decision point or last window of opportunity, and that preemption is part of a moral-risk proportionate strategy. In any event, a commander must decide to preempt or not preempt under conditions of uncertainty. As such, I incorporate and supplement Seth Lazar’s rights-based expected utility approach to lethal action.
Type
Thesis
Description
Department
Defense Analysis (DA)
Organization
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NPS Report Number
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Funder
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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