Thomas Aquinas along with many other philosophers delved into just war theory. These are some of Aquinas’s main points on the issue:
- A war must be waged by a governmental power that has the authority to wage wars. For instance, Presidents of the United States of America do not have the authority to wage wars. The Congress is the governmental body that is meant to wage wars. Therefore according to Aquinas any war waged by a United States President is an unjust war.
- A just cause is also required when instigating a war. A nation or state should only be attacked if they refuse to make emends for drastic actions implemented by their subjects or by refusing to give back land of which they stole.
- It is necessary that the belligerents have fair intentions in mind. Aquinas rendered any war that is not directly upholding good or discontinuing evil an unjust war.
These are the basics of Thomas Aquinas’s just war theory.