Preemptive war

From ArticleWorld

Preemptive War may be considered as a preventive step taken by one country trying to outthink the war moves of its enemy by aggressive action. There is a well-accepted definition for preemptive war in international law. ‘Preemptive war is justified by an imminent threat of attack, a clear and present danger that the country in question is about to attack you. In such a case a preemptive attack is recognized as justifiable.’

Preemptive and preventive

The intention of preemptive wars is to preempt the enemy and make the attack at a time when the enemy is least expecting and, hence, most vulnerable. It is argued that the difference between preemptive and preventive wars is merely of language and also that preventive wars are considered to violate international law, in that they are an action against some future contingency that may not take place at all.

An excellent example of preemptive war is the six day war between Israel and Egypt in 1967. Although Israel made the preemptive strike it had knowledge and proof of enemy airplanes being mobilized and forces amassing on its border. This was an answer to an imminent threat.

Then again the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor may be argued to be a preemptive war against the US forces. President Bush’s latest war against Iraq either may or may nor be regarded as a preemptive war, depending upon the arguer’s ideology.

Also worth mentioning is USSR’s attack on Finland as an answer to the German attack on Russia, in June of 1941.

Preemptive strike

The first strike carried out against the enemy in anticipation of an attack from them, may be defined as a preemptive strike. This also includes all those actions that are taken to reduce the risk of an enemy attack. These actions may be material or non- material.