Question: Is Just War Theory Impossible in Practice?

Question: If just war theory acknowledges that not all military action is justifiable or acceptable, then how does this get worked out practically for individual Christians involved in military service.

It would be (at worst) naive and (at best) presumptuous to assume that one’s nation and military will, without exception, engage in actions and ventures that are deemed allowable according to the strict criteria of just war theory. Inevitably, some things (more likely: most all things) will not meet just war theory’s rigorous criteria.

If this is the case, then how can the just warrior participate in military service if it will potentially (likely; assuredly?) mean becoming complicit in unjust military action? Can you conscientiously object to certain actions, missions, wars, and tactics and not others, i.e., only the ones that you deem “just”?

How does this get worked out? Or is just war theory just an ideal, and we admit we are willing to do unjust things, or at least become complicit in them, because “It’s better than the alternative”? (Honest question)

People often point out the perceived practical problems with pacifism; but the difficulties — as far as I see them — seem to be of equal opportunity.

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