Just War Theory

The theory traces its roots in Christianity and deals with the justifications of why and how wars are fought with regard to the morality of the same. The concept, although coined long ago, has gained much prominence in recent years due to increased military interventions among the world countries. Indeed, the processes of sourcing for human intelligence, counterintelligence and covert operations present an important ethical issue due to the sensitivity involved. It is the responsibility of the legitimate authorities to ensure that the processes are conducted in a moral and ethical fashion. The involvement of humans in such dealings is particularly sensitive because of the subject of morality and ethics. In some cases, officials have used immoral techniques in covert operation such as the use of drugs on individuals to render them immobile and conceal evidence of the same in autopsies (Northouse et al, 2007).

The process of intelligence gathering from humans is one of the most affected phases of war. The individuals involved in such operations have the challenge of engaging in activities that are generally regarded as immoral in peaceful civilian environments. Normally, the degree to which the intelligence gathered affects the likelihood of war directly affects the morally tolerable levels. One example of this scenario is in the torture of human war captives in search of intelligence from an enemy’s military operation (Northouse et al, 2007). In addition, there is a moral discrepancy between the ground operators and government officials with the former determining the moral divide. In other cases, governments have been recorded as having allowed the use of immoral techniques in the process of intelligence and counterintelligence gathering. This development is in spite of there being a global perception on the negativity of such operations based on moral grounds


Northouse, C., Barquin, R., & Fishkin, J. (2007). Protecting what matters: Technology, security, and liberty since 9/11. Washington, D.C: Brookings Institution Press.


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