The Lost Art of Declaring War

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University of Illinois Press, 1998 - History - 191 pages
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Historically, it has been assumed that war is violence and declarations of war are simply public announcements that serve to initiate combat. Brien Hallett denies both assumptions and claims that war is policy, not violence.The Lost Art of Declaring War analyzes the crucial differences between combat and war and convincingly argues that the power to declare war is in actuality the power to compose a text, draft a document, write a denunciation. Once written, the declaration then serves three functions: to articulate the political purposes of the war, to guide and direct military operations, and to establish the boundary between justified combat and unjustified devastation.Hallett sounds a clarion call urging the people and their representatives to take up the challenge and write fully reasoned declarations of war. Then, and only then, can a civilized nation like the United States lay claim to being fully democratic, not only in peacetime, but in wartime as well.

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About the author (1998)

Brien Hallett is an Associate Professor at the Matsunaga Institute for Peace at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, where he teaches courses in peace and conflict resolution, with a special interest in the thought of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Vaclav Havel. His primary research interest is the declaration of war and the historical, legal, constitutional, moral and philosophical issues that surround it. Hallett is the author of The Lost Art of Declaring War (1998) and several encyclopedia articles.

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