Vietnam had been divided by the World War II allies into two separate countries: North Vietnam and South Vietnam, in 1954. Second, the United States and South Vietnam sponsored each other, and the Communists sponsored North Vietnam. Third, the Communist North wanted all of Vietnam to become one country, but they were opposed by the Democratic South. Fourth, the North began military actions to defeat the South and make Vietnam one country.
Just War Wage Policies (JWPs) were famous with the Vietnam War of 1961-64. However, it can be critically argued that the JWPs might fail in certain war cases owing to several challenges such as terrorism, lethal weapons, and genocide issues, which render this policy ineffective. Therefore, it is important to re-think whether this policy was actually important in the Vietnam war, and through such analysis, the scholars of history might be in a position to advise policy makers to either adopt or reject this war strategy.
The Just Wage War Policy can be analyzed under different contexts. First, it is important to argue that the policy constitutes ‘jus ad bellum’, which justifies the underlying principles and reasons of taking the war advances. In addition, the study can be centered on the principle of ‘jus in bello’, which deals with justices concerning war conducts. Another principle to be analyzed under the JWPs approach in the Vietnam War is that of ‘jus post bellum’, which is concerned with war conclusions as well as the establishments of the peace settlement programs after the war (Biondi 119). In essence, the analysis of JWPs in this war would entail critical exploration of the ‘jus in bello’, with the aim of determining the combatants and non-combatants, and this is important in the sense that it makes it possible to prevent unnecessary loss of life among the innocent civilians. This principle is directly linked to that of ‘jus ad bellum’, which can be used to ascertain the causes that justify the conflicting countries going to war (Biondi 120).
In this analysis, the focus is not centered on rejecting or disapproving the relevance of the Just Wage War Policy in the Vietnam’s case, but the essence is to establish its effectiveness in achieving the intended goals. For instance, the JWPs in the Vietnam War led to loss of lives among innocent citizens; thus, it would be important to rethink or even revise this policy approach. Besides, it is important to incorporate religious variants as well as secure elements when addressing the suitability of adopting the JWPs in the Vietnam War since elements of moral and justice should not be overlooked when countries are going into war (Evans 1). Such loss of lives and destruction of property do not justify a country’s engagement in war activities. Therefore, war should be adopted as the last resort only if all the possible non-violent choices have been fully exhausted (Blattberg 12).
Even though the democratic South Vietnam, under the support of the United States, refused to comply with the communist North Vietnam’s request to unite Vietnam as one country, the latter with the backing of other communist countries were not justified in waging war against the former. Under this, the support against the implementation of the JWPs can be evidenced in the sense that there were other possible avenues to address the concerns, which might include the non-governmental organizations, religious based organizations, and International Law on Human Rights (ILHR). Another example was witnessed when North Vietnam attacked the United States in 1964 (Blattberg 14). Though the American governments could argue that the war was justified in this case since the North Vietnamese interfered with their sovereignty, still there were other avenues to address the issues and reach a peaceful agreement under the international law.
To conclude, the adoption of the JWPs in the Vietnam War was not appropriate in the sense that it failed to establish a permanent agreement between the North and the South Vietnamese. In addition, it did not take into account the justice and moral principles; thus, it violated the fundamental human rights. Therefore, it should have just been adopted as the last resort.