Naval War College Review

Article Title

Jus Post Bellum


Coalition nations enjoyed swift and decisive military victories in Operations DESERT STORM, ENDURING FREEDOM, and most recently, IRAQI FREEDOM. 1 At first look, these decisive military victories should prove that in regard to America’s application of military force, it is no longer a question of if its military will win its major battles but of when and how: The outcome of war used to be the overriding question. Nowadays, when it is West vs. non-West, the vast disparity in economics, technology, materiel, training and or- ganization virtually assures a Western victory. This assumed, the attention focuses on very different matters, such as the duration of hostilities and the number of casualties.2 Unfortunately, the post-battle experiences of these same operations illustrate the difficulty of achieving post bellum objectives and, in particular, the ultimate goal of all just conflicts—the establishment of a just and lasting peace.