Essay: Terrorist Acts May be Undertaken for Right Reasons

The first rule of jus ad bellum is just cause. Here, the view is that terrorist acts may be undertaken but only for the right reasons. There are various just causes that a nation may undertake terrorist acts such as the bid to forestall an enemy attack i.e. self-defense and protection of innocent civilians from opinionated aggression (Sageman 71)

The second rule is right intention, which states that any such operations must be conducted to fulfill the ‘just cause.’ jus ad bellum also requires such operations to be conducted by a Competent Authority and in due process through unanimous public declaration. The public declaration is intended to notify the enemy state. For example, Bush’s attack on Afghanistan was aimed (arguably) at annihilating the Taliban militia believed to use the region as their safe haven.

Similarly, such attacks must be as a measure of last resort i.e. after failed diplomatic effort, sanctions and economic embargo yet the enemy remains defiant.

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