Small Wars Journal

Thoughts on Counterinsurgency and Just War

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The issue of counterinsurgency both in terms of practice and theory is debated across academia and within military and policy circles covering all aspects of COIN.  There is a notable lack in the literature in how we reconcile COIN both in theory and practice with the ethical concepts laid out in Just War theory particularly jus in bello.  Counterinsurgency, in general, challenges the underpinnings of Just War in such a way that makes it necessary to mediate on the Just War criterion in relation to the theory of COIN and how COIN is practiced.  This essay will serve as that mediation.  

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About the Author(s)

Sina Kashefipour is a M.A. student in the International Affairs program at Florida State University. His studies focus on the Shia of Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan particularly the politics of religion and religious politics in the aforementioned countries.And he also studies war from the perspective of history, theory, and ethics. Currently he is writing his thesis on Iran's foreign policy in the Arab world from the perspective of religion.