The Bitter Fruit of an Unjust War, an Unjust Peace

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is immoral under the just war doctrine and illegal under international law. It now seems clear that whatever the (morally flawed) intention of launching the war, Putin is now intent on imposing an even more sinful unjust peace by systematically waging war in such a way as to undermine the ability of the Ukrainian government to govern. Or as Eric Patterson, Ph.D., executive vice president of the Religious Freedom Institute in Washington, DC, writes:

“As we enter the third week of the Russian invasion, part of Moscow’s operational plan seems to be to cause as much destruction and mayhem as possible. Why do this? To create disorder. It is not clear what Russia’s original game plan was, but at this point, the shelling of cities suggests an increasingly scorched-earth approach that is designed to decimate Ukraine before Russian troops pull back to some sort of defensible line. This creation of a sort of buffer wasteland, in tandem with a spiteful wanton destruction designed to punish Ukraine for fighting back, is, at its root, a policy specifically designed to erode the ability of Ukraine’s government to provide the three essential elements of political order: governance, domestic security, and international security (i.e., freedom from imminent external threats).”