This book offers a detailed utilitarian analysis of the ethical issues involved in war. The work has two goals: one is to provide a treatment of the basic ethical problems of war that is both morally attractive and philosophically credible; the other is to enrich our understanding of utilitarianism by applying it to this domain. It addresses the two basic ethical questions posed by war: when, if ever, are we morally justified in waging war and, if recourse to arms is warranted, how are we permitted to fight the wars we wage? It provides answers to those questions as they arise for both traditional military encounters and for asymmetrical conflicts involving non-state actors. Although other works have dealt with these or related issues, they have rarely done so in a comprehensive way or from a sustained theoretical perspective. Instead, they have relied on their moral intuitions, ad-hoc appeals to moral rights, or scattered elements of just war theory. What is distinctive about this book is that it provides a consistent consequentialist treatment of the ethics of war.
Although philosophically sophisticated and written for a specialist readership, the book does not presuppose prior expertise in moral theory or the ethics of war. This book will be of much interest to students of the ethics of war, just war theory, moral philosophy, war and conflict studies and IR.