When policy-makers discuss issues of war and peace they structure policy to ensure the prosperity of their own nation. They think only about the effects on their nations. There are a number of viewpoints for deciding when war is appropriate, some based on morals, some based on costs and benefits. There are four theories that serve as justification for violence and wars. The main theories that explain policy decisions about war and peace are the theories of realism, pacifism, just-war, and the requirement of discrimination theory. The just-war theory is currently being applied to Iraq by the United States, which can help rid the world of weapons of mass destruction.
The realism theory is a basis for establishing a nation's policy. This theory implicates that moral norms should not be thought about when policy-making. The rights of the individual are limited, and cannot exceed the rights of the states. The rights of states surpass the rights of the individual even though the rights of the states originated from the rights of the individual. .
People who believe that there is no justification for war are called absolutists or Pacifists. They believe that the immorality of war cannot be challenged, and they are close-minded about the idea of change. Some Pacifists believe that while war is morally wrong, self-defense is acceptable. However, by believing in individual self-defense suggests that the Pacifists must believe in war to some extent simply because war is often an act of self-defense.
The just-war theory serves as a median between realism and pacifism. The just-war theory provides the common-sense aspect for the use of violence by the individual as well as the common-sense aspect for violence by the state. It defends the use of violence in war. The two components are the theory of ends and the theory of means. The theory of ends discusses the allowable conditions to support war. The theory of means discusses the limits of allowable war.