Defensive war

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A defensive war (German: Verteidigungskrieg) is one of the causes that justify war by the criteria of the Just War tradition. It means a war where at least one nation is mainly trying to defend itself from another, as opposed to a war where both sides are trying to invade and conquer each other.[citation needed]


American supporters of war against the British argued that the War of 1812 was a defensive war.[1]



Islamic scholar Sufyan al-Thawri (716–778), who Khadduri (1909–2007) called a pacifist, maintained that jihad (holy war) was only a defensive war.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Troy Bickham (1 June 2012). The Weight of Vengeance: The United States, the British Empire, and the War of 1812. Oxford University Press. pp. 95–. ISBN 978-0-19-994262-6.
  2. ^ A. Al-Dawoody (2011). The Islamic Law of War: Justifications and Regulations. Springer. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-230-11808-9.