Talk:Casus belli

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Early threads[edit]

The last sentence of the second paragraph is, "The OED, however, gives the pronunciation above." But no pronunciation is given.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:03, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

The section on Turkey and Greece is completely incomprehensible. 22:57, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

In the Six-Day War section it says Egypt's blockade was only in egypts soveriegn territory but I remeber reading it was at elast partly in international waters. Could somebody please check into this?

Lophoole 01:31, 23 December 2006 (UTC)Lophoole

No confusion: 1. Say what it means. 2. Quote how it has been used in the past. 3. Describe how it has been legitimately extended. 4. Briefly mention erroneous whatevers. Otherwise you get tied in knots, as here. --Wetman 11:03, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The article says "It is often misspelt and mispronounced as 'causus belli'..." and "'Casus belli' is also pronounced this way". This is confusing. Are you saying that it should or should not be pronounced like the English word "cause"? And if it shouldn't, perhaps someone could include information on how to correctly pronounce it? Thanks.

"Today casus belli is also used to indicate a French role-playing game magazine and computer wargames."

Does this mean that there's actually both a French RPG magazine and a computer game called Casus Belli? If so, why doesn't it just say that. The way it's worded here gives the impression that 'casus belli' is a genre of computer game. I also don't like the use of 'Today'. It seems redundant - the word 'is' does the job of tying its use down to the present.

I did some updates on the article, adding the sections "Cause of Use" and "Historic Uses" --Cbrams 19:29, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Refactored it all a bit to clean up language, reduce redundancy and such. Sfnhltb 13:30, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Under "Historic Uses", the bullet point about Hitler going into Czechoslovakia needs a substantial rewrite. I had a go at rewriting certain parts, but I can't help but feel I just made it harder to read! I also think that "Lebensraum" is used wrongly here.--El Zilcho 18:49, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Yeah it's improving slowly, although it's getting a bit long for an example, still I guess it's one of the best to use as it one of the better known by the majority of readers. I was considering adding the example from the current Gulf War, but that runs the risk of making this article contentious, even though it would have the benefit of updating it to a more recent and well known example. Sfnhltb 12:19, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Shouldn't there be more examples for historic uses? Trough history there must have been more than two wars which made use of 'cassus belli'.--Soetermans 18:17, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I think it could be added the American-Spanish war of 1898, in Cuba, Puerto Rico and Philippines.--Vbroto

Historic uses...[edit]

Probably the most obvious (and quite clear?) example is WWI Casus belli - assasination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

Yes, that would be appropriate. Also because it shows a casus belli backfiring. The Germans believing a swift declaration of war by Austria against Serbia would make Austria look like the victim defending itself, but the timespace between assassination and war made it look too premeditated. Also, I think the article misses a section on the role of casus belli compared to the many inter-european treaties - how defensive treaties made it necessary for countries to construct a role for themselves as the victim to get help, while constructing the other part as the aggressor, in order to keep them from getting help from their allies. Poulsen 13:44, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

I dont know where to put this but hitler's pretext for the incorporation of czechville into the reich wasn't Lebensraum...but that ethnic germans were living in the Sudatenland, were being oppressed, and deserved the glory of joining and serving the new aryan order.

pop culture[edit]

A quick look around suggests that wag the dog came out before the monica lewinsky affair broke.

this is correct, according to IMDB, Wag the Dog was premiered on 17 Dec 1997 and according to the wikipedia article on the Lewinsky scandal, the scandal broke a month later (17 Jan 1998) on the Drudge Report. Ealdent 13:27, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
"the president uses a pretext to attack Albania"for reference, I don't believe that the US actually attacks ablania in the film, they just pretend to. 11:22, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

From a few spot checks, I couldn't find any secondary sources attesting to the significance of any of the remaining references. I'll be bold and remove the section for now, but if I've overlooked some sources, adding the reference back properly sourced would be very helpful. --Sneftel (talk) 17:06, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Actually, that's not quite true... the phrase doesn't show up in synopses, but a couple of the references are for works where casus belli is a primary motif. I'll leave those in. --Sneftel (talk) 17:08, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

2003 United States / Iraq War[edit]

"As of October 31st, 2006 the US administration has denied that this is the case" [emphasis added]. What is "this"? Is it that there are WMDs in Iraq? or that the claim that there were WMDs in Iraq was a pretext? Kencomer 12:08, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Also, a citation would be useful, particularly if the latter interpretation was intended. Kryptx 08:08, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Whatever the wording, it's probably worth having a line added that explains that there weren't any, and that, intentionally or otherwise, the claims were incorrect (or false). Sigma-6 03:43, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

The claims had been verified by the UN, of which 2,000 canisters of chemical weapons had been found between 2004-2006, and four soldiers hospitalized for nerve agent exposure after an IED struck their convoy. What was not found was the scale in which United States officials believed to have existed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:35, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

It wasn't in wide use until the 19th century[edit]

Hi I'm lookgin for a source thay supports this statement:

Despite the apparent age that the use of Latin confers on it, the term did not come into wide usage until the late nineteenth century with the rise of the political doctrine of "jus ad bellum" or "just war theory".

Thanks, nyenyec  15:06, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Merge of Proschema[edit]

There has been a merge tag on Proschema for eight months. I'm re-proposing the merge with templates on both articles. This merge seems strait forwards and I'll do it in a couple of days if nobody objects. --Selket Talk 05:16, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Lebensraum a casus belli?[edit]

I hardly think so. Lebensraum was not a justification, it was an actual Hitler doctrine, and such an aggressive doctrine could hardly serve as a viable casus belli. I don't know what Hitler's cb for annexation of Czechoslovakia was, assuming he bothered with one, but "lebensraum" seems an unlikely candidate. Gatoclass 06:02, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I couldn't tolerate the wrongheaded write-up of lebensraum as a casus belli any longer, but it couldn't be fixed without rewriting much of the section, which I've done. As an added advantage I think the cb examples are also much clearer now. Gatoclass 11:26, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Czechoslovakia wasn't annexed. President Hacha asked Hitler to make it a protectorate. -- (talk) 10:07, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

War on Terror Reasons[edit]

"Viewed from this perspective, the basis for war was not entirely dependent on the possible presence of weapons of mass destruction. They became a focus of media attention due to the potential risk they posed if they were present. This attention led to may people seeing them as the single justification for military action."

Note the last line, "This attention led many people seeing them as the single justification for military action."

The reason there is controversy is that the term "Weapons of Mass Destruction" was used by the administration as a casus belli to the American people, not the official session in congress which ratified the war. Would congress have voted the same if public opinion had not been swayed by the claim that Iraq had "Weapons of Mass Destruction"? Consider that when noting the NPOV of this section. 02:25, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

The entire paragraph was original research anyway. I've deleted it. Gatoclass 21:38, 17 May 2007 (UTC)


About the line "It is often misspelled and mispronounced as 'causus belli'"... can Latin be mispronounced? I heard there's no existing means of verifying correct pronunciation of this extinct language. I tend to pronounce it simarly to Spanish, in which case the first syllable of "casus" does indeed sound similar to the English word "cause" (to me, anyway).

No. It is a Turkish Phrase. Not Latin. In Turkish "casus = spy" and "belli = apparent" The whole meaning is "The spy is apparent" Maybe it could be pass the Arabish or Hebrew or English from Ottoman language. But we are, I mean Turks use this phase today. Thx Kızılsungur 20:35, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Here it is: kāˈsəs bělˈī :Alcmaeonid 14:15, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Yellowcake in Iraq[edit]

I just rv'ed the following:

Also, the Bush Administration alleged that Iraq attempted to acquire yellowcake uranium from Niger. Despite the charge that the administration's allegations were dubious and partly based on forged documents, the United States government eventually found 550 metric tons of uranium yellowcake in Iraq. This had previously been kept secret to prevent the theft of the material for use in making weapons.

This was sourced from [1], but that article says:

And, in a symbolic way, the mission linked the current attempts to stabilize Iraq with some of the high-profile claims about Saddam's weapons capabilities in the buildup to the 2003 invasion....Israeli warplanes bombed a reactor project at the site in 1981. Later, U.N. inspectors documented and safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said.

If I'm reading that right, the link between the two cakes is purely nominal. Worth documenting in WP, certainly, but probably not in such a tangential article, particularly with Rationale for the Iraq War, Iraq and weapons of mass destruction, and Niger uranium forgeries (dear god won't some wiki-juggernaut please fix that article) available for addition. The news story, after all, discusses material which was known well before the war, and not used as a casus belli. --Sneftel (talk) 22:04, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Exact meaning[edit]

The exact meaning of "casus belli" appears to be act of war. Is there some reason to explain about "rupture", "incident" or "case"? --Vuo (talk) 20:16, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

It's not generally possible to give an "exact meaning" of a given foreign-language phrase, let alone one in a language as ambiguous as latin. Certainly "act" doesn't translate "casus" well, as it connotes specific performance rather than occurrence. Dicdef here. On the other hand, "rupture" is a little far-fetched in this context. --Sneftel (talk) 18:12, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Jericho error[edit]

The weapons that New Bern was making were mortars, not motors. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:53, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Removed text[edit]

I removed the line "Any war for another cause is considered illegal and those who engage in it subject to prosecution for a war crime." as deeply partial (there were, in fact, two tags on it "[by whom?]" and "[citation needed]"). (War may not be preferable, but calling it "illegal" and "war crimes" is beyond mere hyperbole.) (talk) 04:26, 17 April 2010 (UTC) A REDDSON

Casus Belli: Punic Wars[edit]

  • 2nd Punic War

In order to recover from the debts incurred from the peace terms of the 1st Punic War, Carthage established a stable and wealthy province in Spain as well as a strong army to protect it. Rome, in disapproval towards the economic recovery of Carthage, waited for an excuse to strike back at them and used the Siege of Saguntum as casus belli for the 2nd Punic War.

  • 3rd Punic War

Rome established a casus belli by imposing a provision on Carthage which denied them the right to make war without their consent and by allowing Numidian encroachments into their territory. --Arima (talk) 06:47, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Casus Belli: Vietnam War[edit]

The assertion that Robert McNamara admitted the Tonkin Gulf attack "did not happen" in the film The Fog of War is patently untrue. The incident involved two alleged attacks, and he admits that one of the two did not occur, but vehemently asserts that the earlier attack did. I've seen this assertion put forth in a number of internet forums, and there are some nicely edited Youtube clips of McNamara saying "It didn't happen." Context is important though, and to the day he died, Robert McNamara never said that the Maddox was not attacked - only that it was attacked once rather than twice. brorlob (talk) 05:42, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

This section is still confused. The Gulf of Tonkin incident is most widely used to describe events which took place over a few days, not as two separate incidents. While the case put before the Congress was that the Maddox had been attacked twice, and was not made until after the second attack, the fact remains that the first attack on the Maddox by the North Vietnamese did occur. Why crazed peaceniks feel the need to imply that it's okay to fire shells at a US destroyer in international waters is beyond me. The fact is: THE GULF OF TONKIN INCIDENT DID HAPPEN, AND IT INCLUDED AN UNPROVOKED ATTACK ON A US DESTROYER IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS. The idea that Robert McNamara said there was no casus belli for Vietnam is pure fantasy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brorlob (talkcontribs) 22:51, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Casus belli: Korean War[edit]

Lets just remind ourselves that the position of the red koreans was simply "since they are planing to invade us we will invade them" when the army of korea was SMALLER and LESS WELL TRAINED than the north korean army. sure we can always add in the fact that communist armies invariably fuck up big time when it comes to war (russia got invaded and it took a winter that was considered colder than average (in other words dumb luck) to save the russians)(vietnam was a epic fail for the most part until some dumbass democrats managed to make the US surrender) so we could call the false statements made by kim whatshisface a casus belli (HE INVADED A SORVEIGN NATION FOR NO GOOD REASON)

sure your gonna compare this to the legitmate threat mad in israel but in that case the arabs outnumber israelis largely and it was israeli intelligence, cunning, and good sense to buy american weapons instead of russian ones that won. they were NOT sure they can win

IPA Pronunciation[edit]

IPA pronunciation is needed. -- (talk) 06:34, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Israel attacks Gaza[edit]

Rockets launched from Gaza (by whom?) into Israel referred to as a casus belli. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:48, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

World War Two[edit]

"In August 1939, in order to implement the first phase of this policy, Germany's Nazi government under Hitler's leadership staged the Gleiwitz incident, which was used as a casus belli for the invasion of Poland the following September."
That simply isn't true. Hitler or for that matter any official outlets did not cite the Gleiwitz incident ever as a reason for the war. The only evidence for that incident is testimony of Naujocks (a defector) and I think of the head of the Gestapo while in captivity. Why would the Gleiwitz incident be needed anyway. There were numerous attacks from Polish territory on Germany and Poland did engage in an Alliance with Britain that was specifically designed against Germany. Poland also had a general mobilization days earlier. -- (talk) 10:12, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Wow, this article sure looks biased and non-neutral.[edit]

Every example after WW2 gives fairly skimpy examples, concentrated on Israel and the US. I think that this provides a very non-neutral slant to the article. --Agamemnus (talk) 08:21, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Umm ... What other wars have their been that would make better examples that don't involve Israel and the US?  Philg88 talk 09:11, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
There are other problems as well. Some of it is urban legend. -- (talk) 09:31, 8 May 2015 (UTC)


Per this edit, the usage of the page was established as American English. Kindly maintain it consistently pending a new consensus to the contrary. — LlywelynII 00:46, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

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