Debate: Can War Ever Be Justified? Mark Welton vs. David Swanson

End war

Image by Ricky Leong via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy
February 24, 2022

This debate was held online on February 23, 2022, and was co-sponsored by World BEYOND War Central Florida and Veterans For Peace Chapter 136 The Villages, FL. The debaters were:

Arguing the Affirmative:
Dr. Mark Welton is Professor Emeritus at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is an expert in International and Comparative (U.S., European, and Islamic) Law, Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, and Constitutional Law. He has authored chapters and articles on Islamic law, European Union law, international law, and the rule of law. He was Past Deputy Legal Advisor, United States European Command; Chief, International Law Division, U.S. Army Europe.

Arguing the Negative:
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of World BEYOND War and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include Leaving WWII Behind, Twenty Dictators Currently Supported by the U.S., War Is A Lie and When the World Outlawed War. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk World Radio. He is a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and was awarded the 2018 Peace Prize by the U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation.

In polling of participants in the webinar at the beginning of the debate, 22% said war can be justified, 47% said it cannot, and 31% said they were not sure.

At the end of the debate, 20% said war can be justified, 62% said it cannot, and 18% said they were not sure.

WorldBeyondWar.org on Feb 23, 2022

[Note: debate begins at 7:44 minutes into the video.]


David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include Leaving World War II Behind (2020), Curing Exceptionalism: What’s wrong with how we think about the United States? What can we do about it? (2018) and War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Support David’s work.

From the archives:

Melinda Butterfield: No War! U.S./NATO hands off Russia and Donbass

4 Big Reasons Not To Go To War In Ukraine, by Rivera Sun

WWII Was Not Fought To Save Anyone From Death Camps, by David Swanson

10 Ways We Pretend War Is Not a Crime and How to Change Them by David Swanson

David Swanson: If Everybody Matters, War Can Never Be Justified At All

David Swanson VS Pete Kilner: Is War Ever Justifiable?

David Swanson: Why End War

David Swanson: The Case for Abolishing War + Transcript

Howard Zinn: Myths of the Good Wars (Three Holy Wars) (must-see)

Top 12 Reasons the Good War was Bad – Hiroshima in Context by David Swanson

David Swanson and John Dear on Catholic Church Rejecting “Just War” Theory

One thought on “Debate: Can War Ever Be Justified? Mark Welton vs. David Swanson

  1. Pingback: Debate: Can War Ever Be Justified? Arnold August vs. David Swanson – Dandelion Salad

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