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The website of the Westmorland General Meeting 'Preparing for Peace' initiative





Questionnaire for judging whether war is justified on humanitarian


These questions are derived from the lecture given to the Preparing for Peace Project by General Sir Hugh Beach

CBE, KCB, MC on July 14th, 2001


  1. Is the government being attacked guilty of serious aggression or large scale abuse of  human rights?
  2. Who is waging the war? Do they have a recognised right to do so?
  3. Has the war stopped at the point where the initial aims were achieved?
  4. Is the war winnable?
  5. Were all peaceful means of solving the problems given a serious trial and have they clearly failed?
  6. Is the destruction caused by the military action in proportion to what is needed to achieve the aims?
  7. Has every effort been made to prevent civilian casualties?


General Beach saw action in the Second World War in France and the East Indies. After the war he rose to be Commander of the 12th Infantry Brigade, Commandant of the Ministry of Defence Staff College, then Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Land Forces in the UK, Master-General of the Ordinance and Chief Royal Engineer.

Since retiring from the army he has been a member of the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland Peace Forum, a member of the Council for Christian Approaches to Defence and Disarmament, a leading figure in the campaign against land-mines and a speaker and writer on peace and disarmament issues.

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