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

By World BEYOND War, 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 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 and 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.

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