Just war doctrine as the Church articulates it is every inch a prudential concession to human weakness, not a “doctrine” and emphatically not a “dogma” in the sense of a positive teaching. What the Church teaches is peace first and foremost. War is to the normative life of the Church what amputation is to the normative practice of preventive medicine. Just War doctrine is formulated to try to make going to war as hard as possible, not to give us s trigger mechanism so that we can roll up our sleeves and commence slaughter just so long as we are somewhere in the ballpark of sort of fulfilling a couple of requirements. As the articles show, even then war is mighty hard to square with the gospel since it is fraught with so many morally intolerable situations. Still and all, we live in this world, not a perfect one and this brutal meat cleaver morality is sometimes the best our miserable race can muster. Just war is an act of stooping down to a race of barbarians, because we barbarians can’t (yet) do much better. Maybe someday we can do with war what we have (partially) done with the other endemic condition of fallen man, slavery.
Why Just War Theory is Called Just War Theory