From “The Conflict Against Al Qaeda and its Affiliates: How Will It End?”, a talk given by Jeh Charles Johnson, General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Defense, at the Oxford Union, Oxford University, on 30 November 2012.
“War” must be regarded as a finite, extraordinary and unnatural state of affairs. War permits one man – if he is a “privileged belligerent,” consistent with the laws of war — to kill another. War violates the natural order of things, in which children bury their parents; in war parents bury their children. In its 12th year, we must not accept the current conflict, and all that it entails, as the “new normal.” Peace must be regarded as the norm toward which the human race continually strives.