casus belli

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Casus Belli

[Latin, Cause of war.] A term used in International Law to describe an event or occurrence giving rise to or justifying war.

Cross-references

War.

casus belli

‘cause of war’, the event that is said to justify a war.
References in periodicals archive ?
Not only did the academy lose many of its cherished sons-about 300 West Pointers died in Southeast Asia-but when Americans grew weary of the conflict, their hostility inevitably was directed at the academy, as though it was the causus belli rather than an instrument of the war.