A pre-emptive strike is an attack made against another country as a response to a threat from that country. It is an attack done to stop the threatening country from carrying out their plan.
A good example is the Six Day war in 1967, in which Israel made a pre-emptive strike against Egypt after Egypt had:
- Announced a policy of hostility against Israel.
- Put its military forces on maximum alert.
- Strengthened its forces on the Israeli border.
- Formed military alliances with Israel’s enemies.
So, with this information, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike.
Those in support say:
- It is right to act in response to a threat before it is too late.
- Without doing so, it may result in invasion and higher casualty rates.
- The side doing so is the aggressor, the other side has yet to do anything direct towards them.
- It can often be done before the official declaration of war.