Just War Doctrine And The Gulf Conflict

1381 words - 6 pages

Just War Doctrine and the Gulf ConflictIn evaluating US involvement in the Iraq conflict in terms of the Just War Doctrine - jus ad bellum and jus in bello - it is my opinion that the US adhered to the Doctrine in its entirety. The US acted justly both in its entering into the Gulf conflict (jus ad bellum) and in its conduct while in the conflict (jus in bello). To support this opinion I will individually address the co parts that constitute the Just War Doctrine and show how US participation in the Iraq war abstained from violating the tenets of either co-part.Jus Ad BellumJus Ad Bellum, the justness of entering into conflict consists of six primary tenets: legitimate authority, just cause, proportionality, right intention, chance of success, and last resort.1. Legitimate Authority - Only those of legitimate authority may justly lead its country into war. This tenet disqualify revolutionaries, radicals and/or subversives who seek to justly initiate war. War is to be the decisions of the head of state and is to be subject to their guidance.2. Just Cause - A just conflict may not be initiated void of just cause. This tenet disallows justifying war for the purpose of economic gain, land acquisition, or strategic position. If war is to be justly initiated just cause, usually humanitarian, must first exist.3. Right Intention - This relates to the tenet of just cause. Just cause must be followed by right intention. It would be unjust seek a goal devoid of the just cause.4. Proportionality - Also in relation to just cause is the tenet of proportionality. Proportionality must exist between the cause and the decision to go to war. For country (a) to initiate a total war with country (b) because of a minor violation that country (b) was responsible for would be unproportional and unjust. There is not cause enough to warrant country (b) being subjected to a total war.5. Chance of Success - War must be initiated with a chance of success. It would be unjust to lead people into a war they have no chance of winning. It would more just to bow to superiority and fight another day than to commit to a policy of suicide.6. Last Resort - This is probably the most important of the jus ad bellum tenets. War should be the last resort. Every diplomatic effort should be made to achieve a just cause without conflict. Only after all non-conflictory options have been exhausted should war be committed to.As to the question of whether or not the US adhered to the tenet of jus ad bellum the reply is a resounding yes. The US, under legitimate authority undertook the just cause of alleviating the plight of a coalition partner. Saddam Husseins invasion of Kuwait was unjust, or at least in violation of the Just War Doctrine, and the US sought to reconcile matters. The goal, the removal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait, was a just one and was pursued proportionally. For nearly six months the US and other UN/coalition partners made every diplomatic effort to resolve the confl...


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