To insist that any civilized nation attempt to combat irrational, hostile nations or terrorist organizations by following international law is itself irrational. The UN and international law in general need to be able to adjust to face unique threats. Fighting an enemy that does not adhere to rules of warfare or international law while “playing by the rules” is a recipe for disaster. A simple example of this is the use of uniforms. The Geneva Conventions provided that lawful combatants must wear a distinguishable uniform. In Iraq and Afghanistan the enemy wore no uniforms while American soldiers are required to wear them. How does a soldier identify the enemy if he wears no uniform? There is little argument that our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan were not following international law. The argument then turns to how we deal with nations and organizations like these.
To effectively combat irrational, hostile nations or terrorist organizations we need to understand that following international law regarding warfare will only make for a drawn out conflict with a much higher casualty rate. We need to be able to adjust to the particulars of the situation without having our hands tied by international law that only we are expected to adhere to. Rules and laws only work in warfare when all involved parties adhere to them. Those days are over. To be clear, my position is not that we abandon morality and ethics, however we must empower ourselves to be able to effectively combat irrational, hostile enemies.
Our decision to invade Iraq was just. How the idea was sold to the American public was not, this in my opinion was the administrations greatest fault. There is no doubt that Iraq posed a significant threat to our nation and others and that its leader needed to be ousted. Whether the preemptive decision to invade was based on the belief that they possessed WMD is, in my opinion, inconsequential. Ethically, we know that utilitarians would evaluate...
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