Iraq War

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Iraq War, Unjust or Just

On March 19th 2003, President George W Bush opened his address to the nation by saying “My fellow citizens, at this hour American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.” (CNN) Bush’s address was the beginning of a costly and long war that resulted in hundreds of thousands of causalities and a hefty increase in national debt. As the U.S slowly recovers from the tragedies caused by the Iraq War, Americans questioned the original justification for the U.S government to invade Iraq.
There is no seldom-clear way to determine the justification for war but for centuries philosophers have used just war theory to assess the morality of it. Essentially, just war theory is a set ethical principals used to assess war. Just war theory is split into two categories: ‘the right to go to war’ (jus ad bellum) and ‘right conduct in war’ (jus de bellum). While assessing the Iraq War, jus ad bellum (JAB) will be referred too in order to determine U.S’s justification for declaring war. JAB consists of six criterion, which all must be met in order for a declaration of war to be classified as morally just. The first and most significant criterion, especially in the case of Iraq War, is that the state must have a just cause to engage in war. Secondly only a legitimate authority can declare war, meaning that it must be declared by a political system that allows distinctions of justice. The next criterion establishes that a state must have rightful intentions when fighting said war. Furthermore a war must show proportionality in the balance between good and harm it does, essentially the benefits of winning must out weigh the costs of fighting. The last two criteria of JAB are that war must be a state’s last resort and the state must have a reasonable chance of success before the war is declared (Lee 70) The following assessment of the Iraq War’s ability

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