Just War Doctrine And The Gulf Conflict Essay

Just War Doctrine And The Gulf Conflict Essay

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Just War Doctrine and the Gulf Conflict


     In 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 Bellum

Jus 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 probab...


... middle of paper ...


... possible.
Though the US possessed immense destructive capabilities they employed only
that necessary to get the job done. The most effective aspect of the coalition
forces was their air assault. The various jet-fueled fighters and bombers the
US employed were more than capable of turning Iraq quite literally into a
parking lot. They did not. Instead bombing occurred only where enemy forces or
enemy armament was suspected to be stored. Civilian areas were not fired upon
unless a threat, such as an anti-aircraft gun, was placed in a civilian area,
and in these instances pin-point missiles were used to eliminate the threat with
as little destruction to the surrounding area as possible. This adheres to the
moral means doctrine which finds indiscriminate weapons unjust. Though the US
was authorized to use any and all means they employed nothing more than what was
necessary to complete the job adequately.

     As I stated above UN Resolution 678 left the door wide open to possible
violations of International Law. Despite this US went beyond the call of duty
to assure that its role in the Gulf conflict was just. Risking their own well
being, US pilots often gav

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