A Justification of War: America vs. the World
“I, ____, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”, this is the oath taken by members of the United States Army upon enlisting. This is the promise that the United States government sought to uphold when it made the decision to violate international law and invade Afghanistan and Iraq. In author Jean Bethke Elshtain’s “What is a Just War”, she attempts to make the case for the United States’ response to the September 11th attacks. Applying the theories of the “just war tradition”, Elshtain outlines the circumstances in which the use of military force is ethical and necessary, those being: maintaining civic peace and sustaining justice for the greater good.
After the 2001 terrorist attacks on America almost all racial, ethnical, and economical divisions ceased to exist and for the first time in a long time Americans united as one. And upon the initial declaration of war by former President Bush, many Americans shared in Elshtain’s sentiments that “Now we are reminded of what Governments are for” (294). Americans demanded that our government not only take action against our foreign enemies, but provide an explanation of how our safety and security was breached in the first place. Not all Americans were on board with the war, in fact, many asked themselves and our government how we had the right to attack another sovereign nation.
To answer this question one must first understand international law. The right of a sovereign nation, out lined by the Treaty of Westphalia, is the fundamental right of political self-determination and the right of non-intervention of one state in the internal affairs of another. Led by the United States, the United Nations was formed to act as an international government that could protect the rights of sovereign nations and sanction those who violate human rights. In the post September 11th political...