The just war theory is an idea from military ethics, theology, and political philosophy. The revival of the just war theory relates to the desire to find objective moral criteria of justification for the armed force. The primary goal of the concept is to provide a morally justifiable reason for war by creating a series of measures that must be met in armed struggle.
In March 2003, U.S.-British troops unilaterally launched a military operation against Iraq without United Nations sanction. The reason for the invasion was the information of American intelligence services, which claimed to have found evidence of the development of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; subsequently, no evidence was found. It is difficult to find a moral justification considering the situation in the just war theory.
It is possible to distinguish several criteria to assess whether the war was just or not. First, the power that launched the attack must have permission to do so from the society whose interests it represents. Second, war can only be initiated as a last resort when no other means are available. And third, the peace that emerges after the war must be better than the one that came before (Ngai, 2019). Thus, based on all the criteria put forward, conflict can be considered unjust.
The overthrow of Hussein followed, which destabilized Iraq and plunged the country into a long and bloody civil war between Sunnis and Shiites. On the one hand, the United States and its allies liberated Iraq from the dictator; also, Iraq’s relations with neighboring states improved. On the other hand, the country is becoming less and less democratic by the day. However, it is impossible to unequivocally assess whether the U.S. intervention has influenced these changes or whether it is a combination of factors accumulated both before and after the war.
Discussing the outcome and consequences of the intervention in Iraq, it isn’t easy to find reasons to justify U.S. actions. An opportunity to distract citizens from the critical issues of war and peace is to create uncertainty around questions concerning the causes of the war and its consequences. The people may be misinformed, then the idea of a just war disappears along with credibility. The war in Iraq, though a demonstration of American power, also shows its weakness.
Ngai, T. C. (2019). Was Iraq war a “just war” or just a war? An analysis from the perspectives of just war theory. Open Journal of Political Science, 9(02), 373. Web.