Just war theory and how it relates to Desert Storm and the war in Afghanistan “Just war theory is a doctrine of military ethics of Roman philosophical and Catholic origin, studied by moral theologians, ethicists and international policy makers, which hold that a violent conflict ought to meet philosophical, religious or political criteria” (Just war theory)…
Operations Desert Storm or Gulf war was conducted during 17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991, between an UN-authorized coalition forces from 34 nations against Iraq. The UN coalition forces were headed by America and the reason for this war was Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. George Bush Sr. was the American president at that time. The current Afghan war was started in 2001, immediately after the 9/11 incident. This war is often labeled as war on terror and the reason cited for this war was that terrorists use Afghan soil for conducting violent activities across the world. Taliban was accused for keeping nexus with other terrorist organizations in the world. In other words, America suspects that Taliban, Al Qaida and other terrorist organizations are working against America from Afghan soil. Politicians and neutral observers have different opinions about operation desert storm and Afghan war. Some people support these wars whereas others oppose it. This paper analyses operation desert storm and Afghan war in terms of just war theory. Historically, the just war tradition may be said to commonly evolve between two culturally similar enemies. That is, when an array of values are shared between two warring peoples, we often find that they implicitly or explicitly agree upon limits to their warfare. But when enemies differ greatly because of different religious beliefs, race, or language, and as such they see each other as “less than human”, war conventions are rarely applied (Mosely). Gulf War took place between two culturally similar countries. Muslims or Arabs in Kuwait and Iraq have same religious beliefs and customs. There are plenty of similarities between Iraqis and Kuwaitis. Under such circumstances, one can definitely conclude that just war theory is definitely applicable to Gulf war. On the other hand, war in Afghanistan is taking place between Christian dominated America and Muslim dominated Taliban or Afghan people. Even though Muslims and Christians do have a common father in Abraham (Jewism, Islam and Christianity are three Abrahamic religions), their beliefs and customs are entirely different. Christians believe that Jesus the saviour of human kind whereas Muslims believe that Prophet Mohammad is the saviour of humans. In short, Afghan war cannot be included under the just war theory since two culturally different parties are fighting each other here. “It has been the concern of the majority of just war theorists that the lack of rules to war or any asymmetrical morality between belligerents should be denounced, and that the rules of war should apply to all equally” (Mosely). Saddam’s ambitions to expand Iraq’s territory were resulted in Gulf War. Iraq failed to accept Kuwait as a sovereign state and they tried to conquer it using muscle power. Saddam argued that Kuwait is part of Iraq historically and it should be added to Iraq’s territories. On the other hand, international community was not convinced by these arguments and the result was Gulf War. On the other hand, 9/11 caused war on terror and Afghan war. America started two war fronts; one in Afghanistan and another in Iraq immediately after the 9/11 incident. America believed that Saddam has joined hands with Al Quaid leader Osama to conduct terrorist activities in America. In their opinion, the Taliban dominated Afghanistan was the origin of all ...
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