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Iraq War Invasion

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jstevenson12
Words 3928
Pages 16
In May 2003, the United States began the daunting task of nation building in Iraq by rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure and reformulating its political institutions. The military's role in modern stability operations, though seemingly new, fits into a preexisting American foreign policy formula. However, the military sees stability operations through contemporary ethical lenses. Since each case depends upon current ethical understanding about what the military should or should not do, past examples of stability operations do not necessarily provide fitting frameworks for modern efforts. This article focuses on ethical abstractions as well as the ways national and social views of how "right" and "wrong" translate into political and military application, and it examines examples of stability operations and the ethical challenges and implications such efforts raise.1
Morality in Post-war Operations
Even though moral rhetoric often permeates stability operations, international stability and perceived strategic interests have overridden moral obligations as determinants for American military commitments. A study of the ethical implications of conducting stability operations today bridges a historiographic gap in the understanding of morality in warfare. Scholars have often alluded to the prevalence of the just war tradition in (Western) military thought.2 However, the Just War model is insufficient when discussing stability operations because it only describes jus ad bellum (rationale for going to war in the first place) and jus in bello (appropriate conduct during war).3 The moral reasons for going to war are not always the same as the reasons the victor uses to justify occupation of the defeated nation. Jus in bello does continue to have relevance during stability operations, particularly when armed hostilities exist between "insurgents" and the government, unarmed...

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