Augustine and Aquinas argue from an ethical perspective that war can be justified. If God can do nothing immoral than the wars of the Old Testament must be considered ethical or just. The perspective of many in the antiwar side is that all war is unjustified, and Jesus is always for peace. Is this justified? I don’t think so, nowhere in the New Testament does it condemn soldiers, and war basically isn’t talked about. Also can there be no opposition to evil? If we are complete pacifists what about the Police and arresting criminals. You see where absolute pacifism can lead.
So the question of a just war needs to be clarified. Can there be a just war? Yes, I believe there can. Is the war in Iraq just? Let’s look at what many in the church define as necessary for a just war:
Going to War: The first set of principles deals with reasons for a nation to go to war.
1. The war must be declared by a sovereign authority.
2. The cause must be just.
3. Those who fight must do so with the right intention of bringing about good and destroying evil.
4. War must be the last resort; all other methods for peaceful settlement through diplomacy must have been exhausted.
5. The good achieved as a result of the war must outweigh the evil which led to the war.
Conduct of War: The second set of principles deals with the modus operandi of a war.
1. Efforts should be taken to avoid civilian deaths.
2. The force used must be in proportion to the situation
Is the Iraq war just, or Israel in Lebanon? Does our definition of a just war need to be re-defined in light of jihad and radical Islam?