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Morality and WarCan War Be Just in the Twenty-first Century?$
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David Fisher

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599240

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599240.001.0001

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10. Gulf Wars

10. Gulf Wars

Chapter:
(p.191) 10. Gulf Wars
Source:
Morality and War
Author(s):

David Fisher (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599240.003.0011

This chapter compares and contrast two Gulf Wars, 1990–1 and 2003. It concludes that the First Gulf War, on the whole, met the just‐war criteria. It assesses the different reasons for the Second Gulf War adduced by the US and UK governments (and at different times by Mr Blair); and whether and why the governments believed Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). It concludes that the Second Gulf War, although fought, in the main, for honourable motives, failed fully to meet any of the just‐war criteria. These individual failures built up cumulatively to support the conclusion that the war was unjust, undertaken without sufficient just cause and without adequate planning to ensure a just outcome. The political leaders exercised insufficient practical wisdom. Coalition forces should not, however, now be precipitately withdrawn regardless of the consequences. Those who broke the peace have a responsibility to restore it.

Keywords:   Tony Blair, First Gulf War, Iraq, just cause, just outcome, Second Gulf War, US government reasons for war, UK government reasons for war, weapons of mass destruction

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