The Elements of a Legitimate War

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For a war to be considered legitimate according to Just War Theory, it must fulfill the following five elements: Proper Authority (who may properly declare war and was war properly declared?); Just Cause (what event triggered war and does that event constitute and just cause?); Right Intention (what is the intention or purpose for declaring war and is that intention or purpose just?); Last Resort (have all reasonable efforts to resolve differences diplomatically been exhausted or was the declaration of war premature?) and Reasonable Hope for Success (is this war a fool's errand or is there cause to believe the war will in fact resolve the underlying issue?). If the war does not meet any of these five criteria, then it can be criticized on the basis that it was not justified. The First Gulf War, or Operation Desert Storm, certainly does not meet the requirements of just war theory. First, there was no proper authority. Not only was the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait unjustified by this account. The American intervention in Iraq was also unjust because war was never formerly declared by the president according to the United States Constitution or in accordance with international law. Second, the cause of the American intervention cannot be considered just. The objective for the invasion of Iraq was primarily financial and not humanitarian. Third, reasonable efforts to resolve differences diplomatically had been exhausted in the sense that it was impossible to engage reasonably
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