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Just War and End Game Objectives in Iraq

Recorded on December 13, 2007

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

For fifteen hundred years, just war theory has provided a moral framework for thinking about and conducting war.  Developed primarily within the tradition of western Christian political thought, it has received renewed attention since the attacks of September 11, 2001 in the fields of political science, international relations, theology, ethics and military history.  Nations have traditionally approached just war theory as a set of principles to determine whether to enter and how to conduct armed conflict.  But can this tradition also shine light on the kind of political questions facing America at this latter phase of involvement in Iraq?  How can just war theory illuminate the evaluation of America's political goals in Iraq?  Can it help determine the essential objectives among various "benchmarks for success"?

Dr. Joseph Capizzi, Associate Professor of Moral Theology at Catholic University, will address such questions, followed by remarks from Dr. Kim Holmes, Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.  By explaining what just war theory is about and what it is designed to achieve, they will help examine the connections between this tradition of reflection and the decisions the United States faces concerning Iraq.