Justifying the War in Afghanistan

Topics: United States, Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden Pages: 7 (2499 words) Published: February 5, 2007
Justifying the War in Afghanistan

Before arguing whether or not the war in Afghanistan was a just or unjust war, I am going to give some history about what was happening before 911 or talks of war even began. The Taliban was the government in Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001. The Taliban means "Students of Islamic Knowledge Movement". They came into power during the civil war in Afghanistan, and were detested from the world community because of their actions. They held about 90% of the country's territory, their policies, including how they treated women and how they supported terrorists. The Taliban's power was taken away from them in December of 2001 by the U.S. military and Afghani opposition forces in response to 911.

The Taliban government harbored Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terrorist group. Afghanistan refused to turn over Bin Laden so the U.S. and UN coalition forces invaded. This is when the Taliban's power was taken away from them and many terrorist camps in Afghanistan were destroyed. Basically negotiating with the Taliban was like negotiating with a terrorist group which is unacceptable by the United States government. So I believe that invading the country with military forces and declaring war was the only successful decision the American government could have made. We are a very powerful country, and we couldn't allow an irrational terrorist group to disrupt our society without protecting ourselves and there being some kind of retaliation. The war in Afghanistan has been discussed over and over whether it is a just or unjust war. There are two sides to every story, and each side makes valid points. I happen to agree with the opinion that the war in Afghanistan was a just war. Augustine was one of the first theorists to come up with criteria for there being a just war. They were later revised and added to by other theorists. The seven properties of Jus Ad Bellum, which means justice before war, are legitimate authority, proportionality, right intention, probability of success, last resort, comparative justice, and just cause. These are Walzer's criterion for a just war. I believe that all of these criteria were met and justified, but some have stronger arguments than others do.

I believe that the criterion of legitimate authority was met. President Bush stood behind the war and believed in it 100%. Congress also stood by his decision and supported the funding of the war and agreed with keeping soldiers in Afghanistan. Even though the UN didn't approve of the war, I believe the United States was still justified in starting it because we had the approval and support of our government. Currently the government has approved $81 billion being used to fund this war. If your own government has the authority to spend that much money on a war, it is legitimate.

The criterion of proportionality was also met considering the amount of lives that were lost because of the attacks of 911 compared to the amount of lives that were lost during the war. About 3,000 American civilians were killed in the attacks of 911. There were an estimated 137 American soldiers that were killed in combat while fighting the war against terrorism. In retrospect, about 3,500 Afghan civilians died during the war, which is a higher number of civilians that were killed during the attacks on 911. But if you look at this through a realist point of view, 137 soldiers dying for 3,000 American lives is reasonable. Bush's main responsibility is to protect the American people and our land. If the terrorist groups continued to invade our country and suicide bomb us, a lot more American lives would have been lost, so I believe that for America's sake, it was just to declare a war on Afghanistan for this reason.

Bush and the government also had right intention for declaring a war on Afghanistan. Bush had "declared war on terrorism". His plan was to stop terrorism everywhere, not just the United States....
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