The morality of a U.S. preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear program : a just war analysis
Crumbaugh, Jennifer Anne.
Thesis (M.A.L.S.)--Georgetown University, 2008.; Includes bibliographical references. The opacity of Iran's nuclear program has kept the Bush Administration on alert, afraid of facing the reality of a nuclear-armed Iran. In the wake of 9-11 the Bush Administration created a revised national security strategy that clearly placed nuclear proliferation as a vital threat to national security and added preemption as a policy for dealing with such threats. The United States cannot afford to allow the number one state sponsor of terrorism to be armed with a nuclear weapon.; This thesis examines applies the principles of the just war theory in an attempt to discern whether or not the United States would be morally justified in preemptively striking Iran's nuclear program. The procedure used to examine this moral question included an in-depth application of the six principles of jus ad bellum to the case study of the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program. These jus jus ad bellum principles were just cause, right intention, proportionality, proper authority, likelihood of success, and last resort. Each just war criterion was dealt with separately to highlight the complexities that U.S. policymakers would face and what conditions would and would not be morally justifiable.; This case study revealed the just war theory is beginning to change in light of the post-9-11 world and in the aftermath of United States' first test of preemption, the 2003 invasion of Iraq. While the United States may be militarily capable in striking Iranian nuclear facilities, the quality and value of vital intelligence will remain the greatest challenge to success. The United States would be wise to bolster its diplomatic efforts with Iran in order to provide Iran with a credible threat, most likely through stronger sanctions and further isolation, in order to properly gauge when the U.S. would be left with no other option than a military strike. War most certainly should not be the United States' first policy reflex, but should be left on the table as an option to counter the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program.
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