Does US Airstrike in Iraq Violate Just War Doctrine?

Does US Airstrike in Iraq Violate Just War Doctrine?

News Story by Associated Press
US kills Iran’s most powerful general in Baghdad airstrike Definition of What is a ‘Just War’
Direct quotations from the Catechism

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Whether is does or does not is scant comfort. Rather than justify or condemn actions of yesterday, we should be praying for peace today!


For over 20 years, we have been involved in unnecessary wars in the Middle East.
Perhaps those who are related to Donald Trump and John Bolton need to be the first ones to volunteer to join the military service.


In my opinion, the US has been violating the Just War doctrine in Iraq since before the 2003 invasion. And that is just in Iraq.


That Airstrike is but a drop in the bucket of ongoing airstrikes by several nations
which have been going down for some years … upon yes a bunch of nations

Do nations make their decisions based upon Catholic Teachings?


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Lamentably…no. :cry:


That’s the key to discussions concerning Just War or not…

As a connected aside, would any daresay that Defeating Hitler was UnJust?

Or does WWII always get a bye … from PeaceNiks?


There is a significant moral question related to the Trump Administration’s characterization of this killing as a deterrent.

The statement released by the US Department of Defense…

… contains this statement:

This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.

Soleimani, the one who was killed, is not the one being deterred. It is other people, still living, who may (or may not) be deterred.

The justification of killing in a just war normally assumes that the person killed was the same person who posed a threat to human life. In that case, the killing directly removes the threat.

Killing for deterrence removes this link. The killing does not directly remove the threat, but merely intends to influence others who pose their own direct threats.

The justification of killing in a just war also requires that there be a reasonable expectation that the threat to human life will be significantly reduced, and that no other means are reasonably available to remove that threat. In the case of the killing of Soleimani, neither of these is certain; it is not a sure thing that others will be deterred, and it is not clear that other (more direct) means were not available.



No leader of any nation gives two hoots about Catholic Teachings.

The list of deaths since WWII because of militaries is in the 10’s of Millions.


For sure.

I’ll bet there are some willing to make such a claim. I would be interested to hear from such a PeaceNik who could make an intelligent argument from a Catholic perspective. I am not this PeaceNik however.

Well, no, they don’t as a matter of fact. That is why, for example, we have legal abortion. Are you suggesting that Catholic teaching should be irrelevant when discussing national decisions? That doesn’t sound right.


Probably. But drone strikes are the way to handle this kind of thing. Minimizes casualties. My brother is currently sitting somewhere over there, and is supposed to be ending his deployment shortly. I just hope this doesn’t interfere with that.


Depends on your definition of unnecessary.

Our entire global economy is dependent on the free flow of oil. If that was disrupted millions of people would die. So you can disagree with the reason, but I don’t think unnecessary is the right word.

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I agree with Bishop Barron , US hasn’t been involved in a just war since going to war in WW2 and even there many of the tactics violated just war doctrine (atom bomb, fire bombing Dresden)


But this is a forum where we discuss Just War, and who knows? Maybe we can shine a little light in that darkness. With God, all things are possible.

I’m not expecting world leaders to be reading here, but it is very good for Catholics to think about the moral issues surrounding killing. It relates directly to human life and dignity.

So don’t discourage discussion. Let’s talk and let’s live like Christians.


Legal only according to those who DisObey God.

Actually they add to casualties.

How so? In this scenario the target died. Vs bombing an entire city or sending in soldiers in which case many unintended casualties are thrown in as well.

And… are we really allowed to say that Just War Teachings which exist are neither here nor there?

And yes … did/do they apply to e.g,. Defeating Nazism // WWII

What we do know is that warrings shall continue and escalate…

Call it WWIII or Armageddon - That shall occur…

You are true to your name. :slightly_smiling_face:

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