Just War Theory and Presidential Discourse Prior to Conflict
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The purpose of this monograph is to examine how national interest, national security interest, and the jus ad bellum principles of the just war tradition factor into the rhetoric of US presidents in their national addresses prior to US intervention and war. The method used in this monograph is a structured focused comparison utilizing seven research questions applied to five case studies from 1983 to 2013 and spanning five different US presidential administrations. The monograph contains analyses of the arguments of five different US presidents in their national addresses prior to US military action in Grenada, The Gulf War, Bosnia, and The Iraq War. The monograph utilizes Syria as a least likely case due to the fact that US military ground forces did not intervene there. The monograph finds that from 1983 to the present, the lexicon of the just war traditions jus ad bellum principles has increasingly been used by US presidents to justify military intervention and war worldwide. The monograph finds that the least likely case, Syria, actually presents the strongest national interest, national security interest, and jus ad bellum arguments for intervention when no intervention took place. The monographs thesis, that just war theory provides a convenient means for US presidents to justify armed conflict and intervention in the absence of true national security threats is partly supported, with national interest and national security interest arguments having a larger role in Presidential discourse prior to conflict than the author originally anticipated.
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics