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Assessment of the War on Terror Essay

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The necessity and the non-necessity of wars in the course of human history and societal change may be seen from two diametrically opposing views. On the one hand, it is considered necessary in the sense similar to Adolf Hitler’s stance on war and its critical function in the evolution of man and society. In his work entitled Mein Kampf, he writes, “Mankind has grown strong in eternal struggles and it will only perish through eternal peace” (1943, p. 45). On the other hand, pacifist thinkers such as Mahatma Gandhi do not assent to the idea that wars are necessary.

On the contrary, his notion of civil disobedience is founded on the principle of “ahimsa”, that is, total non-violence.

      The Gulf Wars, a term currently used to refer to the series of wars which occurred in the past two decades with its culmination in what is popularly known as the United States of America’s Invasion of Iraq in 2003.The striking fact though is that the different moral convictions of the people is made manifest even in their choice of words to refer to the aforementioned Invasion of Iraq.

Invasion is a derogatory word. The concept of invasion assumes the existence of a hostile party who will cause turmoil and havoc within another territory. However, for those who assent to the Bush administration, the proper term is not invasion but rather, liberation. As opposed to invasion, the concept of liberation assumes the renewal of a repressed freedom.

      These insights point out that human social reality is held fast by systems of power and power relations, most especially in the context of international politics and a globalized, capital-driven economy. Globalization is indeed, the current paradigm. This paper’s task involves an evaluation of the political motivations that can justify the necessity of war.

One may perceive the current United States War on terror in two ways. First, one may perceive it as an appeal to the Messianic aspect of man in terms of which man enables the liberation of his neighbor from conditions that restrict his freedom. Second, one may view it as a country’s plight for continuous economic growth thereby sacrificing the life of the few and the interests of other nations for the procurement of its own interests. It is important to note that Bush Administration’s War on Terrorism can be summed as a country’s plight for economic power at the expense of the blood of the “few”.

  If such is the case, the aforementioned war does not thereby adhere to the main propositions of what may considered, as a just war, which states that the use of force by one nation against the other, is always wrong unless the latter has forfeited its basic rights (Lackey 222). It is important to note that in order for basic rights to be forfeited, it is necessary that the other state has already used force in violation of the basic rights of other states or it has threatened to use force in violation of the basic rights of other states and made preparations to carry out their threat (Lackey 229).

Another instance wherein a state has forfeited its basic rights is apparent during instances wherein its ability to govern is disrupted by a secessionist movement which is representative in character or when the state in question has engaged in massive violations of basic personal rights (Lackey 229). These conditions, however, were not initially met by Iran before the aforementioned War on Terror.


Hitler, Adolf (1943).  Mien Kampf.  Trans. Ralf ManheimLondon: Houghton Mifflin.

Lackey, Douglas.  “The Ethics of War and Peace.”


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