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Are pre-emptive attacks justified?

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Preemptive Strikes

Please respond to the following discussion topic and submit it to the discussion forum. Your initial post should be 75-150 words in length. Then, make at least two thoughtful responses to your fellow students' posts.

Do we have the right to attack on a preemptive basis? What do you see as the standards we should use in making that decision? Do you think other nations have the same right and what standards should they use?

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Do we have the right to attack on a preemptive basis?

International law permits pre-emptive self-defence when a threat is serious and looming close (Gorener, 2012).In such a case, the victim cannot wait till the attack has started. The Bush government however did not follow this principle. The National Security strategy of USA reserves the right to attack pre-emptively without an immediate major threat. When the war on Iraq was launched, the threat was at best highly subjective and without the requisite standard of proof required for a preemptive attack.

However Bush made a forceful case for such attacks by saying in an address "Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants ...

Solution Summary

The paper looks at the standards that justify pre-emptive attacks of one nation against another. It looks at the case of the US attack on Iraq and goes on to question whether other nations possess the same rights as the US to make pre-emptive attacks.

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Standards of Preemptive Strikes

We've read both sides of the issue of whether or not the United States is justified in conducting preemptive strikes. But really, this is about us making decisions for ourselves and justifying (or not) it to the rest of the world. For this week's assignment, you will need to take off you "American" hat and take a new job at the United Nations. Your job is to create a standard - a set of conditions if you will - under which any nation in the world may conduct a preemptive attack. What would those conditions be?

Use the cases you've read to write condition more or less strict but you may not argue that there are no conditions. You will need to also use the United Nations Charter to see exactly where your standards would fit. The Charter can be found at http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/.

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