Any debate is controversial if one sees the context of the war against Iraq as a continuation of the 1991 Desert Storm war, as ethicist Thomas Nichols, Chairman of Strategy and Policy at the US Naval War College, and as the Joint Chiefs of Staff may have. Although Professor Nichols contracts President Bush about this being a pre-emptive war, the Bush Administration cites preemption as the major cause for resorting to armed conflict. The President and his topnotch presidential advisors, including the National Security Advisor and the Secretary of Defense, did not rationalize deposing Saddam Hussein primarily as a response to Iraq’s attacks against coalition forces or the humanitarian needs of Iraqis.
The main reason for the war that was started by the Bush Administration to the nation and the world was the possible use of weapons of mass destruction. Disarming Iraq was essential and without regime change in Iraq that was not possible. The preemptive military action was needed and thus justified, to prevent possible use of WMD. “The Bush Doctrine’s principle of preemption was tailor-made for “As Christian ethicists, we share a common moral supposition against a pre-emptive war on Iraq by the United States.” Signatories included the Duke University pacifist professor Dr. Stanley Hauerwas, to Dr. Shaun Casey, a just-war ethicist from Wesley College in Washington, D.C. Some ethicists and religious leaders were in favor of military action.
Some saw it as an extension of the 1991 Gulf War, while others saw the action in 2003 as moral. The Reverend Richard Land, president of the ethics and religious liberty commission of the Southern Baptist Convention was in favor military action on grounds of self-defense: “I believe we are defending ourselves against several acts of war by a man who violated treaties and who no hesitation in using weapons of mass destruction as he had done against his own people and during the war with Iran.
Creative thinker and military commentator of the media Ralph Peters commended the war and stated that Operation Iraqi Freedom was changing the criteria for imminent threat described in the National Security Strategy. As previously noted, the strategy document explained, we must seriously consider the concept of imminent threat to the range of abilities and motives of current adversaries. Peters said, “We have put aside old, worthless rules of warfare” for a new archetype “that renders previous models of warfare.