Do the ends justify the means in our constant meddling in foreign conflicts and are the wars really just in the first place? I believe that America will not be able to create a climate of civil engagement and democracy for young people when our leaders are unable to cultivate their own virtues in considering a Just War? Fortunately I do see some hope in your recent actions as President.
What would the founding fathers have to say about the moral philosophy of our actions in the Middle East and the effect it has had on millions of people in those countries? Our support of dictators and foreign armies has created a breeding ground for the recruiting of future terrorists and radical religions. I believe that the world is no safer as a result of our past wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and now conflicts in Libya, Syria and ISIS. One then must also question if the continued war on terrorism will have any real benefit to the world when we are witnessing populations in fear, an increasingly more dangerous world for civilians and the continued reduction of our own civil liberties.
Consequentialist ethics often prescribes the mantra that’ the means justifies the ends’ and it seems that this is the valid assessment of the ethics for the modern day President. There seems to be a continued failure to consider the means in coming to a decisions resulting in a skewed arguments for Just Wars. The modern declaration of war is so far away from the original intention and the philosophical underpinning of the Constitution that the document has lost all meaning and hope that comes with its original purpose.
The constitution does not permit the President to go to war unless it is passed by Congress or unless there is an imminent attack. Clearly the intention of James Madison’s writing was to think about the means to an end instead of rushing into something that the American people did not consider was beneficial. We have witnessed declarations of war by Presidents that have not been true to the original meaning of the constitution. Wars have not formally been declared war against Iraq in 1991 and 2002. Similarly the War against Terror against the perpetrators of the September 11 2001 attacks was not formally declared.
Mataconis, D. (2015, July 10th). Congress, The President, And War Powers Under the Constitution. Retrieved from Outside the Beltway.
Mizzoni, J. (2010). Ethics: The Basics. John Wiley & Sons. . Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.