Hallelujah! A Christian pastor writing sensible things about Iraq. Check out Doug Wilson here
Over the centuries, Christian theologians (beginning notably with Augustine) have developed criteria under which war may be undertaken. There are two basic categories. First is jus ad bellum -- the circumstances under which it is appropriate to go to war, and jus in bello, the standards of conduct within war itself. For the most part, with certain notable exceptions I believe our military does well in fighting in a way that lines up with jus in bello (e.g. not executing prisoners, not attacking civilians as a principal target, etc.). But on the criteria for war ad bellum, we have it all gummed up. Such standards include 1. having a just cause, 2. an appropriate authority declaring the war, 3. having a righteous intention, 4. having a reasonable chance of success, and 5. having proportionality between the end sought and the means used. Out of these criteria, we meet the fourth one, and perhaps the fifth. In my view, we fail on the first three.