As, however, the cases of Rwanda and more recently Iraq demonstrate, it is often difficult to achieve a broad international consensus for humanitarian interventions which if undertaken threaten to lead to imperial overstretch for the parties which intervene. Today, most American ground troops
Elshtain's formulation, however, ducks some thorny questions which must be faced in the real world. Given the extremism of our enemies, should the United States under all circumstances forswear the use of torture to extract critical information? It is said that in order to prevent future terrorist attacks, the CIA needs to penetrate their cells. Can this be done effectively without recruiting persons with unsavory pasts who may in order to win the confidence of their superiors have to join in their killing sprees? It is quite difficult as the American military learned in Vietnam to fashion rules of engagement which protect civilians in fighting such as that in Iraq where the distinction between combatants and civilians is often unclear. Adhering to Marquis of Queensbury rules of conduct in the field may not be as easily accomplished as Elshtain implies. Nevertheless, her point that civilian lives and property should be spared to the maximum extent possible is valid. Walzer says "civilian still have rights in such circumstances. If their liberty can be temporarily abridged in a variety of ways, it is not entirely forfeit; nor are their lives at risk" (p. 178).
Elshtain, J. A. (2003). Just war against terror. New York:
According to Elshtain, America in recent years has had two principal justifications for going to war: 1. self-defense; and 2. preservation of its moral and political values. As a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in which 3000 Americans were killed and other suicide bombings around the world which were conducted against America and other countries by the violent and fundamentalist Muslim Al-Qaeda group, A