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First Strike – America, Terrorism, and Moral Tradition - Yale Scholarship Online
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First Strike: America, Terrorism, and Moral Tradition

Mark Totten


Can the use of force first against a less-than-imminent threat be both morally acceptable and consistent with American values? This book offers an in-depth, historical examination of the use of preemptive and preventive force through the lens of the just war tradition. Although critical of the United States' incursion into Iraq as a so-called preemptive war, the book argues that the threat posed by terrorism nonetheless demands careful consideration of when the first use of preemptive force is legitimate. The moral tradition, it concludes, provides a principled way forward that reconciles Amer ... More

Keywords: just war, Iraq, preemptive force, preventive force, terrorism, security, United States, moral tradition, American values, preemptive war

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780300124484
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300124484.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mark Totten, author

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