War is a major issue in the 2008 presidential election. But Yale University law professor and author Stephen Carter says the U.S. has a bigger problem than just withdrawal or escalation of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He says the western theory of "just wars" makes it too easy for a nation to fight wars it should not fight ... and too difficult to fight wars that it should. This week's Word for Word features Stephen Carter delivering a speech called The Tragedy of Just War Theory at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
Stephen Carter:We'd like to hear from you. Listen to this week's show and join in the discussion below. Is there such a thing as a "just" war? How do politics at home or abroad constrain the waging of a just war? Who has the moral authority to wage a just war?
"Just war theory has tried to develop an ethics of warfare, but the ethics it's developed would, if taken seriously, tie us so thoroughly in knots that it turns out to be remarkably easy to fight wars one should not fight, and often very difficult to fight wars that one should fight. It's a paradox and a tragedy."
Word for Word