To the Journal editor:
Is a military attack on the Syrian government just?
I will answer this question by giving criteria to determine a just military attack.
A just military attack, based on just war theorists including Augstine and Michael Walzer, has two general categories with nine criteria.
1. Just criteria to use military force are
1.1 just cause: self-defense against an actual major attack by an aggressor on one's geography or a human right, or on an innocent country or individuals, and is not defense against a threat by a potential aggressor.
1.2 Just authorization: declaration of war by our U.S.'s executive and legislative branches and by our United Nations' Security Council or General Assembly. The U.N. authorization includes all nations contributing finances and personnel based on ability (gross national product). Whether our U.S.A opposes or supports our U.N.'s decision, democratically our U.S. follows rule of law. Our U.S. should not be the self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner for the world.
1.3 Just proportionality of ends: the end result does more good than harm.
1.4 Just last resort: the attack is conducted after all nonviolent means, including diplomacy and sanctions, have failed.
1.5 Just reasonable hope of success.
1.6 just affordability : the attack is financed by increasing taxes, and does not damage financing the attainment of our many rights.
1.7 just specific, effective, and efficient goals and means.
2. Just criteria when using force are
2.1 Just proportionality: the violent means are appropriate to the nonviolent ends.
2.2 Just noncombatant immunity: not damaging civilian life and property, and defeating the aggressor's military.
Until these criteria are met, a military attack on the Syrian government is unjust and I oppose it.