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Richard Armitage was the 13th United States Deputy Secretary of State, serving from 2001 to 2005. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and then after the[…]

There are wars to save lives, and that’s just.

Question: What is a just war?

Armitage:    It sounds like St. Thomas Aquinas talking of defining a just war.  It seems to me that you could run the gamut from the wars which prevent a larger travesty from happening, such as the use of WMD, or something against a neighboring state.  There are wars to save lives.  One could see the situation in Darfur where there’s a horrible . . . both killings and starving, raping going on, that the use of force to stop and bring that to a halt is very justified.  But I’m not a philosopher.  I’m certainly not a priest.  I’m just a guy who tries to make cold calculations of national security in the most benign way I can.