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Is The Fight Against ISIS a Just War?

Ecclesiastes 3:8 reminds us that there is “a time for war and a time for peace.”

Saint Augustine’s “Just War Theory” has served as a measurement for the Christian church for centuries and remains relevant today. Make no mistake; we are already at war against radical Islamists who wish to subjugate us and force our conversion to their religion and rule.

Entire books have been written on the subject of “just war,” but in its simplest form, it is a set of basic principles that help determine the morality of engaging in a war. The  decision to go to war, the theory goes, requires real deliberation of consequences, the tangible reality of the threat that one is fighting against, the exhaustion of all other alternatives, a real hope for success, that the evils of war can’t be greater than the reason for war, that a legitimate authority is the one waging war, and war conducted justly during the fighting.

So ask yourself, does the fight with ISIS meet these criteria? Surely, yes.

This evil is indeed an existential threat that cannot be stopped any other way. The enemy daily seeks to injure not just women and children abroad but also on our shores. The recent specific threats against CWA’s home of Washington, D.C., and those made against New York City should awaken our great nation.

As an aside, the fact that five Syrian terrorists were just stopped in Honduras on the way to the U.S. has sealed CWA’s commitment to a short-term moratorium on Syrian refugees of any faith until we and our leaders can figure out a real strategy. We must, in effect, place the oxygen mask over our own faces before we can assist others (which brings me to the fact that we have exhausted any diplomatic solution to dealing with these blood thirsty, despotic men). And finally, America should clearly be a legitimate authority raging against it. That leaves the question of hope for success.

It can be easy to think that the situation is too bleak — the brutal attacks and ongoing threats from ISIS and the surge of Syrian refugees flowing in that may number 10,000 next year without an intervention by Congress. The debate goes on as to how to deal with such crises.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warns against thinking that shutting the refugee flow will solve the problem or terror threat. There are many other ways into America, and it would be better to fight terrorists on their own turf, as a “fight in their backyard.”

A workable strategy would involve integrating the ground forces with air campaigns. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) adds that the refugee problem wouldn’t even be here if it hadn’t been for failed American foreign policy in the first place. But we can’t change the past. We must recognize that we are indeed already at war and develop a cogent, funded strategy with the goal of killing ISIS before they kill us.

There are solutions. There is great hope. Sen. McCain reminds us that ISIS is “not invincible.” But that hope requires action.

Surely now is a time for war. A just, ethical, legitimate, focused war with the best strategists and the bravest soldiers.  It is irresponsible of us to let this kind of evil remain unchecked. America should be leading this imminent fight. Surely Paris reminds us that sweaty-palmed, weak-willed, leading from behind makes the entire world less safe. In answer to Ecclesiastes, this is clearly a time for a just war.

Penny Nance is the President and CEO of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization. For more information visit concernedwomen.org.

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