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First Strike: America, Terrorism, and Moral Tradition

Mark Totten

1 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0300124481 / ISBN 13: 9780300124484
Published by Yale University Press
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Title: First Strike: America, Terrorism, and Moral ...

Publisher: Yale University Press

Binding: Hardback

Book Condition: New

About this title

Synopsis:

Can the use of force first against a less-than-imminent threat be both morally acceptable and consistent with American values? In this timely book Mark Totten offers the first in-depth, historical examination of the use of preemptive and preventive force through the lens of the just war tradition. Although critical of the American incursion into Iraq as a so-called preemptive war, Totten argues that the new terrorist threat nonetheless demands careful consideration of when the first use of force is legitimate. The moral tradition, he concludes, provides a principled way forward that reconciles American values and the demands of security.

Review:

"Totten's book carefully examines the contours of thinking about preemption and prevention in international law, political philosophy, and just war tradition, driving toward adapting the existing standards to confront present-day threats. In breadth and depth this study is unmatched, providing a benchmark for contemporary thinking about when it is justified to strike the first blow in a conflict."--James Turner Johnson, author of Morality and Contemporary Warfare--James Turner Johnson

"Mark Totten does two things in this book: first, he provides a wonderfully learned account of the argument about pre-emption and prevention in just war theory. And then he makes a strong argument of his own for revising the standard doctrine. Theorists should pay attention; statesmen and generals, too."--Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study--Michael Walzer

"Mark Totten addresses one of the most pressing questions of the day: When, if ever, can America's moral tradition support striking first against suspected terrorists or other enemies who are not on the verge of attacking this country? First Strike is a brilliant and engaging book full of deep insights into U.S. history, the just war tradition and its favorable reception in the United States, and recent national security challenges."--John E. Noyes, Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law, California Western School of Law--John E. Noyes

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