- Pathfinder

Reply To: Have you ever consciously or subconsciously used your faith to examine foreign policy? Was it harmful or helpful? Please elaborate.

Giancarlo Diaz

A way my faith as a Christian has affected my views in foreign policy is incorporating Just War Theory into my understating when states should go to war. The theory was first formulated by St. Augustine and has been refined over the years. One of the principles needed for jus ad bellum or justification for war is probability of success; I find that I grapple with this qualifier the most when looking at any conflict between states. The more obvious qualifiers of just cause, legitimate authority, and etc. are generally more straight forward to answer. But probability of success presents a more complex qualifier, that a state must ask itself before engaging in conflict can it reasonably achieve its objective through the force of arms. If a state has a just cause to rectify an injustice but cannot reasonably achieve any military objective it is according to the theory, unjustified to go war since the state will merely add to the bloodshed without achieving justice. This qualifier asks states to then be prudent and reasonable with their military objectives and to define them in tangible ways. I believe applying this qualifier to conflicts going on now from the War on Terror to the recent Ukraine War, there is much debate to be had if these conflicts can be considered justified.