Ethics of war and peace

My phone received a news alert yesterday: “The US military has departed Afghanistan, officials said, ending a 20-year occupation and leaving the country in the Taliban’s hands.” I was relieved. Two things came to mind: the 1966 song, “Last Train to Clarksville,” and Restrepo.

Restrepo was a 2010 documentary about a US mountain outpost in Afghanistan named for Juan Sebastián Restrepo (1986-2007), a 20-year-old Colombian immigrant, a US soldier and medic who died there.

In Christian ethics, there have been three major attitudes about war and peace: pacifism, the just war, and the crusade. The great historian Roland Bainton said of crusades, “The worst wars are holy wars.” This is something to think about, maybe blog about, for the next three days.

From Christian Attitudes Toward War and Peace: A Historical Survey and Critical Re-evaluation,” 1979

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