Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Studies

Reader 1

Philip Streich

Reader 2

Heather Williams

Reader 3

David Menefee-Liffey

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Joshua J. Brewer


This paper sets itself upon analyzing the Iraq War of 2003 through the lens of modern Just War Theory. We will begin with a curt summary of Iraq’s history, focusing particularly on its determinedly odious leader, Saddam Hussein. Thereon, we will be analyzing a pro-war security argument, the aim of which is to assess the threat of Hussein’s weaponry ambitions and what that threat meant to the world. Next, we will be going over the tenets of Just War Theory itself, tracing its history from Rome to the modern doorstep, and applying the security argument to its dictum. Afterwards, we move into the anti-war segment and shall unpack the subject of Iraq's oil resources and whether or not the United States' actions disqualify the intervention from achieving Just War status. Then, our next section shall be addressing the same question of potential disqualification, only this time from the angle of the war’s questionable legality. Finally, we shall conclude on the ultimate query of this paper: was the U.S. decision to intervene in 2003’s Iraq compatible with the modern principles of Just War Theory?


This thesis was produced in fulfillment of the Pomona College Politics Major.