Yale Law Professor and Institute trustee Stephen Carter joined us last Wednesday to discuss his latest book, The Violence of Peace: America’s Wars in the Age of Obama.
Institute CEO Walter Isaacson began the conversation by noting that one of the great struggles of our time is knowing how to apply American force in a ‘just’ way, and Carter explained that he was inspired to write The Violence of Peace by Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech on the ethics of war.
Carter explained that in this speech, Obama noted what matters in terms of a just war is that you have a just cause and that war be a last resort; self defense and ‘the duty to protect’ were listed as primary examples of just causes.
“What the President omitted,” Carter concluded, “is any mention of the importance of having the right intention. Whatever your cause might be, in the end what you’re trying to do is bring about a better peace. There has to be a deeply believed sense that the world is going to be a better and a more peaceful place if this war is successfully executed.”
Watch the full video.