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I think that a couple of theoretical ideas can be raised regarding the concept of a "just war" and whether or not these notions are being followed in the current involvement in Afghanistan. On one hand, the question of "redressing of injury" would have to be raised. The question that Augustine might pose would be whether or not the injury has been redressed or whether it could ever have been redressed. The initial entry into Afghanistan was to oust the Taliban, providing shelter to Bin Laden and Al Qaeda operatives. Once this was accomplished, there was significant question as to the ultimate purpose of military presence. Certainly, the question that Afghanistan raises that many find challenges in assessing is what the United States' end purpose is in remaining in Afghanistan. It has been more than a decade and the purpose is not clearly defined, violating a tenet of the just war doctrine for lack of purpose. In terms of ensuring that civilians are not targeted or victimized through the pursuit of war, Augustine would probably point out that greater civilian deaths have become the standard in the US conflict in Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' actions regarding the recent killing of 17 Afghan civilians might be sufficient evidence in this point. I certainly think that these would be a starting point in assessing the conflict in Afghanistan on the premise of whether or not it is a "just war."
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