Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 1, Issue 1, Spring 1994

Kenneth W. Kemp
Pages 15-20

Right Intention and the Oil Factor in the Second Gulf War

This essay responds to the argument that US interest in Kuwaiti oil made its war against Iraq fail the just-war criterion of right intention. That argument is based on a misunderstanding of the criterion, namely, that right intention requires not merely the presence of a concern for justice but the absence of any other (especially self-interested) motives. Correction of this misunderstanding is important to application of the just-war theory to the general question of intervention in foreign wars.