Talk:Preventive war

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Trash it?[edit]

It seems to me that this whole article should be trashed and redone. While I'm not saying I agree or disagree with everything it all seems extremely biased. 199.184.205.99 (talk) 03:30, 10 March 2010 (UTC)Your Buddy

Definition[edit]

Who makes this distinction between preventive and pre-emptive war? Is that political science academics? I did some reading on these topics and alot of persons don't make this distinction. AdamRetchless

Many strategic theorists make a distinction between preventive and preventative war. This topic received more attention than usual following the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, which raised the issue's profile. If my memory doesn't abuse me too horribly, preventative war is that permitted under international law, when a sovereign state has clear reason to expect an imminent attack. Preventive war, by contrast, is what Bush tried to advocate. The distinction seems to depend on whether an attack is imminent, or just anticipated. Does anyone have a textual reference handy to substantiate or refute this? It's been a while since my strategic studies research. (One could also conceptualise the difference as 'preventive' war being aking to 'pre-emptive war'). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 205.250.245.196 (talk) 23:33, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

I think you've mistaken preventative for pre-emptive; preventative is the same as preventive. 131.236.12.157 (talk) 02:22, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Summarize examples[edit]

Other than that, I don't think that it is good to put a lot of information about the examples. I think that it is best to just link to articles on particular preventive wars, and let that article discuss the motivations of the war. At most there should just be a couple of sentences about why this war may be described as "preventive" (George Bush claimed that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction). AdamRetchless 06:26, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC) Agree --Chealer 07:57, 2004 Oct 30 (UTC)

"...western neo-conservatives such as George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, who argue that preventive war is necessary in today's post September 11th world." This sentence is totally biased. Bush positioned it as a preemptive war and not a preventive war. This is controversial and it's not encyclopedic to categorize it as a preventive war. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.216.171.162 (talk) 01:26, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

WWI: Germany and Russia[edit]

I added a brief section on WWI. This is based on notes from a PoliSci class at Stanford. [1] I'm not sure how to reference this in the article. The particular quotes are from German foreign minister Gottlieb von Jagow, Chancleor Bethmann-Hollweg, and General Helmuth von Moltke AdamRetchless

The German perspective is but one of a number. The War began in the Balkans with the Assasination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Throne of the Austro/Hungarian Empire, by a member of a Serbian National Group. Serbia Had treaty obligations to Russia, Austria-Hungary had treaty obligations to Germany, England and France had treaty obligations to England and France.

The actual commencement of hostilities took place after the formal declarations of war. Preventive action therefore was a tactic of an already existing legal state of hostilities.

Bottom Line: you can't have a preventive war after the opposing sides have formally declared war, as the term has been rendered meaningless.

WWII: The Third Reich and Lebensraum[edit]

The entry discusses Germany's attack on the Low Countries in 1940 as examples of preventive war but that ignores the simple fact that Adolf Hitler attacked Poland, France and Britain's ally in 1939, and a state of War existed between Britain, France and Germany before the Nazi invasion of Holland and Belgium, both of which had defense treaties with England. Germany didn't invade those countries to prevent the UK from occupying them. A large British Expeditionary Force was already on the Continent before Hitler attacked. Again, one can't start a preventive war where an existing state of war exists between opponents.

Some argument in the past has existed for the idea of preventive war in German's attack on Poland, as the Germans claimed they were attacked first by the Poles, but the fact both Germany and Russia invaded Poland during the same month negated that idea. Russia and Germany carved up Poland among themselves in 1939. A claim of preventive war should have some factual data to support it.

In fact, Hitler's reason for attacking the Low Countries was the same as his "logic" for attacking Poland: Lebensraum. That is to say, living space for the German people. Hitler wanted land and every country with a border with Germany was in danger of attack. To quote in Hitler's own words: "Without consideration of "traditions" and prejudices, it [Germany] must find the courage to gather our people and their strength for an advance along the road that will lead this people from its present restricted living space to new land and soil, and hence also free it from the danger of vanishing from the earth or of serving others as a slave nation." - Mein Kampf (1924)

I do not know of treaties between the Benelux countries and Britain, but the fact is that these countries were very much at peace with Germany until they were invaded by Germany. The Belgians resisted offers of the French to even plan a joint-defense in the case of a German invasion of Belgium. And a alrge British expeditionary force was indeed on the continent, but in France, not in the Benelux countries. As far as I know, Germany invaded Belgium and the Netherlands to lure the allied armies north into Belgium to cut them off through their main strike delivered through the Ardennes. thestor 10:40, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

The Six-Day War[edit]

The Six-Day War, initiated by Israel, is regarded by many as a preventive war, since there was no overt invasion or attack against that country. The government of Israel and its supporters, however, believe that an Egyptian blockade preceding the invasion was a casus belli created a state of war and justifies the attack. Following the end of the war, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 242. It instructed Israel to withdraw from the territories it had occupied: the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights. Israel has yet to comply with this instruction.

According to the information in the main article about the six-day war, this is a pre-emptive war, not a preventive war. The Arab countries had mobilized their armies and were moving into offensive positions. On top of that, there had never been a peace treaty from the previous war and there had been continuous border skirmishes. Israel attacked out of concern for it's immediate safety. This paragraph makes no argument that Israel was concerned with the long-term balance of power or that peaceful relations were possible. The last two sentences are off-topic and seem to be included simply to condemn Israel in this article. In other words, they are POV. AdamRetchless 07:02, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The German version includes the sentences "The Six Days War between Israel and its arab neighbours was the only war thast was seen as legal according to modern international law. Contrarily, the Israeli air raid against the Iraqi nuclear power plant Osirak in 1981 was regarded as forbidden aggression." Who was it who judged like that? If it was the International Court who had to deal with the cases I think this should be mentioned, if it was someone else I do not think judgments should be reported as if they were facts. Get-back-world-respect 01:03, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

According to Michael Walzer's "Just and Unjust Wars", which he details the distinction between preemptive and preventive wars, he discusses the causes and build-up of the Israeli first=strike, saying: "The Israeli first strike is, I think, a clear case of legitimate anticipation [...] The general formula must go something like this: states may use military force in the face of threats of war, whenever the failure to do so would seriously risk their territorial integrity or political independence. Under such circumstances it can fairly be said that they have been forced to fight and that they are the victims of aggression. Since there are no police upon whom they can call the moment at which states are forced to fight probably comes sooner than it would for individuals in a settled domestic society. But if we can imagine an unstable society, like the "wild west" of American fiction, the analogy can be restated: a state under threat is like an individual being hunted by an enemy who has announced his intention of killing or injuring him. Surely such a person may surprise his hunted, he he is able to do so. "The formula is permissive, but it implied restrictions that can usefully be unpacked only to particular cases. It is obvious, for example, that measures short war are preferable to war itself, whenever they hold out the hope of similar or nearly similar effectiveness. But what those measures might be, or how long they must be tried, cannot be a matter of a priori stipulation. In the case of the Six Day War, the "asymmetry in the structure of forces" set a time limit on diplomatic efforts that would have no relevance to conflicts involving other sorts of states and armies." (p 85) 76.193.186.22 (talk) 21:00, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Preventive War and Preemptive War CANNOT be merged[edit]

These two forms of warfare cannot be merged by reason of logic and legality. Based upon the clearly stated defenitions of both terms it is very clear that they are not the same. We CANNOT rely on the discursive practices of the Bush Doctrine, that has greyed the differences in the two definitions, in an effort to justify the further expansion of US global primacy. If definitional mergers like this are allowed it will open the door to allow mergers of other terms that carry significant legal weight, such as torture and interrogation and self-defense and murder.

Please do **NOT** merge these, at all. They are entirely and completely different things, and as such, should be in seperate articles with a link. There is a major difference between these two types of wars which needs to be stressed, and as such, they should be seperate. -- Mattworld 00:54, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Agreed; most modern scholarship seems to prefer maintaining the distinctions between these two. Their Wikipedia articles betray this fact in the opening sections. Leave them unmerged. -- John of New Yawk 23:29, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree also, and am removing the template, since this debate seems to be over. --172.195.224.212 14:07, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I don’t understand your reasoning[edit]

I’m afraid I don’t understand how one can concluded that by having Bush point out the risk Iraq under Saddam posed sot the united states, that that can somehow be construed as the reason for the iraq war?

As I recall the president stated very clearly three reasons for the Iraqi war: 1. Saddam’s continued failure after 12 years of our existing every other effort to verifiably disarm of WMD and account for what happened to the WMD he did have before the 1991 golf war. If you recall in 1996 we even caught Saddam Red handed producing Bio weapons, after a high ranking Iraqi official defected and told us exactly where to look.

2. Saddam’s Support of International terrorism(Not only does this apply to iraq it apply to the Afghanistan conflict as well, if someone is giving aid to groups waging war on your and allowing them safe harbor with in their country from which to plan and recover from an attack on you, that IS an ACT OF WAR against your country by that country!!! To say other wises would have to concluded the war of 1812, and the conflict in which we chased poncho via back into México in the early 20th century both as preemptive or Preventive wars.)

(Except that those wars took place in a time when the international legal framework did not exist, or was very different - also, "harboring terrorists" is simply not an act of war. There are a lot of terrorists harbored by a lot of countries who are not, and were never, at war with the victims of the terrorists. Also, those terrorists are presumed innocent until proven guilty, anyway, so "harboring terrorists" is simply a disagreement over the extradition of suspected terrorists. As far as I am aware, invading a country over an extradition disagreement is not preemptive or preventative. It is an act of aggression. Also note that the idea that Saddam Hussein was harboring terrorists is in question, if not entirely fabricated.

Quick question: What nation was Saddam Hussein alledgedly a danger to? I genuinely forgot. - Sorenzo) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.50.45.192 (talk) 15:36, 19 September 2015 (UTC)

3. The inhuman treatment of the Iraqi people.

It is my view that this article is Hopelessly Bios, and 1 sided, as it negates the basic principle in warfare, that if one gives aid to thy declared enemy (International terrorism) and allows them a launching pad from ones country for a attacks against this country. Then thy has committed an open act of war against us, as there is no way for us to preserve our own life and defend ourselves without invading and attacking your country which gives harbor and aid to those who attack us.

This is nothing new in warfare, and indeed gives the United States legitimate reason for invading Iran, and Syria, as they are both actively waging war on Iraq and their allies the United States of America, by giving aid and support to terrorist insurgences in that country and refusing to make any attempt at stopping that flow.

If that is not legitimate reason to go to war, then I argue that no such legitimate reason can be looked for if one is to survive, by the natural rules of the world. To impose such a restriction is not only irrational but unjustified, and fundamentally counterproductive, as such a rule only acts as to inshore the morally correct will always lose while the one who seeks to breaks the rules will always win.

In the end, War happens because two sides cannot or will not find anther solution. That is ultimately the reason for war, one can apply limits and rules, but one cannot change its basic nature and/or reason/need by doing so. One can only make moral judgments in an attempt to impose moral limits (rights or wrongs). And if this limit is such the case as to the rules of war, such a restrictions would only serve to do more to harm the good(who follows rules) and aid the evil(who breaks them).

The previous post is totally correct. Anti-Bush bias in particular is all over this site. Any articles with him as a central character weren't even attempted to be complete or unbiased. Let's just focus on this one. Whenever the current Iraq War is mentioned, preventative and preemptive are used interchangeably. Preventative war is one country destroying the ability of another to even theoretically be a threat. Preemptive war is when one country is legitimately threatened by another and thus attacks first. The intel about Iraq's POSSESSION of WMD's was wrong, but that wasn't known in March 2003. What was known then and now was that Saddam was hiding the infrastructure to rebuild the weapons, was not cooperating with inspectors, and was threatening Israel. We now know that the stockpiles were all gone, but the equipment and materiel needed to create them was not. Saddam also had missiles he was not allowed to have by the UN. We also know that Saddam was intending to secretly restart these programs once the sanctions were eased up. All of these things are in the Duefler Report from the Iraq Survey Group. So, we can conclude that whether you agree with the war or not, Saddam was a threat to everyone around him, and with terrorist groups in his country, was also a threat to the United States. Bush never argued that invading Iraq was preventative, it was preemptive, again whether you agree with it or not is totally separate. The intent and capability to attack were there, making it preemptive, not preventative. If Wikipedia wants to stop being viewed as an unreliable source, then it needs to be honest about where the bias is and deal with it. 24.176.57.237 (talk) 20:27, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Does Pearl Harbor count as a preventive war, then? DontClickMeName talkcontributions 18:46, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Misunderstanding of International Legal Issues in relation to Iraq and Afghanistan[edit]

Concerning the final section of the article, the author states that the United States would have had legal justification to invade Iraq if the Security Council had found continued violations of past resolutions (most importantly Resolution 687). There are two errors here: one factual, the other regarding international legal thought. The factual error is that the U.N. Security Council did find Iraq to be in "material breach" of past UN resolutions in the first operative clause of Resolution 1441. The error concerning international law is that, even though the Security Council found Iraq to be in violation of UN mandates, such a declaration does not ipso facto authorize the use of force. There is international legal consensus that Security Council resolutions must explicitly mention such authorization before any state may take action against another sovereign state. Furthermore, concerning Afghanistan, the international community strongly supported the U.S. operations in Afghanistan as a valid exercise of self-defense rights. The author must take into account that the UN Security Council reaffirmed the Article 51 right to self-defense twice immediately after the Sept. 11th attacks, the first time in its history that the Council affirmed Article 51.


Preventive war is not preemptive war[edit]

preemptive war an imminent conflict where the enemy commits an act of aggression, or is in the process of committing an act of aggression. preventive war is war caused by the belief conflict is "inevitable" and it is believed that the enemy could pose a threat to the nation. preemptive war is justified, preventive war is a violation of international law and considered international terrorism. The conflict in Iraq is even unjustified as prevetive war, Iraq performed a complete disarmament under the guise of the UN before we attacked. America then changed it's cause for war as humanitarian war. (17:39, 6 May 2006 68.114.229.90)


Both these articles have problems and IMHO should be merged. I won't be able to do serious work for a week or two on them. I am removing flagrantly false statements in the introduction to this article, that both terms have no generally accepted definition. This is true only of "preventative", and the fact (which should be in the only reference for this article) that "pre-emptive" has had a strict and universally accepted legal definition for 170 years clarifies the meaning of "preventative" somewhat, which is a reason I support the merger. Saying that they should be merged is not saying they are the same by any means, just that confusion is less likely if they are put together, to put each other in relief. John Z4.234.102.166 05:00, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
Put in the addition about "anticipatory" because sometimes these words are used in confusing ways. And my first post above was confusing, because of the following ambiguity of "preemptive". The distinction is sometimes between anticipatory vs. preemptive instead of preemptive vs. preventive, where in the first pair, "preemptive" is used like "preventive" here at Wikipedia. The O'Connell paper has good footnote on this. This is another argument for merger, so we can explain how people use the 3 words for 2 concepts. If there are two articles, the other one should be renamed anticipatory self-defense for clarity, and preemptive should be a disambiguation page.4.234.102.166 06:43, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. I know the footnote in O'Connell that you refer to. Can someone sort out this page as soon as possible? I cannot believe this incorrect information has been allowed to pass. anticipatory v pre-emptive is entirely the correct stance that JohnZ puts forward, as does Prof. O'Connell. WillH

Reversions[edit]

User:Nescio and I have been continually reverting a long "quote dump" that, while perfectly well sourced and relevant, is not encyclopedic in the least. This kind of thing needs to be pared down and summarized. We can't be including long excerpts of news conferences in every article. That is why I wrote something like "commentators as diverse as Noam Chomsky and Dwight Eisenhower have argued..." earlier.

Eleland 19:22, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Bot report : Found duplicate references ![edit]

In the last revision I edited, I found duplicate named references, i.e. references sharing the same name, but not having the same content. Please check them, as I am not able to fix them automatically :)

  • "Taming American Power, Stephen M% Walt, pp 224" :
    • Taming American Power, Stephen M. Walt pp 224
    • Taming American Power, Stephen M. Walt, pp 224

DumZiBoT (talk) 13:41, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

"preventive war is considered an act of aggression in international law"[edit]

This violates NPOV, as it is far from the case that this is agreed upon. THF (talk) 16:56, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Seems sourced. Do you have a source that disagrees? Hipocrite (talk) 16:58, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes. Inter alia, John Yoo, Walter B. Slocombe, Robert J. Delahunty, and official US policy during the Bush administration. E.g., http://www.harvard-jlpp.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/YooFinal.pdf and sources cited therein. THF (talk) 17:05, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
That's a primary source, which really isn't the best for this kind of thing, but I'll see what I can do. Certainly a secondary source says whatever you want to say about this dissent exists. Could you provide it? Hipocrite (talk) 17:07, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
How is it that the book with one POV is a secondary source and the law review article disagreeing with that POV is a primary source? THF (talk) 17:17, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Books, though I haven't read the one in question, typically summarize lots of primary sources. John Yoo should certainly be considered a primary source for most, if not every, topic related to the legal position of the Bush adminstration - please try to play fair - I'm trying to make the article better for everyone, here. Hipocrite (talk) 17:19, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I still don't understand why Neta Crawford's opinion necessarily counts more than John Yoo's. THF (talk) 17:43, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Books are typically secondary sources, while law articles are primary sources. Hipocrite (talk) 17:49, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Forgive me if I'm somehow trangressing something that's been decided elsewhere, but that makes no sense. When John Yoo collects several law articles into a book, they're magically transformed into a secondary source? That seems to be what you're saying: Crawford's piece is a 38-page essay in a larger book of articles, some of which disagree with her. THF (talk) 17:59, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
No, a collection of primary sources is a collection of primary sources. Do you have a copy of the Crawford whatever? Could you find where the editor sourced the strong statement about the legality of the practice? Hipocrite (talk) 18:07, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
So why is Crawford a secondary source then? THF (talk) 22:08, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

The change is still an NPOV violation. Article 51 of the UN Charter explicitly permits self-defense. What's the basis for writing that this is a minority view? THF (talk) 17:18, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

I trust other editors to be honest. "The False Promise of Preventive War, Neta C. Crawford, 2007" was used to source "preventive war is considered an act of aggression in international law." If that source isn't accurate, or is misrepresented, then we can talk about that, but first either you or I would have to go to the library and get that book. I'm not going to be able to get to a library for quite some time, so that would have to be up to you, if you think the source is misrepresented. Hipocrite (talk) 17:22, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that's the POV of Neta Crawford, an assistant professor of African-American Studies at Boston University. I didn't say otherwise. What's your point, and why are you implying that I'm dishonest? THF (talk) 17:42, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, no. We expect experts in their field ("Neta C. Crawford is Professor of Political Science and African American Studies where her teaching focuses on international ethics and normative change,") writing review articles and books to accurately reflect things. Apparently an editor found somewhere in the book in question a statement which sourced the fact that "preventive war is considered an act of aggression in international law," not merely an "in the opinion of the author" statement, which is all we could get from a primary source (like the Yoo paper). Again, if you think that editor overstated what the book stated, or that Prof. Crawford is not reflective of the majority of thought, you'd have to find sources. Hipocrite (talk) 17:48, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Again, I see no basis for treating the opinion of an assistant professor at a second-tier university as more dispositive than the opinion of a tenured professor at a top-15 law school (especially when the latter has far more actual real-life international law experience), and I see no basis for treating Crawford's article as a superior source to Yoo's article just because it was in a hard-cover collection of articles instead of a law review. THF (talk) 17:59, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't see evidence that it's the opinion of the professor that it's illegal, rather that it's the opinion of the professor that it's the opinion of the world that it's illegal. Do you see the difference? Yoo states he thinks it should be legal, Crawford states everyone else thinks it's illegal, according to the citation provided. Hipocrite (talk) 18:07, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
There is no difference in how Crawford argues the point and how Yoo argues the point, other than that you seem to think that Crawford is somehow a more reliable source for her personal opinion. THF (talk) 20:53, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Self defence means that someone has attacked you, - not the same thing as a preventive war. ϢereSpielChequers 17:25, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that's certainly one prominent point of view on the subject. Hardly universal, though, and I see no evidence that that's the majority opinion. Where are the international law prosecutions for all of the preventive wars fought in the last half-century? THF (talk) 17:59, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Let's not ask people to violate WP:OR or WP:SYNTH. Thanks! Hipocrite (talk) 18:07, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
You seem to have no trouble violating WP:OR. Where's the basis for the sentence you added to the article? THF (talk) 20:53, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to disengage from you for a week. Hipocrite (talk) 20:56, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
In other words, you have no basis for removing the NPOV tag or for the accuracy of any of the material you wrote. I'm returning the tag to the article, which is ridiculously one-sided and inaccurate. THF (talk) 22:12, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

"For centuries, international law recognized that nations need not suffer an attack before they can lawfully take action to defend themselves against forces that present an imminent danger of attack." -- The National Security Strategy of the United States of America (September 2002) at 15. THF (talk) 20:53, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

The Yoo-Delahunty article provides very good evidence for some of the disputed points and for removing some {{dubious}} & {{or}} tags. They argue against what they (accurately) consider the prevailing doctrine & interpretation, that preventive war is illegal aggression, founded in rules from The Caroline Case and the UN charter, which they oppose. There are also articles on pre-emptive wars and strikes, which maybe should be merged. A major problem in the article is terminological: the literature often opposes "pre-emptive vs anticipatory self-defense" respectively instead of "preventive vs. pre-emptive", with the word "pre-emptive" used with opposite meanings.John Z (talk) 23:24, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Having looked through the Yoo article, I agree. There is no contradiction raised by this source to the statements in the lead of the article, as far as I can determine. Yoo-Delahunty does not appear to be saying that preventive war agrees with international law: it is rather saying that regardless of unrealistic international legal frameworks, preventive war is morally justifiable.
In summary, the arguments raised by user THF appear without merit, and at this point he should either find a source that directly supports his claim or cease inserting {{dubious}} and other tags into the lead of this article. Khin2718 (talk) 06:50, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
I gave a source that directly supports my claim. You've just chosen to ignore it, which is apparently your right given that Wikipedia does not enforce its NPOV policy when it comes to the United States and international law. THF (talk) 20:12, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
How about we both say that preventive war is morally justifiable, but also an aggression to international law? DontClickMeName talkcontributions 18:50, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Citation problems[edit]

This article currently suffers from deep problems of lacking citations in the body. The lede itself probably has a bare minimum of citations, though it could use more. Still, given the controversial nature of the topic and potential for edit warring, anyone seriously interested in developing this page needs to have multiple citations for many statements.

In contrast to the lede, many of the claims in the body are totally unsourced, as for example with this claim that "Both Axis and Allies in World War II invaded neutral countries on grounds of prevention." That may well be true, but we need to see sources stating directly that there were such invasions. Otherwise this is original research and should be deleted (see WP:OR).

Correspondingly, users challenging material on this page that actually is sourced need to present their own alternative sources, and cite specifically how their presented source supports their claim.Khin2718 (talk) 08:55, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

NPOV continued[edit]

  • Why is Noam Chomsky's fringe opinion on the Iraq War given more weight than Douglas Feith's? (Indeed, Chomsky is cited twice in the article, including being given the first external link.) THF (talk) 04:01, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
That the opinion belongs to Chomsky in particular in these cases is incidental, though not out of place. The opinions are:
1. The Iraq war was partly about controlling Middle Eastern oil wealth
2. Accepting one preventive war opens the floodgates to all preventive wars
Neither of these are fringe opinions. If you have some material you want to add, by all means do so and we will judge its legitimacy and neutrality. —Khin2718 (talk) 23:25, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Why does the lead falsely imply that only two scholars in the world think that preventive war is legitimate, when scholars in the very same book cited in the lead for the proposition that it is not disagree? THF (talk) 04:01, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't. However, if you want to find other sources and add them later in the article, by all means go ahead. This article does have major citation problems and we could also use some help documenting many of the assertions that already exist, or finding contradictory sources so we can dispense with them quickly. Many of the statements are basic and doing this should not be hard, if you are interested in doing so. —Khin2718 (talk) 23:25, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Eisenhower quote in lede[edit]

User:Trift has been attempting to insert this material in the lede:

"When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. War settles nothing." - Dwight D. Eisenhower - "All of us have heard this term 'preventive war' since the earliest days of Hitler. I recall that is about the first time I heard it. In this day and time.... I don't believe there is such a thing; and, frankly, I wouldn't even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing." 1953 press conference, about being presented with plans to wage preventive war to disarm Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union

The material is highly problematic, for several reasons:

  1. It's unsourced.
  2. Its significance is unclear - what reliable secondary source has indicated this particular quote is important?
  3. Its context is unclear - was this particularly relevant to attacking the Soviet Union, or did he mean it in general? Again, reliable secondary sources required.
  4. It violates WP:LEDE - what part of the article does it summarize? Apparently none, since the material doesn't appear in the article.

All in all, it's highly unlikely this quote belongs in the article at all, but certainly not in the lede. Please make a case for including it. Jayjg (talk) 04:07, 13 November 2011 (UTC)