This country was founded on freedom. When the founding fathers wrote the constitution, they laid down the stones to create the freest country in the world. As a country that aspires towards freedom, we also stand to defend the freedom of other peoples of the world. Many of the most prominent wars in the past have been in defense of freedom.
The first war for freedom was the war that created America. The revolutionary war was fought to liberate the 13 colonies from British rule. The founding fathers fought to create a country that gave every citizen freedoms other countries prohibited.
The civil war was a war to free the slaves and allow all citizens of the United States to be free.
The world wars were fought to defend and fight for the freedom of Europeans and Americans alike
Before and after many wars, philosophers and politicians attempt to justify the conflict, whether by using political, economic, or ethical reasons. Freedom is a virtue, so only ethical reasons will be discussed.
A prominent theory that many writers, including Michael Waltzer, have consulted is called the Just War theory. It attempts to use different ethical reasons for justifying wars. On the topic of fighting for freedom, the Just War theory states that, "a nation may possess just cause to defend an oppressed group, and may rightly argue that the proper intention is to secure their freedom..." It then goes to say that waging war solely to pursue freedom is expensive, so only if the freedom gained is, "also complemented by the securing of economic or other military interests." In the case of the Revolutionary war, freedom from the British government was the foremost goal, but along with freedom, the Colonies also gained rights to expand west past the Appalachian range.
The next mention of freedom in the Just War theory is in the context of freedom fighters. The theory discusses whether it is just for guerrillas or undercover agents to disguise themselves as civilians to infiltrate enemy civilizations while fighting for freedom. The theory says that the, "fighter may breach codes of conduct." In the fight to gain freedom, I agree with the Just War theory.
The Just War theory states that, "in victory, the victors may enslave or kill the aggressors." This is where I disagree with the theory. Though in historical times, this was the norm, where the winner would take all, modern times have changed that norm. In the case of World War II, when the Allies won the war, we did not kill and enslave the Axis powers. We simply required them to cease their violent and unjust practices, and to form countries where freedom would abound.
The Just War theory is applicable to many conflicts in today's world, but in some cases, such as the victory situation above, the theory is outdated.
Photo Behind: Save Freedom of Speech Buy War Bonds, Norman Rockwell, US Government Printing Office, 1943