Today is Veterans Day, which honors all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and the sacrifices they have made. But one aspect of Veterans Day that is often overlooked is its celebration of nonviolence. According to the text of the 1938 Congressional Act making the day a legal holiday, it is “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace…”
In the video below, Temple University professor Jan Ting and George Mason University professor Bryan Caplan debate whether war is ever justified. Dr. Ting argues that war is sometimes justified when the opponent adheres to an evil ideology. Dr. Kaplan counters that war is never justified because its grizzly short run costs, including the killing of civilians, never justify its potential benefits.
The best way to resolve this debate and clarify the role of American foreign policy in general is to seek the opinions of veterans themselves. In fact, that would be one of the best ways to honor them this Veterans Day.