The fact that so many found the 2003 coalition’s presumption in invading Iraq

so shocking illustrates a significant development in twenty-first century political

thought. Although war is always horrible, the coalition members’ decision to take

matters into their own hands is not as self-evidently outrageous as its critics tend to

imply. Not only have states committed similar acts throughout history, well-respected

bodies of political thought suggest that they have both the need and the moral

right to do so. The UN Charter itself recognizes the principle of state sovereignty.