In this brief comment, I want to argue, without making any definite judgments about the current situation, that our understanding of the just war should pay attention to the questions of legitimate authority and right intention for use of force. To do this, we should take into account the procedural values of modern constitutional democracy and transnational governance. We should also consider the intentions established through the political processes legitimating those war aims as the relevant intentions for assessing whether the use of force comports with the moral criteria of the just war. Indeed, if the just war's aims are not publicly justified through a relevant political process, how can we be confident that right intention springs from legitimate authority or that either reflects the measure of the prudence, or other characteristic virtues of the Christian character, that must be evidenced in every judgment of practical reason for the sake of the common good?
Antonio F. Perez, The Modern Relevance of Legitimate Authority and Right Intention, 51 CATH. U. L. REV. 15 (2001).