ProvCast Ep. 32: American Justness in War—from Independence, WWII, Vietnam, and Beyond

& Mark Melton | May 20, 2019

In this episode of the Foreign Policy ProvCast, Eric Patterson speaks about his book Just American Wars: Ethical Dilemmas in US Military History. Specifically, he addresses whether the colonies were right to fight the British Empire in the American War for Independence, national honor and ego were good reasons for US presidents to continue the Vietnam War, and much else.

The conversation references a couple other Providence articles and podcasts, including Patterson’s print edition article about the Vietnam War, Rebeccah Heinrichs’ podcast episode and article about nuclear weapons and the just war tradition, and Marc LiVecche’s article about nuclear weapons.


Eric Patterson serves as executive vice president of the Religious Freedom Institute. He is scholar-at-large and past dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University and a research fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs. He’s also a contributing editor for Providence and the author of Just American Wars: Ethical Dilemmas in US Military History.

Mark Melton is Providence’s deputy editor. He earned his master’s in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and his bachelor’s in Foreign Language and International Trade from Mississippi College.

Kirkland An produced this episode.

Photo Credit: United States Marine Corps War Memorial by Felix de Weldon at night in Arlington, Virginia. Photo by Catie Drew, via Wikimedia Commons.