History may not repeat itself, as Mark Twain is credited with saying, but it does indeed rhyme sometimes. Sadly, the American people and their leaders are not interested in the rhymes or lessons of history.
Two Christian schools of thought might support covert operations and espionage: the just war tradition and a kind of “dirty hands” moralism. The dirty hands view says all those in political power must unavoidably resort to evil for the common good. The just war tradition has a different approach.
Robert Kennedy had rejected the anti-Semitism of his father, Ambassador Joe Kennedy, and had pledged to send 50 jet fighters to Israel to help that small, embattled country survive in a sea of enemies. For that, he would pay with his life.
Just war theorizing has typically left the issue of national honor untouched, although warriors and statesmen routinely emphasize the importance of vindicating the sacrifice of the fallen. Does prolonging a war in order to assuage or vindicate national honor comport with the just war tradition?