Stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction is a legitimate reason to go to war, European Union foreign ministers said this week. To avoid future disagreements such as the one over the Iraq war, which divided Europe, the E.U. ministers drew up a common strategy paper that outlines when military action is acceptable to confiscate banned weapons. The answer: Only after all diplomatic means have been exhausted. “This means working with those who share our interest in preventing proliferation,” the paper said. “And it also means dealing with those who cheat.” The U.N. Security Council should play a “central role” in diplomacy, the paper says, although its approval is not explicitly required for war.
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