My question is, in light of technology and weaponry in the 21st century is it immoral to strike first when it may be the only way to survive? Iran vs Israel or even the USA vs North Korea come to mind. If intelligence sources of a nation give evidence to it's leaders that weapons are being created that can be used to devastating effect with the deaths of thousands or even millions of citizens then is this a moral rationale for striking that country first? If the US got evidence that NK was actively engaged in launching a strike against Seoul in hours then would it be justified to use nukes to eliminate the imminent threat to millions of the citizens of an ally? If not, why not? And if a nation has the capability to destroy it's enemy prior to that enemy inflicting horrendous casualties is it moral NOT to defend it's own citizens?
Edited to add: This thread is not about the justification of the Iraq war. It is a general question of using force to save one's citizens when they are threatened.
Edited by and then, 16 March 2013 - 11:46 AM.