The post-Cold War era has seen the return of the ‘good war’ and a move away from legal pacifism – the control of war through international law – to ‘just war’ theorizing. This article is concerned with the re-legitimization of warfare witnessed within the post-Cold War security paradigm that is being justified via humanitarian claims. It aims to highlight the difficult relationship that has developed since the commencement of the Bush administration's ‘war on terror’ between the cosmopolitan beliefs of those who have long argued for legal and legitimate humanitarian intervention, and the cosmopolitanism being espoused by the neo-conservatives of the Bush administration and the Project for the New American Century.