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The United States and the Use of the Preemptive Strike For many years, international law acknowledged that states need not suffer a military strike before they can take measures to defend against powers that present an imminent danger of attack. However, the US maintained the option of preemptive strike to counter sufficient forces of a threat to their national security…
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Download file to see previous pages Nonetheless, it has been said that the US will not take measures in all emerging threats, nor sovereigns should use “pre-emption” as pretense for aggression. Nevertheless, in the time when adversaries against peace nations actively seek the nuclear-armed capabilities, the US will not ignore while threats assemble. Finally, the purpose of the US action, as conveyed, is to eliminate a specific threat, not to promote international violence. Thus, in order to legitimize pre-emptive action against a state, promise of transparency of reasons, measured force and the establishment of just cause have been made by the state. In this context and given the history and facts surrounding Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, the paper answers if the US can be justified under International Law in taking pre-emptive measures against Iraq in the year 2003. In the year 2003, the United States, supported by two of its allies, Great Britain and Australia, invaded Iraq, a Sovereign Nation, an event that raised many questions as to whether the attack was justified according to United States foreign policy and world politics (Ritcher, 2003). The reasons advanced as to why the attack took place were that Iraq was in the process of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. The other reason was that the regime of Sadaam Hussein was a threat to world peace and the United States and that it was involved in the twin tower attack or 9/11 (Dworkin, 2002). It was also said that the said regime was working in corroboration with international terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and needed to be brought down. The United States also advanced the fact that declaring war on Iraq was a step towards fighting international terrorism. It was also alleged that declaring war on Iraq was one of the ways to enhance democracy in the Middle East. Lastly, it was said to have been done to help the people of Iraq remove a regime that was oppressing them and which supported torture and rape. The United States President contended that Iraq posed a threat, and the United States had a right under article 51 of the United Nations Charter to undertake the use of military action or force to counter the threat (Bellamy, 2003; White House, 2002). Because Iraq had not at any given time attacked the United States, the reason as advanced by former American President George Bush raised many questions as to the validity of the use of force to counter not real but anticipated attacks and threats. According to international law, it is illegal to use force between states, except for situations, which meet two main conditions (Arend, 2003). The first situation occurs when the Security Council authorizes the use of force by one state against the other, and the second condition is when a state is acting in self-defense. The action of a state in self-defense has been a subject of intense debate, since self-defense can be interpreted to include anticipated danger. Self-defense is subject to the interpretation and application of Article 51 of the United Nations (UN) Charter, which authorizes states to use force in defense against attack. In recent times, the arguments around the notion of self-defense have been centered on whether the use of military force is justified to be used preemptively (Bothe, 2003). Recently, the United States used the national Security Strategy to institute ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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