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The Use of Force and Wars on Terrorism - Essay Example

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The Legitimacy of the Use of Force against Terrorism Introduction UN Charter’s Article 2(4) clearly forbids the exercise of force by one nation against another. It forbids the threat or exercise of any kind of force that breaches a state’s “territorial integrity” or “political independence” (Laursen 2004, 485)…
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The Use of Force and Wars on Terrorism
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Download file to see previous pages The Charter’s Article 51 stipulates (Dinstein 2001, 161): “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.” Hence, a country can respond in self-defence or self-preservation against a terrorist assault, but not unless the Security Council has performed steps needed to uphold security, peace, and order. The immunity for self-defence stated in Article 51 is the single clear omission to the prohibition of Article 2(4). This Article, according to Dinstein (2001), presumes that international law currently necessitates at least the possibility of a forthcoming armed attack before a nation may react forcefully or violently against the political independence or territorial integrity of another nation. Nevertheless, even as the terrorists have perpetrated an armed assault, the right to wield force against the attackers positioned in a state is anomalous except if the terrorist activities can be attributed to the state (Kittrich 2008). Hence, an important question is when can terrorism be attributed to the state where in it manoeuvres? Since an assault against terrorism breaches the host state’s territorial integrity, the terrorists’ armed assault should be ascribed to that particular state (Kittrich 2008). It would then be legally acceptable to wield force against the terrorists positioned in that state. This paper tries to address this primary question: Do terrorists’ acts constitute a violation of Article 2(4), which justifies wars on terrorism as an act of self-defence under the UN Charter? Use of Force against Terrorism The impact of the UN Charter on a state’s innate right to embark on traditional self-preservation has long been a point of contention. Nevertheless, nowadays, many think that the traditional international law authority to self-protection is unchanged by the Charter’s Article 51 and that this natural right to self-preservation involves a right to defensive self-protection (Boethe 2003). Others claim that Article 51 in fact removed preventative self-defence as a lawful rationale for the exercise of armed or violent force, and, without an armed attack, a nation should restrict itself to mobilizations to defend against such an assault, even despite of clear assault mobilizations being carried out by another nation (Penna 1991). This Article reinforces the argument of those who claim that states sustain the traditional natural right to defensive self-protection. Threats of international terrorism currently take place in the form of anachronistic groups that embody majority of the features of a state: organisation, preparation, training, disposed forces, resources, and possible possession of weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless, dissimilar from states, these terrorist groups are headed by people who are ready to use suicide operations routinely and who show a complete disrespect to the authority of law and human life (Dinstein 2001). Certainly, the success of such assaults relies on a state unaware of how or when these assaults will subsequently take place. Hence, a state may legally respond on the supposition that, due to the constantly displayed unusual characteristic and operational strategies of particular transnational terrorist groups, an assault by such ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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