The Law of War: Can 20th-Century Standards Apply to the Global War on Terrorism?
The course of events revealed with great clarity how some of the worst crimes of the late 20th century could have been ended very easily, simply by withdrawing crucial participation. That is hardly the only case, and Clinton was not alone in his interpretation of what scholarship now depicts as another inspiring achievement of the new era of humanitarianism. There is a new and highly regarded literary genre inquiring into the cultural defects that keep us from responding properly to the crimes of others.
An interesting question no doubt, though by any reasonable standards it ranks well below a different one: why do we and our allies persist in our own substantial crimes, either directly or through crucial support for murderous clients? That remains unasked, and if raised at the margins, arouses shivers of horror. That stance too has a distinguished pedigree. If we adopt that stance, joining the tattered remnants outside the authoritative spectrum, we will be led to conclude, I think, that policy choices are likely to remain within a framework that is well entrenched, enhanced perhaps in important ways but not fundamentally changed: much as after the collapse of the USSR, I believe.
There are a number of reasons to anticipate essential continuity, among them the stability of the basic institutions in which policy decisions are rooted, but also narrower ones that merit some attention. Scholarship has explored still deeper roots for that ambitious enterprise. More ominous still, by the s, was the swamp from which the plague was spreading. That was only one of the contenders for the prize of major terrorist atrocity in the peak year of terror. A second was a car-bomb outside a mosque in Beirut that killed 80 people and wounded others, timed to explode as people were leaving, killing mostly women and girls, traced back to the CIA and British intelligence.
Scholarship too recognizes to be a peak year of Middle East terrorism, but does not cite these events: rather, two terrorist atrocities in which a single person was murdered, in each case an American. And that hardly exhausts the record. For such reasons the US and Israel voted alone against an UN resolution condemning terrorism in the strongest terms and calling on all nations to combat the plague, passed —2, Honduras abstaining. Rumsfeld is joined by others who were prominent figures in the Reagan administration. Their thinking and goals have not changed, and although they may represent an extreme position on the policy spectrum, it is worth bearing in mind that they are by no means isolated.
There is considerable continuity of doctrine, assumptions, and actions, persisting for many years until today. But such questions aside, the concept again reflects the emerging doctrine that we must discard the efforts of the past century to construct an international order in which the powerful are not free to resort to violence at will.
The scrupulous avoidance of the events of the recent past is easy to understand, given what inquiry will quickly reveal. That includes not only the terrorist crimes of the s and what came before, but also those of the s, right to the present. A comparison of leading beneficiaries of US military assistance and the record of state terror should shame honest people, and would, if it were not so effectively removed from the public eye. It suffices to look at the two countries that have been vying for leadership in this competition: Turkey and Colombia.
Just War Theory
As a personal aside I happened to visit both recently, including scenes of some of the worst crimes of the s, adding some vivid personal experience to what is horrifying enough in the printed record. I am putting aside Israel and Egypt, a separate category. To repeat the obvious, we basically have two choices. Or we can subject the doctrines of the proclaimed grand new era to scrutiny, drawing rational conclusions, perhaps gaining some sense of the emerging reality. If there is a third way, I do not see it. Potential threats are virtually limitless, everywhere, even at home, as the anthrax attack illustrates.
The observations generalize in obvious ways.
All without eliciting notable concern, except in Latin America, and Panama itself, where the invasion was harshly condemned. The doctrine of preemptive strike has much earlier origins, even in words. After any pretense of a Soviet threat collapsed in , the US tightened its stranglehold on Cuba on new pretexts, notably the alleged role in terrorism of the prime target of US-based terrorism for 40 years.
The Combatant category includes members of armed forces, militia and volunteer corps, etc. In the case of Iraq, Saddam Hussein and his two sons who were ordered to be attacked — though they did not directly take part in hostilities and were in a hideout — occupied positions within the military, and as such can be recognized as combatants since membership alone qualifies them as combatants because their functioning aided military operations carried out by Iraqi forces.
The next important criterion is to assess whether they were a military objective. Since abating the Iraqi militia and government occupied a central place in the agenda of Operation Iraqi Freedom, targeting Hussein and his sons can be justified. Once the military objective becomes legitimate, it is important to decide on the means that would be employed in achieving the objective. This is a principle enshrined in CIHL as well. This is where the Iraq case becomes tricky. Elaborating on the complexity of the issue Schmitt quotes Human Rights Watch:. Targeting based on satellite phone-derived geo-coordinates turned a precision weapon into a potentially indiscriminate weapon.
Thus the United States could not determine from where a call was originating to a degree of accuracy greater than one-hundred meters radius; a caller could have been anywhere within a 31,square-meter area. In essence, imprecise target coordinates were used to program precision-guided munitions. Whatever position legal provisions assume, the Just War stance is consonant with that of Human Rights Watch. Given the amount of civilian casualties sustained due to the air strikes that were targeted at the Iraqi leadership, the US strategy was clearly proven flawed.
Furthermore it was only in December that the forces were able to track down Saddam Hussein in a hideout. Added to this a number of other attacks carried out with the intention of tracking down top Iraqi leaders too proved to cause staggering incidental loss to civilian life. The strikes took place in early April and al-Majid was actually captured only as late as August. From both IHL and Just War perspectives, the use of weaponry in an armed conflict is instrumental in determining the justifiability of the conflict.
While it should be noted that the usage of weaponry of the US forces was generally satisfactory in terms of IHL standards, there were a few instances that came under heavy criticism which demands attention. The case of cluster munitions tops the list of controversies.
By nature, cluster munitions destroy indiscriminately, and therefore calls for the banning of them are increasing by the day. Yet the current body of IHL does not classify cluster munitions as illegal weapons. However, it should also be noted that most US attacks on densely populated locations were launched under unavoidable circumstances because US conduct illustrates the fact that the coalition forces were constantly making effort to minimize the human cost of the war. For example, the US air strike of Baghdad date grove was carried out during midnight despite ample opportunity to strike during day and make a more hugely felt impact.
Ground war, in contrast, painted a dismal picture of coalition behaviour. According to Human Rights Watch, ground launched cluster munitions deployed by coalition forces were one of the most major threats to civilians due to the heavy number of civilian casualties they caused. Stating the point Human Rights Watch reports:.
Unlike Coalition air forces, American and British ground forces used cluster munitions extensively in populated areas. A military list of duds reported after the war shows that the use of these weapons was widespread along the battle route to Baghdad, including in and around other populated areas. Major cities including al-Hilla, al-Najaf, Karbala, Baghdad, and Basra suffered hundreds of civilian casualties due to the liberal use of cluster munitions.
Though the coalition forces tried to limit the harm, the very choice of using these in residential areas made them responsible for violations of IHL. Protecting non-combatants is a fundamental objective of a Just War. It also occupies a principal position in IHL because the main function of IHL is to ensure minimal damage to life and property. It also became an increasing concern for US forces in the Iraq theatre due to the dangerous and tricky urban combat sites they had to handle. While it is important to bear in mind that civilian casualties are unavoidable in a war, the IHL requirement is to limit both the number of non-combatants affected as well as the suffering inflicted upon them.
It therefore regulates the methods employed in waging a war in a way that minimizes harm to the said subjects. IHL has a list of protected persons including civilians, medical and religious personnel, women and children, etc. The increasingly creative — and even destructive — methods and standards of warfare that will be explained in succeeding paragraphs have blurred the lines between combatants and civilians, making the protection of non-combatants a very challenging task indeed.
As per a pre-planned military agenda, coalition forces attacked Iraqi media facilities, an action that came under heavy criticism. But the question here is whether those were military objects. According to Human Rights Watch, the facilities under attack did not render direct assistance to Iraqi armed forces. But Schmitt, presenting a counter argument, disagrees with the stance of Human Rights Watch. However, more pressing problems were related to targeting Baath party buildings that were not directly linked to any military objective under the NLPU test.
Since targeting a regime is not morally permitted by both IHL and the Just War theory, such attacks accounted to violations of both legal and moral standards. Another important issue was that of targeting involuntary human shields in order to achieve military victory. Most opponents of the invasion called for holding the US accountable for war crimes due to this phenomenon. Involuntary human shields play a very important role in the evaluation of proportionality.
To cite an example from Schmitt, in one reported case a US helicopter had attacked a group of Iraqi militiamen who had used a civilian family as their shield. Does this fail the test of proportionality? Article 51 8 of Additional Protocol I, providing an answer, states that under no circumstance will civilians lose their protection as protected persons. It is actually this protection that makes combatants use civilians as shields. Though the coalition forces were caught up in a tricky situation in dealing with human shields, it is correct to conclude that, as per existing IHL norms, the forces can be held accountable for violations of IHL.
Targeting medical facilities by the coalition forces relates a different story since the facilities under attack had become military objectives at the time of the attacks. The distinction between combatants and non-combatants grew even hazier due to Iraqi combatants being dressed in civilian clothing. Nevertheless, the obligation of US forces to seek to avoid non-combatant casualties remained the same. However, during the invasion, satisfactory examples have not been produced to hold coalition forces responsible for violations of IHL in their treatment towards Iraqis who feigned surrender or attacked coalition troops in civilian clothing.
Human Rights Watch reports that the cause for violations of IHL norms on the part of US forces were mainly due to their lack of understanding of the existing body of knowledge on IHL, and therefore there is a need for better guidance in order to avoid incidental losses of civilian life. The military victory in Operation Iraqi Freedom was extremely rapid and astoundingly low in terms of the number of American deaths reported. Yet it was a controversial military exercise from a number of perspectives.
The US-led coalition came under heavy criticism due to their conduct during the operation. This chapter scrutinized the conduct of hostilities by the US forces during the military operation with regard to their compliance of IHL. It took into consideration certain contentious issues pertaining to US conduct during armed hostilities and arrived at the following conclusions. Yet there are instances in which IHL violations have occurred. With the changing nature of conflicts and the introduction of ever more creative methods to warfare, certain provisions of IHL are compelled to widen their horizons or risk being parochial and obsolete.
One such instance is the blurring of the distinction between civilians and combatants which presented the coalition forces with an unprecedented experience. However, research by Human Rights Watch suggests that the conduct of US forces with regard to Iraqi combatants in civilian clothing is satisfactory and fulfills IHL requirements, for there is no reported case of significance that asserts the fact that US troops performed immoral acts concerning Iraqi combatants who feigned surrender or attacked while in civilian clothing.
Notwithstanding the assessment of Human Rights Watch, widespread use of cluster munitions by coalition forces was severely criticized since they were used in residential areas causing indiscriminate incidental loss of civilian life and property. In fact, it is the use of ground cluster munitions that accounted for the most number of civilian deaths during Operation Iraqi Freedom. This violated the principle of proportionality, a cardinal principle of IHL. Furthermore, precision-guided air strikes repeatedly proved to be inaccurate calculations — if not outright wild guesses — since these strikes were not able to kill a single targeted individual but caused many a civilian death.
This called for the need of exercising extreme caution in the execution of an attack. Attacks on media installations too bore testimony to the fact that more caution and planning is required prior to launching an attack which might at the end demonstrate poor judgment due to the number of casualties caused despite not being able to achieve the expected end.
Nevertheless certain instances prove that their behaviour amounted to violations of IHL, thus making certain aspects of the operation an unjust war. As mentioned in previous chapters, violation of even a single principle of the Just War theory renders a war immoral or unjust. Therefore it is correct to conclude that US conduct during the Iraq invasion was unjust under the jus in bello component as well, since certain violations of Just War criteria have occurred during the conduct of hostilities.
The chapter would present an analysis of the newest and latest component of the Just War theory, i. In drawing a conclusion, it would assess whether the US had been able to play a responsible role as an occupying power in Iraq and whether Iraq today is better than her pre-invasion counterpart. The chapter will begin its assessment from the point where the previous chapter concluded, i. After a prolonged contested occupation of eight years, the last brigade of US soldiers left Iraq on 18 th December However, the US left behind a country battered by sectarian violence, political uncertainty, political oppression and mounting tension.
The US exit from post-invasion Iraq therefore posed serious concerns from the perspective of Just War. Following is a brief account of post-invasion Iraq presented to provide an answer to the question. In March , the US army arrived in Baghdad and within 21 days captured the Iraqi capital after a string of air strikes and ground attacks. After a brief period of relative calm, the country broke into chaos and looting became the norm. Then begins the period under investigation of the current chapter.
In June of the same year, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared that US forces continued to be killed even after the conclusion of major combat operations, mainly by the remaining members of the Baathist regime. August marked the intensification of the insurgency that began soon after the fall of Baghdad with the killing of the UN Envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello by a suicide bomber. In December , Saddam Hussein was captured in Tikrit. In , the insurgency grew into huge proportions marked by a series of suicide attacks and increased fighting between US troops and insurgents, including the US-led offensive in Falluja.
In June the same year, the sovereign power of Iraq was handed over to an interim government by the US against a background of allegations hurling at US forces regarding the abuse and mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners. In January , 8 million voted to elect a Transitional National Assembly. In April , Jalal Talabani was sworn in as president.
In August, Shia and Kurdish negotiators endorsed a draft constitution while their Sunni counterparts looked down upon it. In October, the constitution was approved, and in December the Iraqis elected their first ever full-term government since the occupation.
In , the UN reported that an average of more than civilians were killed per day in Iraq. Three years after his capturing, in December , Saddam Hussein was executed. In , President Bush announced a new Iraq strategy that proposed to dispatch more US troops to bring the situation in Iraq under control. This was followed by a series of deadly bomb attacks that claimed the lives of thousands of civilians.
In the same year, issues regarding the transparency of private military companies posed new challenges to the development of IHL. In , the Iraqi government entered into a security pact with the US, whereby the latter agreed to withdraw her troops from Iraq by the end of In , the withdrawal of the US troops began and in the last combat group of the US left Iraq.
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By the end of , despite surging violence and political uncertainty, the US completely removed her presence from Iraq, leaving the country in tatters. The answer for the question is thus clear: The game in Iraq was definitely not well played. Therefore justice after war has today become a burning apprehension for many just war theorists, especially after the Iraq debacle. The chapter would illustrate how the US failed to fulfill her obligations towards Iraq as both an occupying power and as a responsible player in world politics in ending the Iraq war in a constructive manner, respecting human rights and the rights of Iraqis to enjoy a just peace.
How can civic unrest of a defeated country be handled? What strategies should be implemented for post-war reconciliation? How can a country be made stable after a war? What means should be carried out to deal with internal divides of the loser? What should be the post-war role of an occupying power in rebuilding and reconstructing a conquered territory? Did she succeed in providing those with satisfactory answers?
According to the Just War theory, ending of a war must be the dawn of an era in which the unjust reasons that triggered the war shall be corrected. To put simply, in terminating a war, the just cause that spurred the war must be achieved and the injustices at the root of the war must be remedied. Therefore, any occupation subsequent to an invasion should be just, respecting law and order that will ultimately result in an ethical exit. The US policy in post-invasion Iraq portrayed neither of the said characteristics.
It, in fact, had no strategy whatsoever to deal with post-invasion Iraq. The US, in the gush of passion to prove her might, avenge her bruised ego or simply, as claimed, annihilate WMDs from Iraq for the sake of all humanity, probably overlooked the entire question of post-invasion Iraq. Both assumptions proved to be wrong. The unexpected resistance from factions within Iraq that paved the way for a deadly insurgency smashed every dream the US had of an administratively sound Iraq who could see to her own reconstruction.
The hasty, almost rushed, invasion and the subsequent hurried declaration of ending of combat operations proved that the US clearly had no plan to stay in Iraq. Her plan was only to attack Iraq and eliminate Saddam Hussein for reasons only known to the masterminds of the administration who planned the invasion. Thus the US pathetically failed to understand that regime change alone is insufficient and that it is also important to ensure that war had served to create a situation better than what was.
Since the events that unfolded after the war were not foreseen, a strategy to tackle them too was non-existent. Having ground forces deployed in Iraq, along with the establishment of the Coalition Provisional Authority CPA by the US and the UK that exercised the powers of a temporary government, the US was legally entrusted with the responsibilities of an occupying power.
Though occupying powers are naturally inclined to deny their status as a means of avoiding obligations said status entails, once a situation factually amounts to an occupation, i. Her actual performance, however, was as would be proven in the subsequent discussion far from satisfactory. As of 30 th June , with the handing of power over to an Iraqi Interim Government, a question arose as to whether the occupation has ended. The US was ever so willing to relinquish the burden of responsibilities an occupying power was saddled with.
Hence, legally ending her occupation, the US transferred all powers to the puppet Interim Government in Even though legal provisions relieved the US of the responsibility of rebuilding Iraq now that an interim government was in place, the US was morally obliged to assist in reconstruction efforts because she started the war. Therefore, the thesis will focus on the period following to until the last brigade of US troops left Iraqi soil.
The US occupation in Iraq was painted in grim tones that hinted abuses of an occupying power responsible for grave crimes, little thought to reconstruction and rebuilding, inadequate strategy to control rising sectarian violence, a rising death toll and a broad-brush approach to democracy. Following is a brief account of the major failures of the US during her occupation of Iraq that paved way for an even more wobbly country whose volatile and vulnerable nature was definitely worse than her pre-invasion counterpart. The battle bears testimony to US intolerance to resistance, a legitimate right — i.
Arbitrary firing by US troops in April resulted in a preventable massacre of civilians who were involved in a peaceful demonstration against the US occupation that in turn spurred the wider battle. The US, instead of punishing the ones who were actually responsible for the chaos, thus chose to indiscriminately punish innocent subjects of her occupation, thereby committing grave violations of both IHL and jus post bellum principles pertaining to punishment.
Fallujah was hence taken to allude to resistance, and the city later developed muscle and grew into a strong hub of combat which ultimately resulted in the US withdrawal from the city under the lame excuse of handing the power over to Iraqi authorities. In March , adding fuel to the torrid crisis, four civilian mercenaries connected to a private US-based security company named Blackwater were attacked by Iraqi fighters and their bodies were maimed, resulting in the worst decision ever to be taken by occupation authorities.
Capturing well the situation, Walden Bello comments:. In what will certainly go down as one of the worst decisions of the occupation authorities, a posse of two thousand troops from the First Marine Expeditionary Force encircled Falluja on April 4, to search out and punish the Iraqis involved in the incident. The US army, drained and spent, started firing indiscriminately violating basic principles of IHL that led to the deaths of mainly women and children who were non combatants.
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The act ignited acid responses that resulted in a surge of irregular guerilla warfare and caught the US army in a quandary as to how and when to attack. The US, reluctant to risk her already tarnished reputation, was finally compelled to enter into a ceasefire agreement and hand over power to the Fallujah Protective Army. Late witnessed an intensification of fighting between the guerillas and the US army, drawing many more Iraqis to the struggle and making approximately 55 cities no-go zones for the US.
As Bello further points out, at the heart of the problem were blunders made by US administrative officials, among whom Paul Bremer, the US proconsul, topped the list. This type of indiscriminate punishment is not only a political blunder, but also an immoral act that may ultimately result in chaos as proven in Iraq. It is only natural for various factions of the victim nation to join mass protests, be it peaceful or guerilla, as an act of vengeance against arbitrary decisions taken by an alien power.
Also, disbanding the Iraqi militia threw a quarter of a million armed Iraqis to the streets with no work but looting to pass their time; that in turn provided a great source of man power to the guerillas. The US thus pathetically failed to recognize the spirit of resistance that was inherent in an occupied population bonded by nationalism and common Islamic fraternity.
Photographic evidence of abuse of Iraqi prisoners by the US troops that were leaked in May became the first enormous shock that made public support to the invasion drastically drop in the succeeding years. According to the Taguba report compiled by Major General Antonio Taguba, appointed to investigate the conduct of the U.
The Bush administration, in its attempts to cover up its disgraceful behaviour, punished only a few enlisted men and officers and did not bother to prosecute any of the high officials responsible. Yet her enthusiasm in administrating justice to the Iraqis by prosecuting Saddam Hussein in a rush is not only morally wrong but also laughable in its hypocrisy.
It was also involved in other violations of basic duties of an occupying power. Following is a concise description of those. Sexual violence and abduction of women and girls by the US forces was a regular occurrence especially in Baghdad during the early days of the occupation. Irogbe quoting Ernesto Cienfuegos reports:. The American people and the rest of the world are generally not aware that the U. A significant number of these are rapists, sodomites and murderers from South African and Serbia. Added to this woe was that of rendition, i. The CIA Central Intelligence Agency , which is believed to be the mastermind behind such abductions, has reportedly tortured detainees to extricate so-called valuable intelligence information.
Capturing well the injustice, Consumers for Peace states:. In the latter part of and on into , it was common for U. Iraqi men were assaulted and insulted in front of their families before being handcuffed and led away. Some military commanders encouraged regular and broad sweeps of villages and towns, detaining any men of military age. It was not uncommon for such searches to be conducted every day.
Hence it is clear that most of the abductees were actually innocent civilians. This was in fact a violation of the Geneva Conventions that seek to protect the rights of people under arrest or detention. Such malpractices not only tarnished the image of the US abroad, but also generated deeper animosity about the occupation in the collective mindset of Iraq. Ironically, the US was committing these misdemeanors in a context where she should have, as a responsible occupying power, conducted rehabilitation in post-invasion Iraq.
Demilitarization, according to Americans, involved terrorizing Iraqis with false allegations and abducting whomever they suspected to be a terrorist. Therefore the US sadly failed to uphold yet another principle of jus post bellum, i. The US, driven as she was by misconceptions, thus contributed to the increasing militarization of Iraq that ultimately paved way for a bloody insurgency that spanned for almost two years.
It is a fundamental duty of an occupying power to avoid destruction of life and property. Medical facilities too were destroyed as a result of continuous and indiscriminate attacks by the US forces, especially during Further violations of both humanitarian and human rights laws were manifested in the rising death toll of civilians as a result of US firing.
It was also reported in Fallujah that the US deliberately prevented the Iraqi Red Cross from attending to wounded civilians. However, for the artifacts that mysteriously appeared in New York museums soon after the invasion, the US has to take sole responsibility. Socio-economic insecurity that resulted due to the collapse of water and electricity supplies, health services and other infrastructure facilities as a result of US attacks against resistance groups worsened the situation for Iraqis.
The influx of IDPs Internally Displaced Persons and the psychological trauma inherent to them only added to the already murky situation. In an attempt to issue heavily felt and effective responses to increasing resistance, the US military specifically targeted urban centers such as Fallujah and Baghdad, adding to the number of crimes it committed. Such deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas is, as is commonly known, a violation of IHL.
The deal was absurd in light of the fact that compensation was not given for the blatant atrocities carried out in Iraq by the US troops. What actually should have happened was that the victor compensated the loser. It happened the other way around. The controversial deal angered most Iraqis since they considered themselves to be abused by both Hussein and the occupying US authority. Thus it is evident that the US was only interested in destruction and not construction. She attacked a sovereign state on entirely mythical grounds, eliminated the ruler of that state on charges of Human Rights abuses that paled beside those committed by her own troops, and left said state seriously compromised in terms of economy, political stability and security.
In other words, the US ruined Iraq. Democratization played a crucial role in post-conflict justice for Iraq. Having failed to meet the just cause for termination of hostilities, i. Attainment of this particular goal would have enabled the US to have a decent exit from Iraq. The US strategy to democratize Iraq, as was the case with the other strategies she had for the country, was far from agreeable mainly because she had no clearly defined strategy. Initially the US held the view that democracy for Iraq means liberation.
Yet post-invasion violence suggested otherwise. For one thing, if free people enjoy absolute freedom, why does America have a legal system that punishes criminals? Was it because he committed those crimes as a tyrant and not a democratic leader? If that is the case, the Iraq war was an effort spent in vain. Later as though realizing her mistake, the US tried to bring forth positive change via holding elections, separating powers and defining aspects of free market.
Yet again her understanding proved flawed since the US forcibly introduced her model of democracy to Iraq without consultation with the Iraqis. Then, in , a new government was elected after adopting a new constitution. Its reign was ridden with political turmoil, uncertainty, growing sectarian violence and a bloody insurgency. Demonstrating political instability and chaos in Iraq, the elections became inconclusive, taking more than nine months for the government to be approved.
The US, until her final withdrawal in , became a silent observer of all the chaos she had created. The Bush administration, disregarding the proposals of the Iraq Study Group ISG to reduce American presence on the ground, instead opted to increase the number in order to bring the situation under control. This is probably the only commendable act the US was able to do in fulfilling her responsibilities towards Iraq. Instead of abandoning an Iraq torn by her very hands, the US decided to stay behind and protect the country, displaying for once the function of a conscience behind the Bush administration.
An almost universal consensus drew a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the surge and the dramatic decrease in levels of violence. The Obama administration was swift to adopt a hands-off approach with regard to Iraq. Bush and the Iraq government. It presented clear examples of how and why the US failed in fulfilling her obligations as a victor. By the very decision to invade Iraq, the US was made liable to fulfill long term obligations and responsibilities towards that country because victory was obviously in her mind.
If her evaluation had no note on such obligations, according to the Just War theory, it would have been more prudent for the US to not have invaded Iraq in the first place and risk being questioned by the international community regarding blatant violations of international law. The US conduct in the post-invasion phase pathetically fell behind these expectations, thus making the invasion ethically unjustified.
It almost seems as though the US had one of her moments and decided to go to war with a random nation just so she had something to do in her free time! The thousands of lives a war was inevitably going to claim were all probably reduced to numbers and viewed in terms of profit and loss. However, the question remains as to what the gains of the US were. In other words, why was the Iraq war fought in the first place? The US, as some assert, finally did nothing but babysitting an insurgency. She pushed Iraq from a bad dilemma to a worse one.
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The US did this only when she was pressurized to do so and when she felt that the situation was spinning out of control. Added to that, there were no clear terms of peace. Her sole concentration was on avenging Hussein who continuously dared to challenge US hegemony, and she lacked anything of substance pertaining to peace for Iraqis in her agenda. It is therefore correct to conclude that the US created and abandoned a vulnerable Iraq characterized by internal turmoil and engulfed in rising sectarian violence, political instability, potential civil war and political corruption, a situation definitely worse than her pre-invasion counterpart.
In drawing a conclusion, this chapter reviews the initial hypothesis in relation to the key findings of the thesis and explores whether the research questions have been answered. While the argument of the thesis is not novel per se, it distinguishes itself from other available literature on the topic due to the fact that it integrates all three aspects of the Just War theory in evaluating US conduct in Iraq, a rare phenomenon. The thesis set out to determine how and why the invasion of Iraq in by the US-led forces was unjust. The aim of it was to come to a conclusion regarding the behaviour exclusively of the US, and not of other coalition members and Iraq.
In its investigation, it aimed to provide insights into instances where violations of moral standards have occurred and what changes should be introduced to the Just War theory to avoid repetition of such violations in future. Since the moral justification of any military campaign is more persuasive than tactical or political justifications, the thesis chose to investigate the ethical and legal implications of the Iraq invasion with special emphasis on the bona fides of the decision to wage war, conduct during the war and the manner in which hostilities were concluded.
The thesis therefore comprises of three parts, namely jus ad bellum, jus in bello and jus post bellum with regard to the US conduct in the Iraq invasion. Chapter one set the tone to the thesis by giving a brief introduction to the problem under investigation and the historical context within which the thesis is to unfold, presenting the hypothesis and problem statement, stating the research questions and significance of the study in relation to the Just War theory, and finally by presenting the structure of the thesis.
Chapter two presented the recurrent theories and ideas of the thesis, thereby providing an answer to the first research question, i. Chapters three, four and five were dedicated to the analysis of the central argument of the thesis, which is that the invasion of Iraq cannot be justified under the Just War theory.source link
Wars of Terror
Franklin D. Too often, it is viewed as a discrete event, an episode when government took on awesome dimensions but then relinquished the new powers after victory had been won, more or less returning the relations between government and civil society to the prewar status quo. Nothing of the sort happened, or could have happened. A politico-economic undertaking of such enormous magnitude does not just come and go, leaving no trace. In fact, the Big One left a multitude of important enduring legacies.
And conscription, more than anything else, determined how the government would organize the economy for war. Thus, in a multitude of ways the military draft shaped not only the contours of the nation at war but the course of its politico-economic development throughout the past 80 years. In federal outlays totaled less than 2 percent of GNP. The , federal civilian employees, most of whom worked for the Post Office, made up about 1 percent of the labor force.
Nor did the armed forces amount to much, numbering fewer than , active duty personnel. The federal government did not regulate securities markets, labor-management relations, or agricultural production. It set no minimum wage rate, collected no social security tax, provided no make-work jobs or make-believe job training for the unemployed.
Although the feds did meddle in a few areas of economic life, prescribing railroad rates and prosecuting a handful of unlucky firms under the antitrust laws, the central government was for the most part only a small nuisance. It was not very expensive and did not exert an important direct effect on the daily lives of many citizens.
On the positive side, the government maintained the gold standard and suppressed labor disturbances that threatened to obstruct interstate commerce. The U. Supreme Court gave fairly strong protection to private property rights and freedom of contract while generally insisting that state governments not deprive citizens of property rights without substantive due process. After World War I the American people would never again enjoy a government so closely approximating the Jeffersonian ideal.
With U. It virtually nationalized the ocean shipping industry. It did nationalize the railroad, telephone, domestic telegraph, and international telegraphic cable industries. It became deeply engaged in manipulating labor-management relations, securities sales, agricultural production and marketing, the distribution of coal and oil, international commerce, and the markets for raw materials and manufactured products. Its Liberty Bond drives dominated the financial capital markets.
During and the government built up the armed forces to a strength of 4 million officers and men, drawn from a prewar labor force of 40 million persons. Of those added to the armed forces after the U. As the army leadership had recommended and President Wilson had accepted even before the declaration of war, the U. Men alone, however, did not make an army. They required barracks and training facilities, transportation, food, clothing, and health care.
They had to be equipped with modern arms and great stocks of ammunition.
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In short, to be an effective fighting force, a large soldiery required immense amounts of complementary resources. As the buildup began, the requisite resources remained in the possession of private citizens. Although manpower could be obtained by conscription, public opinion would not tolerate the outright confiscation of all the property required to turn the men into a well-equipped fighting force. The Wilson administration therefore resorted to the vast array of interventions mentioned above. All may be seen as devices to hasten the delivery of the requisite resources and diminish the fiscal burden of equipping the huge conscript army for effective service in France.
To insure that the conscription-based mobilization could proceed without obstruction, critics had to be silenced. An amendment, the notorious Sedition Act of May 16, , went much further, imposing the same harsh criminal penalties on all forms of expression in any way critical of the government, its symbols, or its mobilization of resources for the war. These suppressions of free speech, subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court, established dangerous precedents that derogated from the rights previously enjoyed by citizens under the First Amendment.
The result was countless incidents of intimidation, physical abuse, and even lynching of persons suspected of disloyalty or insufficient enthusiasm for the war. People of German ancestry suffered disproportionately. The connection of the draft with these official subversions of the Constitution was hardly coincidental; it was direct, intentional, and publicly acknowledged. Consider the statement of a contemporary legal authority, Professor John Henry Wigmore:. Where a nation has definitely committed itself to a foreign war, all principles of normal internal order may be suspended.
As property may be taken and corporal service may be conscripted, so liberty of speech may be limited or suppressed, so far as deemed needful for the successful conduct of the war. The formula, applied again and again, was quite simple: If it is acceptable to draft men, then it is acceptable to do X, where X is any government violation of individual rights whatsoever. The draft itself ended when the armistice took effect on November 11, By the end of the bulk of the economic regulatory apparatus had been scrapped, including the Food Administration, the Fuel Administration, the Railroad Administration, the War Industries Board, and the War Labor Board.
Some emergency powers migrated into regular government departments such as State, Labor, and Treasury and continued in force. The War Finance Corporation shifted missions, subsidizing exporters and farmers until the mids.