International Law Outline


National Security Directive 54 (892-93)



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National Security Directive 54 (892-93) – means to be employed to achieve policy goals

  • Jan. 16 – Operation Desert Storm – six weeks of punishing air assault

  • Feb. 22 – Operation Desert Sabre – brief but massive ground assault

  • Feb. 27 – Bush orders ceasefire – stopping short of drive to Baghdad

    1. Announced terms for ceasefire

  • What was the role of IL in determining course of events?

    1. Minimal - US only concerned with protecting oil reserves. Made use of the SC, played the game, but the national security directive made clear that whatever happened, it was going to take action, and just conveniently got approval at the end. But circumvented sanctions regime in the meantime.

    2. Counter: US went to the SC - bringing states along, but went through the system. The norms on the use of force came out formally vindicated. First bush administration very conscious of significance of getting a consensus, and trying to build on broader support. Including fact that invasion PAID for by other states!

      1. GB's decision not to go to Baghdad was dictated not only by prudence (which W didn't share) but taking account of rules of IL. Can use proportionate force, but can't take authorization for use of force to achieve larger goals like regime change.

  • Intermediary Period

    1. Mar. 3 – SC Res. 686 (1991) (898) – demands that Iraq implement 12 prior resolutions, rescind claims on Kuwait, cease hostilities with member states, etc.

      1. Iraq accepts.

    2. Apr. 13 – SC Res. 687 (1991) (899-900) – demand Iraq account for detainees, accept responsibility for all harm on foreign states and nationals, return property, renounce terrorism

      1. Established Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Demarcation Commission

      2. Directed Iraq to dismantle WMD, and allow UN to MONITOR/INSPECT weapons production facilities.

    3. Iraq resists efforts to monitor WMD programs

      1. Dec. 16, 1998 – US and British forces – Operation Desert Fox – limit Iraq military capability and limit Iraq’s ability to threaten neighbors

    4. BUT, sanctions causing humanitarian crisis – countries beginning to oppose

    5. May 14 – SC Res. 1409 (2002) – revise sanctions regime. Allow consumer goods, maintain restrictions on military goods.

    6. Sept. 13 – UN Sec-Gen Annan – announces Iraq continues to defy mandatory resolutions

    7. Sept. 16 – Iraq agrees to let UNMOVIC and IAEA back in

      1. US/UK want stronger restrictions, stricter verification procedures, shorter deadline

      2. France/Russia/China – compromise resolution – toughen inspection regime, but omit language authorizing use of force

    8. Oct. 16 – US gets AUMF against Iraq (906-07)

    9. Nov. 8 – SC Res. 1441 (2002) (905-06) – Iraq has been and is in “material breach” – final opportunity to comply with obligation.

    10. Dec. 7 – Iraq gives 12K pages of documents

      1. People unsure, but still think not enough

    11. 2003 inspections – found ballistic missiles, NO CONCLUSIVE evidence of WMDs.

  • 2003 Gulf War

    1. Feb. 5, 2003 – SC convenes to discuss Iraq’e non-compliance.

      1. UN refuses to authorize force w/o more evidence

    2. US “coalition of the willing”

      1. US also woos/bullies SC countries to get votes for resolution

    3. Mar. 19 – US starts Operation Iraqi freedom – ground offensive

    4. Apr. 14 – took control of central Baghdad – major combat operations over.

  • Legality of 2003 war

    1. Unlawful

      1. Iraq committed no armed attack permitting use of force in self-defense

      2. Resolution 678 couldn’t justify use of force so many years later.

    2. Lawful

      1. SC resolutions 678, 687, 1441 provide authorization

      2. Legitimate exercise of preemptive self-defense

    3. Did Res. 687 provide continuing authority?

      1. What about continuing US struggles to get further grants of authority? Why would they do that if they had the authority all along?

  • Nicaragua

    1. History

      1. 1979 – Sandinistas overthrew President Anastasio Somoza.

        1. Provided safe haven for other Marxist rebels seeking to overthrow gov’t in El Salvador

      2. 1981 – Reagan begins to support contras in efforts to overthrow Sandinistas

        1. Supplied financial, political and military assistance

    2. ICJ Proceedings

      1. Proceedings brought by American lawyers in 1984.

      2. Asserted jx under 36(2) under ICJ statute, and under 1956 Treaty between the countries

        1. US attempted to modify ICJ 36(2) jx, and eventually terminated

      3. BUT, ICJ can’t render default judgment

        1. Considered based on US public position

          1. Had supplied contras with $, training, intelligence, and other assistance

          2. Based on COLLECTIVE SELF-DEFENSE


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