Unit 7: Use of Force

The discussion in this Unit is divided into two main parts: The first part of the Unit is dedicated to the changing and developing doctrine of international law on the Use of Force.  In the second part of the Unit we move from doctrine to practice. This part is dedicated to the changing practice of armed conflicts.

Reading Guide

I. The Security Council:  Evolution and Basic Documents 

II. Regulating the Use of Force

A. Basic Legal Doctrine

1. The Corfu Channel Case, United Kingdom v. Albania (ICJ, 1949)

2. Case Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities In and Against Nicaragua, Nicaragua v. United States (ICJ, 1986)

3. Nuclear Weapons case

4. Case Concerning Oil Platforms, Iran v. United States (ICJ, 2003)

5. Case Concerning Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda (ICJ, 2005)

B. Definition of Aggression

1. Convention for the Definition of Aggression, 1933

2. General Assembly Resolution 3314 (XXIX)

C. Security Council Responses to Unauthorized Intervention

1. The Osirak Attack

a. Israeli and Iraq Statements

b. Country reactions (U.S., France, Great Britain)

c. Security Council Resolution 487

2. Ethiopia in Somalia (2006)

a. SC Resolution 1725 (Dec. 6, 2006) and U.S. Statement on the Resolution

b. News reports and statements on Ethiopian actions in Somalia (Dec. 22-25, 2006)

c. Statements of the President of the Security Council (Dec. 22 and 26, 2006)

d. SC Resolution 1744 (Feb. 20, 2007)

D. Multilateral Intervention—the First Iraq War

1. Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 665, 670, 678(leading up to and authorizing intervention)

2. Embargo and No-Fly Zones (SC Resolutions 687, 688)

3. Oil For Food

a. SC Resolution 986 (1995)

b. Independent Inquiry Committee into the United Nations Oil-For-Food Programme, The Security Council—Response to Surcharges and Kickbacks

IV.Human Security 

A. Report of the United Nations High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, 15 – 24 (2004)

B. Humanitarian Intervention

1. Vietnam in Kampuchea, excerpts from Thomas Franck,Recourse to Force:  State Action Against Threats and Armed Attacks

2. SC Resolutions 794 (Somalia) and 929 (Rwanda)

3. NATO action in Kosovo—Press Releases and Statements from NATO Parties

4. “The Responsibility to Protect”

a. Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, pp. XI–XIII, 27-34 (2001)

b. Report of the United Nations High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, paras 199–203 (2004)

c. Statements from some developing countries on the “Responsibility To Protect”

d. Stephen Holmes, Review of “A Problem from Hell” [portion of review]

e. Warren Hoge, “Intervention, Hailed in as a Concept, Is Shunned in Practice” NY Times (Jan. 20, 2008)

f. [Optional]:  David Chandler, The Responsibility to Protect?Imposing a ‘Liberal Peace’, 11 Int’l Peacekeeping 59, 64–73, 75–76 (2004).

C. Children and Armed Conflict

1. Optional Background Reading:  Security Council Reports,Profile Children and Armed Conflict

2. Security Council Resolutions 1261 (1999), 1379 (2001), 1460(2003), 1612 (2005)

3. Secretary General Report on Children and Armed Conflict paras. 58–77 (2005)

4. Watchlist on Children in Armed Conflict, Struggling to Survive: Children in Armed Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 5–7, 49–52 (2006)


V.The War on Terror 

A. Afghanistan

1. SC Resolution 1368 (Sept. 12, 2001), 1373

B. Weapons of Mass Destruction

1. SC Resolution 1540 (2004)

2. Report of the Committee Established Pursuant to Resolution 1540 (2006)

3. Security Council Resolution 1673 (2006)

C. Security Council Counter Terrorism Initiatives

1. SC Resolution 1373 (Sept. 28, 2001)

2. SC Resolution 1624 (2005)

3. The Counter Terrorism Committee—SC Resolution 1535 (2005)

a. Report by the Chair of the CTC on problems encountered in the implementation of SC Resolution 1373, 4-8 (2004)

4.   Human Rights and Counter Terrorism Measures

a. Human Rights Watch Report, In the Name of Counter-Terrorism:  Human Rights Abuses Worldwide, 2-3 (2003) (this report also has 10 country studies that give specific examples of how counter terrorism measures can impact human rights.  It might be interesting to include a few, i.e. China, India, the U.S., the UK, or Russia.)

b. CTC Policy Guidance on Human Rights

c. Office of the High Commission on Human Rights, Note to the Chair of the CTC, a Human Rights Perspective on Counter-Terrorist Measures