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Wertz
As the United Nations - contrary to the beliefs of some here - is an international body, this thread finds itself in the International Debate forum. Imagine that.

In a previous thread, a few outrageous claims were made and a couple of points were directed to me personally. I would like to take them up here and, hopefully, work toward some sort of resolution to this question.

As we all no doubt know, violations of various UN Security Council resolutions were used by the Bush administration as an excuse for launching an unprovoked invasion of Iraq. Some are arguing that the US had some sort of unwritten right to take it upon itself to enforce those resolutions on behalf of the UN. In fact - on paper, in black and white - the United States has no such right. Now - in a new twist - some are arguing that the US has a history of being some sort of hit man for the UN, which strikes me - and the historical record - as sheer lunacy. wacko.gif

I'll introduce this by addressing the points raised in the previous thread (Bush Wants Probe to Get to Bottom of Iraq WMD)...


QUOTE(Amlord @ Feb 5 2004, 04:10 PM)
Will you deny that the United States is the (almost sole) enforcement arm of the UN?

Yes. Yes, I will. I've covered a lot of this previously, but people do seem to forget - or disregard - history...

Foremost, let us not forget exactly what it is that the UN is supposed to "enforce". Let us leave aside international law for this discussion - the disregard of our current administration (and a few previous ones) for the International Law Commission, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, international trade law, treaties, and the law of the sea (all of which fall within the UN brief to which we subscribe) are matters for a separate discussion - several separate discussions. Let us focus on their primary functions: Peace and Security and, specifically, peace-keeping.

The following stats can be gleaned from the UN Peacekeeping homepage. In the past fifty-six years, the United Nations has been involved in fifty-five peacekeeping missions. Their first operation, UNTSO, started the year the UN was founded and continues to the present. Practically every member state has deployed troops in this effort to maintain the borders of Israel as established in 1948. This, granted, has been a signal failure - largely due to Israel's persistent disregard for UN Security Council resolutions (and the billions of dollars one of the "peacekeepers" keeps pouring into the Israeli war machine).

The second mission, UNMOGIP, started in 1949, is also ongoing. This force patrols the disputed borders of India and Pakistan. The US has been instrumental in helping to maintain this border, right? Uh... no. We haven't sent a single troop, advisor, or medical officer to the region. Belgium has - and Chile and Croatia and Finland and South Korea and Uruguay. But The Enforcer? Not a peep.

Thirteen UN peacekeeping operations are ongoing (including six which were initiated within the past few years and the two mentioned above). The rest have all been resolved and, in most cases, peace and stability preserved or restored. And the US - The Enforcer - was, of course, involved in all of these, right? Uh... no. Of the forty-two resolved conflicts, the United States was involved in exactly half of them: twenty-one.

But we've certainly lead the way when it came to actually deploying troops, right? Uh... no. In all, there have been thirty-five military operations involving the active deployment of combat troops. The United States has only been involved in fourteen of them. There have been another twenty operations involving only military observers or policing units. There United States has only been involved in seven of those.

Hmmn - doesn't quite look like The Enforcer is indispensable in terms of making and keeping peace. In fact, countries like Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Portugal have been far more active in terms of deploying troops, resolving conflicts, maintaining cease fires, patrolling borders, and making peace than the United States has - and they've lost more lives in the process.

Yes, Amlord, I will deny that the United States is the (almost sole) enforcement arm of the UN. I will deny it in the strongest possible terms.


QUOTE(Amlord @ Feb 5 2004, 04:10 PM)
Once a UN Resolution is made, it is up to individual UN member nations to enforce the decisions made. It's almost like a volunteer fireman scenario. Whoever has the means and is in the right position and the desire (i.e. involved parties) carry out the UN's decision.

Gee, maybe someone should let the United Nations know about this. rolleyes.gif I can't believe I'm having to quote the UN Charter yet another further different time on this. And let me preface this by adding that "Security Council" as it appears in the following Articles means all five permanent members plus at least another four members of the Council. From Chapter 7:
QUOTE
Article 39
The Security Council [not the United States of America] shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security...

Article 41
The Security Council [not the United States of America] may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it [the Security Council, not the United States of America] may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.

Article 42
Should the Security Council [not the United States of America] consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it [the Security Council, not the United States of America] may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations...

Article 46
Plans for the application of armed force shall be made by the Security Council [not the United States of America] with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee [not the United States of America].


In case some of you are unfamiliar with the make-up of the Security Council, it consists of fifteen member nations. It may come as a surprise to some to learn that those fifteen nations are not the United States, the United States, the United States, the United States, the United States, the United States, the United States, the United States, the United States, the United States, the United States, the United States, the United States, the United States, and the United States. Decisions by the Security Council are made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members - not by one vote of the United States of America.

If there's anything in any of the above which people are still finding elusive, I will gladly parse sentences, define terms, and paraphrase any item using words of one syllable. whistling.gif


QUOTE(Amlord @ Feb 5 2004, 04:10 PM)
Whoever has the means and is in the right position and the desire (i.e. involved parties) carry out the UN's decision. In matters of war or peacekeeping involving actual fighting, the US fills that role almost by default.

Uh... no. dry.gif

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QUOTE(Venom @ Feb 5 2004, 07:00 PM)
As Amlord stated the United States has shown over the years that it is basically the sole military arm of the UN, I would love for you to prove that fact wrong.

Okay, sure. In addition to the points I made regarding Amlord's claim above, you apparently imagine that the poor little UN hasn't accomplished much in all those silly little operations without the aid of The Enforcer, right? Wrong.

A smattering of examples from the UN's fifty-five peacekeeping operations:

  • UNEF I (the UN's first armed peacekeeping force), supervised the withdrawal of invading forces following Egypt's nationalization of the Suez Canal - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States


  • the conflict (and Syrian intervention) following proposed constitutional changes in Lebanon in 1958 by was settled by UNOGIL - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States


  • ONUC prevented civil war and the reintegration of the Katanga province in Congo in the early sixties - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States


  • UNTEA administrated West Irian in 1962 when hostilities broke out between the Netherlands and Indonesia - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States


  • UNYOM intervened between the UAR and Saudi Arabia and monitored the disengagement in the Yemeni civil war of 1963-64 - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States


  • the buffer zone between the Greeks and the Turks in Cyprus has been monitored by UNFICYP since 1964 - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States


  • the cease fires between Egypt, Syria, and Israel over the Sinai peninsula and the Golan Heights in the seventies was supervised by UNDOF - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States


  • UNIFIL restored peace when Israel invaded Lebanon in 1978 - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States


  • UNGOMAP supervised the agreement between Afghanistan and Pakistan (and the withdrawal of the Soviet Union from the area) starting in 1988 - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States


  • initiatives by UNAVEM in the early nineties supervised the withdrawal of Cuban forces from Angola, oversaw the independence of Namibia, and orchestrated the cease fire in Angola's civil war - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States


  • UNIKOM has monitored the demilitarized zone along Iraq-Kuwait border since 1991 - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States


  • ONUSAL supervised the restoration of El Salvador following their civil war from 1991-95 - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States


  • the cease fire between Morocco and POLISARIO relating to the Western Sahara referendum has been monitored by MINURSO for the past decade or so - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States


  • UNMISET supervised the establishment of a government infrastructure in newly independent East Timor starting in May of 2002 - without (you guessed it) any military assistance from or active participation by the United States
There's another twenty completed operations in which the US played no part whatsoever, but you get the picture. Or maybe not...

Further, in many of the cases cited above, The Enforcer was part of the problem which the UN - without any assistance from the good ol' US of A - was trying to solve.


QUOTE(Venom @ Feb 5 2004, 07:00 PM)
Its also clear to me that the UN is fatally flawed when it comes to enforcement of its resolutions as well as creating new ones where they are needed. If you wanna get into an arguement about how good the UN is about upholding its own charter you are gonna lose all day long. IMO the UN is virtually useless, especially when it comes to using necessary force. It either needs to be reformed to take into account the modern world or we will see it fall by the wayside much like the Leauge of Nations did.

What is fatally flawed here is some peoples' conception of what the UN is. The main difference between the United Nations and the United States is that the UN is all about peace-keeping, whereas too many administrations in the US are all about war-making.

It's right there in the first line of the Preamble to the UN Charter: "WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war..."

The first sentence of the first article of the first Chapter of that Charter reads:
QUOTE
The Purposes of the United Nations are:

1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace...


Re-read that sentence carefully - and please note: The purpose of the UN is to prevent "acts of aggression" (which are prohibited by international law), not sponsor them. Try selling that to the Bush administration. rolleyes.gif

There are many in this country - and some participating here - who wish that the UN were a compliant machine geared toward sanctioning US military intervention anywhere it pleases. There are many in this country - and some participating here - who wish that the UN were some kind of extension of America's complaisant Congress giving carte blanche to our Commander-in-Chief and the armed forces he commands. There are many in this country - and some participating here - who wish that the UN would give its blessing to the pursuit of acts of aggression against weaker nations when certain US administrations feel that they stand in the their way - as the Bush administration has done in Iraq. There are many in this country - and some participating here - who wish that the UN, like our current administration, would rather rush to war than strive for peace. But... the United Nations is none of these things.

In reality, the United Nations is the direct opposite of all of these things. The United Nations is what it is - and has frequently been very effective at what it does: preventing war and maintaining peace. Those wishing that the UN were something entirely different - like those wishing up were down and black were white - are, quite simply, barking up the wrong tree. Hell, they're barking in the wrong forest.

Some people may disapprove of the UN and its stated goals - the Bush administration certainly does. But for those same people to use the UN as an excuse for prosecuting a war which violates the UN's very founding principles is utter madness - and supreme hypocrisy.

It's a terrible thing to face. One likes to have faith in one's head of state, one likes to feel that one's country is right. The awful truth, though, if we're brave enough to confront it, is that, on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations - on behalf of whose resolutions America's aggressive invasion of the sovereign state of Iraq was based - this war was, is, and will forever remain ILLEGAL. Period.

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So what exactly is the role of the United States in the UN? That of a single, if important, voice among many? A voice which leads the world by setting a better example and a higher standard? A voice which celebrates its own founding ideals (which happen to coincide with those of the UN Preamble)? Or does it indeed have some sort of reverse veto power, where it can make autocratic decisions on behalf of every other member state - even when those decisions are in diametric opposition to that body's Charter? Does the US have some sort of mysterious right to enforce the Security Council's resolutions as it sees fit? And is this right based on some elusive tradition of being the UN's unspoken strong arm?

I have read the United Nations Charter from end to end - and have studied its history carefully. I am at a loss to see how any of the claims I've been addressing here can be made in anything resembling good faith. For those who apparently disagree with the case I've presented above, what we have to debate is this:

What have you found in the UN Charter which in any way allows for a single member state to take it upon itself to go about enforcing UN Security Council resolutions without the sanction of that Council?

What - by charter or tradition - makes the US that single member state?

And on what basis do you make the claim that the United States is the "enforcer" or the "sole military arm" of the UN?
Google
Bikerdad
QUOTE
Practically every member state has deployed troops in this effort to maintain the borders of Israel as established in 1948. This, granted, has been a signal failure - largely due to Israel's persistent disregard for UN Security Council resolutions (and the billions of dollars one of the "peacekeepers" keeps pouring into the Israeli war machine).

"largely due" Or maybe it could be the continual invasions from its neighbors? 1948, 1956, 1973, and were it not for a pre-emptive strike on Israel's part, 1967. It should be noted that the US did not become the primary source for Israeli weaponry until the 1960s. Prior to that, it was the British and French.

Let's see, which other obvious and blatant falsehoods are you scattering about willy nilly in your rant?

QUOTE
In fact, countries like Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Portugal have been far more active in terms of deploying troops, resolving conflicts, maintaining cease fires, patrolling borders, and making peace than the United States has - and they've lost more lives in the process.
Wrong. The United States lost more troops in Korea than the combined total of all other nations on all other peacekeeping missions. Yeah, that WAS a UN operation. Curiously, the Soviets NEVER missed a Security Council meeting after that!

QUOTE
the cease fires between Egypt, Syria, and Israel over the Sinai peninsula and the Golan Heights in the seventies was supervised by UNDOF - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States
And who, pray tell, is camped out in the Sinai now? Oohhh, why, it isn't even a UN farce, er, force. Why? Because initially the "United Nations had a force, the United Nations Emergency Force II (UNEFII) in the Sinai. However, after the expiration of the UNEFII mandate, the UN was not able to field the follow on force. President Carter had promised that the United States would ensure the establishment and maintenance of an alternative force should the United Nations fail to assume the role. This became the basis for the Multinational Force and Observers." Sinai Multinational Forces and Observers

The only thing sadder than your exalted view of the effectiveness of the UN is the fact that millions of other people share it. Rwanda, Bosnia, the Ivory Coast and Liberia are simply some of the recent examples of the UN's feckless inability to perform the simplest core of its duties in a timely fashion.
ConservPat
Wertz, I agree in that the UN does act during Humanitarian Cricis etc. However if you look through recen history, the US has, as Bikerdad said, been more active in the deployment of troops then the UN. The US essentially does act as the UN's enforcers. They right the rules, we enforce them. But to say that the US is the UN is untrue...As I said the UN does great Humanitarian Aid work by itself.

CP us.gif
Sevac
QUOTE
The only thing sadder than your exalted view of the effectiveness of the UN is the fact that millions of other people share it. Rwanda, Bosnia, the Ivory Coast and Liberia are simply some of the recent examples of the UN's feckless inability to perform the simplest core of its duties in a timely fashion.


Some would disargee with you by saying that those were partly successful, why do you think they weren't? Remember, those were civil wars, the UN usually not engaged in combat but their task is to protect the civillian population.
They are peace keepers, not participants in wars.

QUOTE
Or maybe it could be the continual invasions from its neighbors?


Israel did not comply to the UN Resolution 181 (1947) by declaring independence and occupying Jerusalem. In the war that followed Israel annexed a lot of territory that was not given to Israel in the UN resolution 181, triggering the exodus of millions of Palestinians from Israel.
But thats the topic of another thread.

Please explain to me what your alternative to the UN is. How would you change it to become more effective?
Wertz
Speaking of rants, bikerdad, would you be at all interested in addressing any of the questions posed or is attacking something - anything - just a reflexive response to seeing yet another rationalization for the Bush administration's illegal war being debunked?

You are quite right, though, the Korean War was sort of a UN action. I was only speaking of wholly sanctioned peacekeeping missions established by ordained UN procedure, however, not actions which were pushed through the UNSC by the United States by taking advanyage of historical circumstance. I'm glad you brought it up though. The Korean War could have been a prime example of how UN Security Council procedure should work in mounting military action. Technically, though, standard procedure was not followed as all five permanent members of the Security Council did not sanction the resolution of June 27, 1950. The USSR was boycotting the United Nations at the time, so their vote was discounted - and, fortunately for the US, China's seat was then represented by the Republic of China (Taiwan). Apart from these exceptional circumstances, though, the Korean War - unlike the Iraqi invasion - was, the extraordinary technicalities notwithstanding, legal.

This, interestingly, was one of only two major issues in which the US fully cooperated with the UN, the other being the authorization of force against Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait in 1991. This again, by international law, was a legal action. The Bush administrations invasion of Iraq isn't.

The rest of your posting is irrelevant to the debate. For the record, though, maybe some of the mission you cite would have been more unequivocally successful if the US had been this all-powerful "enforcement arm". You make my case for me. flowers.gif

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QUOTE(Sevac @ Feb 6 2004, 11:00 AM)
But thats the topic of another thread.

Please explain to me what your alternative to the UN is. How would you change it to become more effective?

I think bikerdad has tried to deflect the questions enough with his own issue-blurring tangents without inviting him to further depart from the topic. The Bikerdad Plan for World Peace would also be the stuff of another thread. wink2.gif

:::::::::::::::::::::::::

Perhaps my questions weren't clear enough. For Question One, cite passages from the UN Charter to support the argument that individual member states have some sort of legal grounds for enforcing UN resolutions without Security Council sanction. For Question Two, cite passages from that Charter or instances from the historical record to support the apparent argument that the US has some justification for acting in contravention of international law - in the context of the United Nations and its Security Council. For Question Three, cite instances from the historical record which support the argument that the United States is and always has been the only (according to Venom) or "almost" only (according to Amlord) "enforcement arm" of the United Nations.

Feel free to argue your case on those grounds, but PLEASE do not introduce extraneous issues. I am interested in debating the specific legal grounds for a non-UN-sanctioned invasion of Iraq on the basis of UN resolution violations - and nothing else. Thanks.
Bikerdad
Hmmm, where to begin…?

QUOTE
Speaking of rants, bikerdad, would you be at all interested in addressing any of the questions posed or is attacking something - anything - just a reflexive response to seeing yet another rationalization for the Bush administration's illegal war being debunked?


Ahh, excuuuuuuuse me. I was under the impression that one builds an argument FROM facts, and that when one’s facts are in error, it behooves one to re-examine one’s conclusions. Clearly, you operate on a different paradigm.

QUOTE
You are quite right
Golly gee, that's mighty wide of you to admit.

QUOTE
, though, the Korean War was sort of a UN action. I was only speaking of wholly sanctioned peacekeeping missions established by ordained UN procedure, however, not actions which were pushed through the UNSC by the United States by taking advanyage of historical circumstance. I'm glad you brought it up though. The Korean War could have been a prime example of how UN Security Council procedure should work in mounting military action. Technically, though, standard procedure was not followed as all five permanent members of the Security Council did not sanction the resolution of June 27, 1950. The USSR was boycotting the United Nations at the time, so their vote was discounted - and, fortunately for the US, China's seat was then represented by the Republic of China (Taiwan). Apart from these exceptional circumstances, though, the Korean War - unlike the Iraqi invasion - was, the extraordinary technicalities notwithstanding, legal.
In other words, the UN actions in Korea were illegitimate because, as far as possible procedures were strictly followed.

QUOTE
The rest of your posting is irrelevant to the debate.

Only an ideologue would claim that factual accuracy is irrelevant to the debate. Are you an ideologue Wertz?

QUOTE
Feel free to argue your case on those grounds, but PLEASE do not introduce extraneous issues.

Not to put too fine a point on it Wertz, but you are the one who introduced the issues I addressed. So, which is it, are the issues you brought up extraneous, or do you simply consider my corrections to your factual errors to be extraneous? Inquiring minds and observing ideologues want to know…

In response to question 1: to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
Amlord
Wertz, oh what a tangled web we weave...

QUOTE
What have you found in the UN Charter which in any way allows for a single member state to take it upon itself to go about enforcing UN Security Council resolutions without the sanction of that Council?


You quoted it yourself:
QUOTE
Article 42
Should the Security Council [not the United States of America] consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it [the Security Council, not the United States of America] may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations...


Note:Resolution 678
QUOTE
2. Authorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the foregoing resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area;

Hmm, seems like it authorizes "Member States" to enforce 660 and "ALL SUBSEQUENT RELEVANT RESOLUTIONS". 678 authorized force for the first gulf war.

How did the First Gulf War end? With a peace treaty? No, it was in fact a cease fire, similar to the one that ended the Korean conflict. A cease fire is a cessation of hostilities so that peace may be negotiated.

The peace negotiation was Resolution 687.

687 set the terms of the peace.

Resolution 1441 determines that Iraq was in "material breach" of 687 (the cease fire agreement). The cease fire was broken by the Iraqis, and hostilities were free to resume under Resolution 678.

Let's make it clear: the United Nations has no army. It has no troops, tanks, ships. It has no military power. The Member Nations of the United Nations have these things. Enforcement of any Resolution requires an enforcement arm. Think about the UN as the court system in the US. The enforcement of the courts' decisions is not undertaken by the court, but by a separate entity (the police). The courts authorize the use of force (or incarceration), the police enforce those decisions.

Did the UN ever condemn the US for its resumption of hostilities? The US has no veto power in the General Assembly. Was there a General Assembly Resolution condemning the US? GA Resolutions carry no enforcement mandate, but they do express the will of the GA. As a matter of fact, if the SC is deadlocked, then GA resolutions DO carry power under Resolution 377.

QUOTE
And on what basis do you make the claim that the United States is the "enforcer" or the "sole military arm" of the UN?

The examples you gave regarding "peacekeeping" are really "observer" roles. The UN does not step in to end armed conflict. Only when the US is involved has direct armed conflict upon a warring party been used.

What happened in Liberia? Bosnia? Somalia? There are countless examples of the UN either refusing to recognize a problem, or reacting to it too slowly.

There is theory about the way things work, and then there is how thing actually work. In theory, all nations would contribute to the UN equally. In practice, it does not.
Sevac
QUOTE
QUOTE 
What have you found in the UN Charter which in any way allows for a single member state to take it upon itself to go about enforcing UN Security Council resolutions without the sanction of that Council?



You quoted it yourself:

QUOTE 
Article 42
Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations... 


-----
I think it means that the SC has to agree that the measures were ineffective ["it as an unit, therefore all members agreeing] , then any member can take actions to enforce the resolution. But Waltz was asking you to give an example where any member state is allowed to enforced a resolution without SC approval. I hope you see the difference I am aiming at.
Titus
QUOTE
For Question Three, cite instances from the historical record which support the argument that the United States is and always has been the only (according to Venom) or "almost" only (according to Amlord) "enforcement arm" of the United Nations.


OK. Korean stats were already introduced...

http://www.cryan.com/war/AlliedForces.html

This link is a list of all the contributing nations in the 1991 Gulf War and what they contributed. When you come to the United States, you'll find this stat:

540,000 troops, 6 aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, 2,000 tanks, 2,200 armored personal carries, 1,700 helicopters, 100 warships, 1,800 airplanes.

laugh.gif ...and a partridge in a pear tree... laugh.gif

The US as apart of the UNITAF mission in Somailia...

QUOTE
...The U. S. Army component of UNITAF was Task Force Mountain, initially commanded by Brig. Gen. Lawson William Magruder III, the Assistant Division Commander, Maneuver, of the 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, New York. He remained in command until 22 December when the division commander,  Maj. Gen. Steven L. Arnold, replaced him. TF Mountain was built around the 2d Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, and at its peak consisted of approximately 10,000 soldiers including two infantry battalions, an aviation brigade, and division artillery and support assets. It was a sizable and effective military force that over-awed the poorly armed Somali militia.

....Coalition forces including large components from France, Italy, Belgium, Morocco, Australia, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Canada soon joined U.S. Forces During the course of RESTORE HOPE, some 38,000 soldiers from 23 different nations and representatives from 49 different humanitarian relief operations worked together to put food into the mouths of the starving people of Somalia.

from The US Army in Somalia, 1992-1994 by USACMH

So say that number of 38,000 troops includes us, thats 28K troops left from 23 different countries. Do some fuzzy math and it comes out to an average of 1,217 troops contributed per other nation. We outnumber them almost 10 to 1.

We led international forces in Haiti, Bosnia and Iraq. And we also did so as apart of NATO, enforcing UN resolutions.

That answer the question?
Wertz
All you have done, Amlord, is prove my point. Everything you have cited merely reiterates that military action can ONLY be taken with the sanction of the Security Council or Security Council resolutions.

Talk about tangled webs! In your first example, for example, you essentially say, "Of course member states can take action without UNSC authorization - it says it right here: 'Only the UNSC can authorize action'. See!" wacko.gif

Clearly, you have no argument.
Google
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(Wertz @ Feb 6 2004, 11:57 PM)
All you have done, Amlord, is prove my point. Everything you have cited merely reiterates that military action can ONLY be taken with the sanction of the Security Council or Security Council resolutions.

Talk about tangled webs! In your first example, for example, you essentially say, "Of course member states can take action without UNSC authorization - it says it right here: 'Only the UNSC can authorize action'. See!" wacko.gif

Clearly, you have no argument.

Sanction= Official permission or approval for a course of action.
Authorization= Official permission to do something.

1. "Authorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the foregoing resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area "

2. "Requests all States to provide appropriate support for the actions undertaken in pursuance of paragraph 2 of the present resolution"

3. " Requests the States concerned to keep the Security Council regularly informed on the progress of actions undertaken pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3 of the present resolution"

1. Authorized (IOW, sanctioned) all necessary means.

2. Requested states to provide support for those actions undertaken (past tense)in pursuance of that compliance.

3. Requested that the States concerned keep the Council informed of the progress undertaken (also past tense)in pursuance of that compliance. That indicates, if there was any doubt, that the action was already authorized, and REQUESTED, explicitly, to be informed of the progress of those actions.

Where does it state that this was all up for another vote? According to the above, the only nation necessary NECESSARY for cooperation was Kuwait.

What have you found in the UN Charter which in any way allows for a single member state to take it upon itself to go about enforcing UN Security Council resolutions without the sanction of that Council? Nothing. Sanction was given. If the Council intended for no one to enforce compliance, they certainly didn't word their document appropriately. If they changed their mind about the enforcement of that compliance, they should have made that clear in a subsequent resolution, rather than forming YET ANOTHER Resolution indicating that the afformentioned resolution was breached, thus highlighting it and drawing it into effect.
nebraska29
I believe that Wertz's point is well documented. The U.N. has been a success in a number of areas. Undoubtedly, they have done some good in terms of preserving peace and trying to help nations straighten things out. I'd also add on top of that, efforts to vaccinate children, to bring NGOs and governments together to solve current social problems, as well as to help further economic development. UNICEF and other organizations are doing a worthwhile job in many respects.

To get on topic, which is something few who have posted here have done-as far as I understand it, unless a nation is directly attacked, then no nation has a right to attack another. We have squandered a lot of international sympathy and opinion towards us by writing off the U.N. Now, we face the prospect whereby any and every nation will act in it's own "interests" and forget about international cooperation because they could say...."we don't need a permission slip to defend ourselves" as they proceed to ethnic cleanse another country or wage warfare over economic resources. We've opened up pandoras box on this one.
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Feb 8 2004, 02:49 AM)

To get on topic, which is something few who have posted here have done-as far as I understand it, unless a nation is directly attacked, then no nation has a right to attack another.  We have squandered a lot of international sympathy and opinion towards us by writing off the U.N.  Now, we face the prospect whereby any and every nation will act in it's own "interests" and forget about international cooperation because they could say...."we don't need a permission slip to defend ourselves" as they proceed to ethnic cleanse another country or wage warfare over economic resources.  We've opened up pandoras box on this one.

There are actually two instances in which a country has the legal right to wage war on another:1. if it has been attacked, or 2. if an armed attack is legitimately deemed to be imminent… after it has been determined that all peaceful means for resolution are exhausted.

IMO, that criteria was not met, but we certainly didn't open Pandora's box here. It was opened about five years ago, during the Kosovo conflict....Without even a UNSC Resolution to give some appearance of propriety.
Wertz
I guess I should have addressed this when Amlord first raised it. In all honesty, I couldn't imagine that he was expecting the argument to be taken seriously. Nor did I expect that anyone else would. Shows how wrong one can be...

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Feb 7 2004, 09:36 AM)
1. "Authorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the foregoing resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area "

2. "Requests all States to provide appropriate support for the actions undertaken in pursuance of paragraph 2 of the present resolution"

3. " Requests the States concerned to keep the Security Council regularly informed on the progress of actions undertaken pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3 of the present resolution"

1. Authorized (IOW, sanctioned) all necessary means.

2. Requested states to provide support for those actions undertaken (past tense) in pursuance of that compliance.

3. Requested that the States concerned keep the Council informed of the progress undertaken (also past tense)in pursuance of that compliance. That indicates, if there was any doubt, that the action was already authorized, and REQUESTED, explicitly, to be informed of the progress of those actions.

Where does it state that this was all up for another vote? According to the above, the only nation NECESSARY for cooperation was Kuwait.

The glaring fallacy with using Resolution 678 as the basis for our invasion of Iraq is that that resolution referred solely and exclusively to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The "necessary means" [RESOLUTION 678 (1990)] were to be employed in relation to "the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait" in order to "protect assets of the legitimate Government of Kuwait and its agencies" [RESOLUTION 660 (1990)]. That's it. The Security Council did not authorize the use of force subsequent to any other resolutions. That is a matter of record.

There is nothing - NOTHING - in Resolutions 661 (1990) of 6 August 1990, 662 (1990) of 9 August 1990, 664 (1990) of 18 August 1990, 665 (1990) of 25 August 1990, 666 (1990) of 13 September 1990, 667 (1990) of 16 September 1990, 669 (1990) of 24 September 1990, 670 (1990) of 25 September 1990, 674 (1990) of 29 October 1990 or 677 (1990) of 28 November 1990 which extends the brief beyond the initial mandate: "to bring an end to the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq which imperils the existence of a Member State".

The cease fire agreement did set new terms. The cease fire agreement was not contingent on Resolution 687 for its enforcement. Otherwise, no action at all could have been taken unless Iraq had re-invaded Kuwait. That was clearly not the intent of the Security Council in passing a new resolution - with new terms. That Resolution did not state that its means of enforcement was presumed by the resolutions passed in relation to Iraq's occupation of Kuwait.

To claim that Resolution 678 authorized the use of force against Iraq for eternity in relation to any other resolutions which had previously have been or might subsequently be passed is patently absurd. UN Resolutions are made on a case by case basis - they are not to be taken as a carte blanche for all futures actions in relation to any state or any conflict - or any future resolutions. Besides, there is not a thing in the UN Charter which would enable Security Council Resolutions to nullify or violate international law. You said it yourself, Mrs. P:
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Feb 8 2004, 11:54 AM)
There are actually two instances in which a country has the legal right to wage war on another: 1. if it has been attacked, or 2. if an armed attack is legitimately deemed to be imminent... after it has been determined that all peaceful means for resolution are exhausted.

And neither of these criteria were met in the US invasion of Iraq. The Bush administration, by your own citation, did not have "the legal right to wage war". End, as they say, of story.

If the Bush administration was so desperate to legally invade Iraq, they needed a better excuse than UN Resolutions - including 688 of 5 April 1991, 707 of 15 August 1991, 715 of 11 October 1991, 986 of 14 April 1995, and 1284 of 17 December 1999, none of which authorized such an invasion (or, for that matter, any military action). Indeed, Resolution 1441 specifically puts the warning - "Iraq... will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations" - under the domain of "the Council" - not, as in Resolution 678, "Member States" with Council authorization. There is no room for equivocation.

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Feb 8 2004, 11:54 AM)
We certainly didn't open Pandora's box here. It was opened about five years ago, during the Kosovo conflict... Without even a UNSC Resolution to give some appearance of propriety.

And I'd be the first to agree with you. Exactly how many wrongs does it take to make a right??
Bikerdad
To reiterate, from the UN Charter:

to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and

That's your authorization, from the Charter.

Now, one simple question for you Wertz:

What, in the Charter, prohibits individual nations from enforcing Security Council Resolutions?
AuthorMusician
Wertz,

You make a good point about the US not being the boss of the UN. It's unfortunate that our sitting president did not get this very simple concept, leading us into a war based on faulty intelligence and highly probable faulty thinking.

Part of the faulty thinking manifested in the initial declaration of independence from the UN followed by a reluctant effort to attain UN approval, then a hasty effort to gain some international support for the invasion of Iraq.

Many people have worked very hard to rationalize away the fact that the US, as represented by George W. Bush, wanted to take over Iraq by hook or by crook or by faulty intelligence or by bald faced lies. Whatever worked to get the results was okay by our president. His mind was made up well ahead of time.

The rest of us followed along since he had us by the shorthairs (as Nixon was fond of saying).

In any case, the primary problem with many US citizens is thinking in terms of "them" when speaking/writing about the UN and not "us." Until most of us can make this change in thinking, the realization of world peace will be elusive. So will controlling terrorist activities that can and will lead to more attacks. But then, I suppose many of the folks thinking "them" also think that war is a perpetual state of being on this planet.

Aye. Perhaps so, especially when many believe adamantly in the premise and resist all efforts to change.

Establishing that the invasion of Iraq was illegal is a tougher row to hoe. I don't think it matters much in light of the incompetence that got us here, whether it was originated in the intelligence community or at the head of state, or both. I suspect both. Oh heck, I know it was both. Competent thinkers approach intelligence with skepticism, not wishfulness. If anything was illegal about the invasion, it has to be the deadly sin of pride. That's not in the UN charter, but it is in another set of documentation that our president takes pride (again) in his belief.

Well, that and a buck forty will buy you a cappuccino.

As the anniversary of the invasion approaches, common wisdom is turning away from the rationalizations and examining the results. Weren't we supposed to be done with this by now? Are we really safer as our president claims? Should we be more active and supportive in the UN? Well, maybe that last one hasn't lit a bulb in the dank reaches of collective consciousness yet. It will come, though. A little birdy told me so.
Mizzou
The USA may not have been involved in all the peacekeeping Ops the UN has conducted... just the successful ones. The UN has a really poor record on the peacekeeping front. Considering we basically singlehandedly won the Gulf War, we did have legitimacy in enforcing the terms of the surrender.
bucket
Wertz I really have to question your view on this issue. The examples you presented us with were merely the role of the UN in that said time, place and event in history. Yet what the UN did and what nationalities it carried those actions out with are hardly a full representation of the event as a whole. In fact I feel it is a very narrow view you have presented us with.

The complaint often is that the US is the aggressor of the UN or often is the sanctioned military power. This complaint is the role of the US..not the role of the US within the UN but the US acting as an individual with either UN acceptance or cooperation. If the US was always behaving as such under the complacent flag of the UN then everyone would be complaining about this UN superpower, or empire. The US goes in and does the bidding in her all Stars and Stripes glory. That is the complaint and that is where you are missing the point of it. Some of us wish those who choose to remain hidden or choose to give the allure of some kind of international solidarity and choose to allow America to be flouted as the enemy, and the superpower and the Empire would have to step up a bit more...and start admitting to their role in the many episodes throughout the years.

QUOTE
the conflict (and Syrian intervention) following proposed constitutional changes in Lebanon in 1958 by was settled by UNOGIL - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States

This one really bothered me. How can anyone seriously deny US involvement in Lebanon in 1958! That is just plum crazy! We had over 10,000 Marines in that tiny little country. We had them there at the request of the Lebanese Government..and in direct cooperation with the UN.

QUOTE
ONUC prevented civil war and the reintegration of the Katanga province in Congo in the early sixties - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States


More craziness... this was during the height of the Cold War. Any country no matter how small or insignificant was thought to be a danger to our safety as a nation and the Western world, if it was thought they could be under communist influences. A civil war or a revolution was a prime place to test one another's power of persuasion. The US feared this event in our history...it was said the the PM was an African Castro and it is said at the time the UN was very sympathetic to America's new cause. This was also at a time if CIA covert operations and the US was heavily involved in The Congos at this time and even openly participated..she was also one of the main states to promote continued UN involvement in the Congo.

QUOTE
UNYOM intervened between the UAR and Saudi Arabia and monitored the disengagement in the Yemeni civil war of 1963-64 - without any military assistance from or active participation by the United States


Again...height of the Cold War UAR was Soviet backed..Saudi Arabia was US backed. This was the start and the true test of our alliance with KSA. The US was involved with this little scrap. Egypt..bombed KSA and the US responded with sending US fighter jets to KSA. This was a direct threat to Egypt and her backer (USSR) and Egypt backed down. Only then your beloved UN team came along for a bit of peacekeeping fun..only after the guns had been drawn and the players and powers had shifted themselves.

Are you seeing the trend?

The US and the UN have traditionally been aligned with one another..and traditionally heavily involved especially when it comes to the Middle East. It has only been a recent occurrence that the US has started to question her relationship with the UN and the UN has begun to question the role she has allowed the US.
Wertz
QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Feb 9 2004, 03:59 AM)
To reiterate, from the UN Charter:

to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and

That's your authorization, from the Charter.

No, it isn't. Procedures, parameters, and the process for authorizing said armed forces are very clearly spelled out elsewhere in the charter. I, too, could extract random words or phrases from the UN Charter to say just about anything: "We the peoples of the United Nations... to save succeeding generations from the scourge of... human rights, justice and respect... have resolved to... authorize... Member States... to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to... endanger... international peace." That was easy. It was also pointless and stupid.

QUOTE
Now, one simple question for you Wertz:

What, in the Charter, prohibits individual nations from enforcing Security Council Resolutions?

Article 43, at the very least:
QUOTE
1. All Members of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, undertake to make available to the Security Council, on its call and in accordance with a special agreement or agreements, armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.

2. Such agreement or agreements shall govern the numbers and types of forces, their degree of readiness and general location, and the nature of the facilities and assistance to be provided.

3. The agreement or agreements shall be negotiated as soon as possible on the initiative of the Security Council. They shall be concluded between the Security Council and Members or between the Security Council and groups of Members and shall be subject to ratification by the signatory states in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.

There is nothing in the Charter which allows for military action through any other means. Granted, there is nothing in the Charter which specifically states "The United States shall not take it upon itself to employ armed forces in the enforcing of Council resolutions without its call, without a special agreement, without the number, type or nature of the forces being governed by the Council, without being negotiated by the Security Council, and without the ratification by the signatory states in accordance with their respective constitutional processes." This clause does not appear because it is unnecessary. The opposite is already stated.

If you are arguing that there must be an explicit exclusion of the US taking action in the affairs of the UN as a whole, you might as well be arguing that the United States (or at least the Bush administration) has the Divine Right to enforce any cease fire or any treaty or any contract of any type between any two states, factions, or parties anywhere in the world. That is insane.

I have an agreement with a student down the street to assist with yardwork twice a month. When we reached the agreement, I did not specifically mention that the US government did not have the right to enforce our arrangement. I guess some of you would argue that, should she fail to turn up one week, the Bush administration has every right to send in the Marines. wacko.gif
Amlord
Wertz, spamming a bunch of words does not makes your argument.

The latest Iraq conflict WAS a direct continuation of the first Gulf War under international law. THAT is why it is not illegal.

I will restate: "A breach of a ceasefire agreement allows immediate resumption of hostilities". 1441 clearly stated that Iraq was in material breach of the cease fire agreement.

Now, more on topic: It has always been my stance that no single nation can legally and unilaterally enforce UNSC Resolution. The Resolutions themselves specify who will carry out the enforcement. In the case of the first Gulf War, it was Kuwait and any state acting on behalf of Kuwait. I think that even you can agree that the US was a legal participant in the first Gulf War, along with a broad coalition of other governments (most of which did nothing except pay lip service).

The current conflict in Iraq is a direct extension of the first Gulf War.

Timeline of events from the end of the Gulf War:
1. Cease Fire agreement.
2. Iraq breaches Cease fire agreement (along with several other UNSC Resolutions.)
3. UNSC rules that Iraq has breached its cease fire agreement (UNSC Resolution 1441).
4. A second "Coalition of the Willing" is assembled to resume hostilities against Iraq. The relative size of this second coalition is immaterial. It could have been the US alone (it was not, however, despite those that overuse (or mis-define) the word "unilateral").

Do you realize that the UN itself has legitimized the action taken against Iraq in 2003?

Resolution 1511
The UNSC recognizes the Coalition Provisional Authority as the interim government in Iraq, albeit temporarily (which is absolutely appropriate).

QUOTE
1. Reaffirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq, and
underscores, in that context, the temporary nature of the exercise by the Coalition
Provisional Authority (Authority) of the specific responsibilities, authorities, and
obligations under applicable international law recognized and set forth in resolution
1483 (2003), which will cease when an internationally recognized, representative
government established by the people of Iraq is sworn in and assumes the
responsibilities of the Authority, inter alia through steps envisaged in paragraphs 4
through 7 and 10 below;


Interestingly, on the UN website, this Resolution is referenced as : Security Council resolution 1518 (2003) The situation between Iraq and Kuwait

Hmm, apparently the UNSC feels that the current situation in Iraq has something to do with Kuwait... hmmm.gif

My point remains that when it comes to enforcing the "will" ermm.gif of the UN, only when the US is directly involved is anything undertaken, or accomplished.

Is that a universal truth : no. But it is the reality of the current state of the UN.
Wertz
QUOTE(Amlord @ Feb 9 2004, 03:30 PM)
Wertz, spamming a bunch of words does not makes your argument.

I'm not quite sure what that turn of phrase means, but spamming is prohibited here. If that's how you're characterizing my post, the proper course of action is to report it, not respond to it. If it's just some sort of neologistic smear, then it's none too constructive, is it?

QUOTE
The latest Iraq conflict WAS a direct continuation of the first Gulf War under international law. THAT is why it is not illegal.

The latest Iraq conflict had nothing to do with the first Gulf War under international law. The international body administrating that war and its cease fire was the United Nations. Responding to or contending with any breach of that cease fire should have been entirely up to the UN - not any of its individual Member States - as has been made abundantly clear already.

QUOTE
I will restate: "A breach of a ceasefire agreement allows immediate resumption of hostilities". 1441 clearly stated that Iraq was in material breach of the cease fire agreement.

Is placing a bit of quoted text next to an apparent source an example of whatever of "spamming words together" might mean? In any event, there's no reason on God's earth for the phrase "resumption of hostilities" sharing a paragraph with Resolution 1441.

Your restatement would make perfect sense if it had anything to do with reality. It doesn't. Security Council Resolution 1441 contains nine decisions, two requests, one endorsement, one directive, and one recollection. Not a single one of these has anything to do with allowing a "resumption of hostilities". That is merely something which has been assumed by the Amlords of the world. Indeed, quite a few of the Security Council's decisions would be physically impossible were a resumption of hostilities indicated. The one recollection out of fourteen points does imply that Iraq could face "serious consequences" - which are conditional - but in no way states what they are, when they might be effected, or by whom. It could mean anything from blockading ports to nuking Baghdad to making Saddam Hussein wear a funny hat. It would have been up to the UNSC to have determined what those consequences would have been under what conditions - had international law been observed. In addition to "preempting" Iraq, the Bush administration also - illegally - "preempted" the United Nations.

The same point of information here for the umpteenth time: the Security Council is the only body which could justify such a resumption of hostilities. It most emphatically did not. There were no legal grounds for a resumption of hostilities by the United States or any other member of the UN. In fact, such hostilities themselves directly impeded effecting Resolution 1441.

QUOTE
Now, more on topic:

Whereupon you proceed to go entirely off topic... rolleyes.gif
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