The Illegality Of The War On Afghanistan International Law Essay

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“We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…” The war against Afghanistan is illegal. The US, assisted by Canada and Britain is bombing Afghanistan and will perhaps use additional force with ground troops for the stated purpose of capturing or killing Osama bin Laden and others associated with his organization and of toppling the Taliban government. No international or national law or policy legalizes these.

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attacks on Afghanistan. No resolutions of the United Nations’ Security Council or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization could provide a legal justification for these attacks and none do. The war against Afghanistan violates international law including the Charter of the United Nations (The Charter), the Geneva Conventions and the relevant provisions of the eleven International agreements dealing with the suppression and control of terrorism. The attacks by bombing and the use of other military force are war crimes pursuant to the Rome Statute.


The Charter prohibits the use and the threatened use of any force in their international relations. The Charter specifically prohibits the use of force to topple foreign governments. It goes without saying that all national and International laws forbid the killing of non-combatants (i.e. arguably all Afghanis) the bombing and other use of force in Afghanistan will inevitably kill and injure large numbers of non-combatants. The October 11 edition of the Vancouver Sun reports 200 people in Afghanistan killed in US bombing raids including 4 United Nations employees. October 13, 2001 reports indicate a residential area hit by a missile. Mass killing of non-combatants is considered by the world community to be the most egregious of crimes. The Preamble to the Rome Statute, in reference to such crimes states, “Mindful that during this century millions of children, women and men have been victims of unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock that conscience of Humanity.” The United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Afghanistan are all Member States of the United Nations. The Charter of the United Nations imposes on members the binding obligation to settle disputes in a manner that ensures the maintenance of peace and justice. Article 2 of the Charter prohibits the use or threatened use of force against another state. [See below] The Article 2 prohibition applies to all force and is a rule of customary international law. As such the Article 2 prohibition is universally binding even on the few states not members of the United Nations.’ The Article 2 prohibition has been reiterated in numerous resolutions of the UN General Assembly. For example on 17 December 1984 the UN General Assembly passed a resolution affirming the inadmissibility of the policy of State terrorism including actions by States aimed at undermining the sociopolitical systems in other sovereign states.

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