12 Pages

The Dubious Legitimacy of Preventive Military Action against Iraq

WithHans J. Giessmann

This chapter deals with the three aspects, namely, the legal legitimacy, political legitimacy, and military legitimacy of preventive military action against Iraq. While the legal legitimacy of ongoing inspections – unless the Security Council decides differently – is out of question, the same does not hold true with any proactive military pressure on Iraq without approval from the Security Council. Proactive military action against Iraq by individual UN member states would be illegal, politically unwise and highly risky in military terms. In political terms, the situation in Iraq has to be handled with approaches which include regional stabilization strategies. The legitimacy of military action under the provisions of the Charter should be solely left to the precise and formal decision-making of the Security Council. Finally, the chapter provides some preliminary conclusions as a tentative alternative, which should be considered.