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Democracy goes to WarBritish Military Deployments under International Law$
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Nigel White

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199218592

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218592.001.0001

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Helping a Friend in Afghanistan

Helping a Friend in Afghanistan

(p.184) 8 Helping a Friend in Afghanistan
Democracy goes to War

Nigel D. White (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The war on terrorism, starting in earnest with the military action in Afghanistan October 2001, involved British troops acting alongside the United States against al-Qaeda and the Taliban on the basis of the right of self-defence, the same right that was invoked in the Falklands War. Was the British reliance on the right of self-defence controversial either domestically or internationally? Was the fact that the action seemed to have approval from the Security Council, as well as NATO, important? While the initial operation — Operation Enduring Freedom — was based upon article 51 of the UN Charter preserving the right of self-defence, once the Taliban had been removed and al-Qaeda routed, Britain led a Security Council authorized security presence in and around Kabul providing stability while a nascent Afghan government tried to assert authority over the country. Concern was expressed in parliament at ‘mission creep’ as the functions of the NATO force (ISAF) changed, and British troops faced a resurgent Taliban in Helmand province from 2006 onwards.

Keywords:   war on terror, self-defence, Enduring Freedom, al-Qaeda, Taliban, ISAF, NATO, Helmand

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