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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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The Road to Basra

The Road to Basra

Chapter:
(p.238) 10 The Road to Basra
Source:
Democracy goes to War
Author(s):

Nigel D. White (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199218592.003.0011

The involvement of British service personnel in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 took place against a background of division both domestically and internationally. The legal basis, revolving principally around the meaning of Security Council resolutions, was hotly disputed and has led to continuing political ramifications as the British and American military presence in Iraq continues. At the domestic level, the role of legal advice in the process of executive decision-making and its presentation to parliament became particularly apparent. The inability of the Security Council to achieve consensus on how to tackle either crisis calls into question its continued role as the fulcrum of collective security. At the domestic level, the executive appeared to be effective in sending troops without clear UN authority, and although parliament seemed to play an increased role there are still questions as to whether it was an adequate democratic counterweight to the executive. This chapter opens out the legal and political debate to discern both the legality and legitimacy of the military operation to topple Saddam, and the subsequent occupation and attempted rebuilding of Iraq.

Keywords:   Security Council resolutions, Resolution 1441, Parliamentary vote, legal advice, Iraq, Iraqi Freedom, occupation, withdrawal

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