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From Bilateralism to Community InterestEssays in Honour of Bruno Simma$
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Ulrich Fastenrath, Rudolf Geiger, Daniel-Erasmus Khan, Andreas Paulus, Sabine von Schorlemer, and Christoph Vedder

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588817

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588817.001.0001

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Legal Crisis Management: Lawfulness and Legitimacy of the Use of Force

Legal Crisis Management: Lawfulness and Legitimacy of the Use of Force

Chapter:
(p.278) Legal Crisis Management: Lawfulness and Legitimacy of the Use of Force
Source:
From Bilateralism to Community Interest
Author(s):

Hanspeter Neuhold

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588817.003.0021

When governments consider the use of force in a crisis their decision will be determined by the perceived necessity to protect the supreme values and interests of their State and the international community, on the one hand, and the expected costs, on the other. Although they will prefer to act within the bounds of their legal obligations, respect for international law is unlikely to be a priority in such a situation. This chapter examines the justifications invoked by the US when it decided to employ force, going it alone or acting together with other States, in major post-Second World War international crises: in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962; against the Serb forces in Kosovo in 1999; against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001; and against the regime of President Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003. These four cases have been selected because in each of them the legal grounds on which the administrations in Washington DC relied were different, and in three of them the use of armed force was controversial.

Keywords:   United States, international law, defence policy, use of force, crisis management, Kosovo, Saddam Hussein, Taliban, Al-Qaeda

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