BITS Research Report
Humanitarian Intervention, NATO and
Can the Institution of Humanitarian Intervention
Justify Unauthorised Action?
This report is also available as a PDF-File
This study has shown that:
The result of the legal analysis is quite conclusive: forcible actions
taken without a Security Council authorisation cannot be considered legal. Justifying
unauthorised action on the ground of the doctrine of humanitarian intervention is not
possible, as such institution is non-existent under current International Law. While it is
true that the principle of national sovereignty is eroding, this is happening very slowly.
Recent developments that have led certain analysts to sustain that such right is emerging
can at best be interpreted as an indication that the notion of humanitarian-grounded
military interventions is becoming more acceptable.
While some have suggested that circumstances are increasingly benign
for promoting the establishment of a right of humanitarian intervention, which would
provide a legal basis for humanitarian-grounded actions, this course presents serious
First, the feasibility of reaching a universal consensus on the
question is dubious. Because the establishment of humanitarian interventions would imply a
derogation from ius cogens, no international custom can be established without
Furthermore, it is unclear whether an intervention of the Kosovo type
would qualify as a humanitarian intervention, even if this institution existed.
Finally, a glance at the consequences that the establishment of
humanitarian interventions would have for international relations suggests that costs
would outweigh benefits:
NATO countries risk failing in its more important short-term objective
of integrating Russia into the West, since its increasing international
isolation entails higher security risks.
Legal permission to undertake humanitarian actions unilaterally would
leave a wide scope for abuse open, gravely undermining the cornerstone of the present
system of International Law, the ban on the use of force. In exchange, acquiring the right
to intervene in internal affairs for humanitarian reasons would address rather marginal,
if any, national interest of states, including NATO members.
Furthermore, NATO will make its new role in crisis management more
palatable to the international community if it abstains from taking forcible action
without UNSC approval. Acting under a UN mandate enhances substantially the political
acceptability of NATO actions. In conclusion, reasons for restraining NATO's crisis
management action to UN Security Council mandated operations weigh heavily. NATO should
link its new task to a UN mandate.
Portela works as a researcher at the Berlin Information-center for Transatlantic
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||The NSC can be defined as the "statement of the
Alliance's objectives", setting out NATO's political and military strategy". The
predecessors to the documents approved in 1991 and in 1999 were classified documents
providing guidelines for military planning activities. See Cragg, Anthony: A new strategic
concept for a new era, NATO Review, 47(2), Summer 1999, p. 1.
||NATO: The Alliance's Strategic Concept, Washington D. C.,
April 24 1999, Title 10. The rest of the article completes the new function with a
commitment to co-operation with non-NATO countries, reading "Partnership: To promote
wide-ranging partnership, co-operation, and dialogue with other countries in the
Euro-Atlantic area, with the aim of increasing transparency, mutual confidence and the
capacity for joint action with the Alliance".
||Bring, Ove: Should NATO take the lead in formulating a
doctrine on humanitarian intervention?, NATO review, Vol.47, No.3, Autumn 1999;
Cassese, Antonio: Ex iniuria ius oritur: Are We Moving towards International
Legitimization of Forcible Humanitarian Countermeasures in the World Community?, European
Journal of International Law, Vol. 10, No.1, 1999; Guicherd, Catherine: International
Law and the War in Kosovo, Survival, Vol.41, No.2, Summer 1999; Ronzitti, Natalino:
Lessons of international law from NATO´s armed intervention against the Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia, The International Spectator, 24(3), July-September 1999.
||The so-called "enemy-state-clauses" (Articles 53
and 107) are now considered obsolete.
||Art. 41 refers to "measures not involving the use of
armed force." These may include complete or partial interruption of economic
relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of
communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.
||So far, Article 48 of the UN Charter constituted the legal
foundation which enabled the Security Council to entrust NATO with the enforcement of its
mandates. It reads as follows: "(1) The action required to carry out the decisions of
the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security shall be
taken by all the Members of the United Nations or by some of them, as the Security Council
may determine. (2) Such decisions shall be carried out by the Members of the United
Nations directly and through their action in the appropriate international agencies of
which they are members."
||This was expressly clarified in a letter addressed by
NATO´s former Secretary General Claes to the UN Secretary General. See Simma, Bruno:
NATO, the UN and the use of force: Legal aspects, European Journal of International Law,
10(1), chapter 2.
||Art.52 of the UN Charter reads: "Nothing in the
present Charter precludes the existence of regional arrangements or agencies for dealing
with such matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security as are
appropriate for regional action provided that such arrangements or agencies and their
activities are consistent with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations".
||The term ius cogens refers to a peremptory norm of
general international law. It is defined as a norm "accepted and recognised by the
international community of States as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is
permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general international law
having the same character". See Art. 53 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of
||Predecessor of OSCE.
||US Deputy Secretary of State Talbott said: "Some
commentators contend that such adaptations require a revision of the North Atlantic
Treaty, or believe that we are proposing one. This is untrue. The framers of the
Washington Treaty were careful not to impose arbitrary functional or geographical limits
on what the Alliance could do to protect its security." However, as Simma recalls,
"no unanimity of NATO member states can do away with the limits to which these states
are subject under peremptory international law ( jus cogens ) outside the
organization, in particular the higher law (cf. Article 103) of the UN Charter on the
threat or use of armed force. NATO is allowed to do everything that is legally
permissible, but no more. Legally, the Alliance has no greater freedom than its member
states". For both statements see: Simma 1999, Chapter 3, p. 2 and p. 6 respectively.
||Some critics have also referred to the question of its
democratic legitimacy, pointing out that the substantial changes introduced by the new
Strategic Concept requires formal ratification by national parliaments. This was the claim
of the Political Committee of the Assembly of WEU:"[E]ven though neither the
Washington Communiqué nor the new Strategic Concept are international treaties, their
aims are nonetheless to lay the foundations for redefining the tasks of the Alliance by
introducing fundamental changes for which no justification can be found in the Washington
Treaty. In fact, this boils down to amending the Treaty without going through the
appropriate procedures, and in particular without bothering to obtain the necessary
approval and ratification from parliaments." See "WEU after the Washington and
Cologne Summits-Reply to the annual report of the Council", Report submitted on
behalf of the Political Committee to the Assembly of the WEU by Mr Baumel, Paris, 10 June
1999, pp. 8-9.
||Some analysts have observed how the stated objectives
narrowed in the course of the campaign. See Woodward, Susan L.: Should we think before we
leap?, Security Dialogue, 30(3), September 1999, p. 278. Some criticised that
certain objectives, particularly the refrain from targeting civilian objectives were not
entirely honoured. See Rogers, Paul: Lessons to learn, The World Today, 55(8/9),
August/September 1999, p. 5.
||Letter from Secretary-General Javier Solana, addressed to
the permanent representatives to the North Atlantic Council, dated 9 October 1998.
||Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, press conference
on Kosovo in Washington, DC, March 25, 1999.
||UNSC Res 1160 of March 31 1998, operative
||UNSC Res 1199 of September 23 1998, operative paragraph 1.
||ibid, operative paragraph 4.
||UNSC Res 1203 of October 24 1998. It
should be noted that at the time when the activation order was given, Resolution 1203 had
not been adopted yet. Therefore, it was Resolution 1199 that served as basis for the
opening of the military option within the Alliance. See the statement by Secretary of
State Madeleine K. Albright Press Conference in London, October 8, 1998.
||White, Nigel D.: The Legality of the threat of force
against Iraq, Security Dialogue, 30(1), March 1999, p. 80
||As Simma puts it, "a reading of the relevant Council
resolutions together with the respective pronouncements of NATO (members) might lead an
observer to conclude that the two sides are acting in concert.[...] NATO tries to convince
the outside world that it is acting alone only to the least degree possible, while in
essence it is implementing the policy formulated by the international community. Simma
1999, p. 14
||The pertinent articles were not specified. See for
instance: Transcript of the Secretary of States press conference on Kosovo in
Brussels, 8 October 1998, on website http://secretary.state.gov./www/statements/1998
||Simma 1999, p. 1. Ambos is one of the few to dissent,
arguing that the dolus specialis, a special intent aimed at the destruction of a
protected group existed in the case of Kosovo. However, an intent is generally difficult
to determine. See Ambos, Kai: Comment on: Bruno Simma, NATO, the UN and the use of force:
Legal aspects, European Journal of International Law, 10(.1), 1999, p. 1.
||Letter from Secretary-General Javier Solana, addressed to
the permanent representatives to the North Atlantic Council, dated 9 October 1998.
||Press statement by Javier Solana on 23 March 1999 at 23h00.
||Hoagland, Jim: Blair on NATO: We must defend human values, The
Washington Post, 19 April 1999
||Beyerlin, Ulrich: Humanitarian intervention, in: R.
Bernhardt (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Public International Law, Vol. I (1992), p. 926. The use
of armed force for the protection of its own nationals will not be considered here.
||This claim was voiced once again with regard to the war
against Yugoslavia. See Guicherd 1999, p. 23.
||Beyond the teleological explanation, Deiseroth has drawn
attention to the unacceptability of the notion that military intervention does not affect
the territorial integrity of a state: "Die Anwendung von militärischer
Waffengewalt..gegen das Territorium und die Bevölkerung eines Staates...stellt durch die
Beeinträchtigung und die Zerstörung der angegriffenen Ziele einen massiven Übergriff
auf das Staatsgebiet dar, und zwar unabhängig davon, ob die Gewaltanwendung subjektiv auf
die Eroberung des Gebietes abzielt oder nicht." Deiseroth, Dieter: Humanitäre
Intervention und Völkerrecht, Neue Juristische Wochenschrift, Heft 42, 1999,
||See for instance Greenwood, C.: "Legal Limitations of
the Prohibitions of Use of Force" in: Souchon, Lennard (Hrsg.): Völkerrecht und
Sicherheit, Herford 1994.
||This is defined in Art. 38(1) b of the Statute of the
International Court of Justice. See for instance: Fernández Flores, J.L.: "Fuentes
del derecho internacional público", in: Fundación Tomás Moro: Diccionario
Jurídico Espasa, Madrid 1991, p. 443, Shaw, M.: International Law, Cambridge
1997, pp. 58-59, Simma, B: "Das Völkergewohnheitsrecht", p. 39 in Neuhold, H.: Österreichisches
Handbuch des Völkerrechts, Wien 1997, Hillier, T.: Principles of Public
International Law, Cambridge 1999, p. 19.
||Quoted in "War with Milosevic", The Economist,
3rd April 1999, p. 18.
||Greenwood, Christopher: Is there a right of humanitarian
intervention?, The World Today, 49(2), February 1993, p. 40.
||As were respectively the cases of Somalia and Liberia. The
intervention of ECOWAS in Liberia in 1990 was carried out without a mandate, but was given
post-facto legitimacy by Security Council Resolution 788. In contrast to the
above-mentioned interventions of the seventies (India in East Bengal in 1971, Tanzania in
Uganda and Vietnam into Kampuchea in 1979), a declaration issued by the ECOWAS Heads of
State and Government made clear that the peacekeeping force was sent with a humanitarian
rationale, see UN Doc. S/ 21485, 9 August 1990. The Liberian case is a doubtful example
since ECOWAS encountered the consent of all factions.
||The US and British governments justify their unilateral
campaign on the basis of the determination of a threat to international peace and security
by the Security Council in a resolution. They indicated that they do not consider a UN
mandate indispensable for the international military action, claiming that they still
comply with international law.
||See British Year Book of International Law, vol. 63, 1992,
||Interview on BBC Radio 4, 19 August 1991.
||The interventions in Belgian Congo (1964) and in the
Dominican Republic (1965) can either be more appropriately classified as interventions to
protect nationals abroad, while the incursions of Vietnam into Kampuchea and Tanzania into
Uganda (1979) were aimed primarily at other political ends. See Beyerlin in: Bernhardt
(ed.) 1992, p. 926.
||The scale of Iraqs violations of human rights had
been extensively documented, the scope and purpose of the intervention were limited and
the situation had been internationalised by the war to liberate Kuwait. See Greenwood
1993, p. 40. See also Beyerlin in: Bernhardt (ed.) 1992, p. 931: "The circumstances
under which the intervention took place were rather unique; thus, this isolated relief
action cannot furnish evidence that humanitarian intervention may henceforth be considered
as allowed under customary international law".
||Ronzitti 1999, p. 52.
||Guicherd 1999. For other adepts of this view, see Mayall,
James: The New interventionism 1991-1994: United Nations experience in Cambodia, Former
Yugoslavia and Somalia, Cambridge 1996, p. 1; Ipsen Knut: Der Kosovo-Einsatz- Illegal?
Gerechtfertigt? Entschuldbar?, Die Friedens-Warte, 74(1999) 1-2, p. 22 and
Tomuschat, Christian: Völkerrechtliche Aspekte des Kosovo-Konflikts, Die
Friedens-Warte, 74 (1999) 1-2, p. 34.
||For a comprehensive survey see: Abiew, Francis K.:
Assessing humanitarian intervention in the post-Cold War period, International
Relations, XIV(2), August 1998.
||In the case of operations under UN command, the use of
force is often not stipulated in original resolutions, but authorised later by
supplementary mandates for the protection of humanitarian convoys and the civil population
(rules of engagement).
||Bouchet-Saulnier writes: "Cette troisième
génération du maintien de la paix a jeté un lourd discrédit sur lONU, et marqué
un coup darrêt au lancement dinterventions en faveur de la
paix." Bouchet-Saulnier, Françoise: Maintien de la paix, in: Dictionnaire
pratique du droit humanitaire, Paris 1998, p. 242.
||Examples abound: Bettati lists 65 resolutions of the
Security Council between April 1991 and December 1995 insisting that warring states should
allow access to humanitarian organisations, urging parties to a conflict to refrain from
obstructing humanitarian relief and demanding at times that they facilitate such relief.
See Bettati Mario: Le droit dingérence, Paris 1996, p. 329-340.
||As Damrosch has noted, recent resolutions evidence a
newly emerging consensus that the Security Councils enforcement powers may be
purely domestic situation[s]. in Damrosch: Changing conceptions
of intervention in international law, in: Reed and Kaysen (eds.): Emerging norms of
justified intervention, Cambridge, 1993, p. 105.
||According to declarations of UN Secretary-General Boutros
Ghali at the time when Resolution 794 was adopted, "no government exists in Somalia
that could request and allow such use of force". (See UN Doc S/24868). For its part,
Resolution 770 was adopted several months after the Arbitration Commission established by
the Peace Conference on Yugoslavia had determined that the Socialist Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia (SFRY) was in the process of dissolution (Opinion n.1 of the Badinter
Commission, International Law Reports 162). See also Greenwood 1993, p. 38:
"Although the conflict in what was the SFRY was originally perceived as a conflict
within a state, the break-up of the SFRY meant that the conflict later became an
international one. From that moment at least, the legal basis for outside intervention,
whether by individual states or by the United Nations, no longer needed to rest on any
theory of humanitarian intervention."
||In principle, this argument tries once again to extract a
norm from a non-codified practice, and if put to the test, it would hardly qualify as
such. Further, it overlooks the fact that the codification of international concern for
situations of extreme humanitarian distress either in the form of either the Declaration
of Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions or the Convention on Genocide or other
international treaties, did not include any enforcement provisions. Simma indicates that
international concern for these situations is not contrary to the respect for the Charter
because the international community can make use of countermeasures allowed for in the
Charter in such cases. See Simma 1999, p. 1.
||This argument is even used to support the idea that the
non-interventions principle is based on customary law. See Ipsen, Knut: Völkerrecht,
München 1999, p. 956.
||See "War with Milosevic", The Economist,
3rd April 1999, p. 18. Nevertheless, the rejection of the Resolution does not mean that
the air raids received an implicit authorisation, as has been argued, since
Russia and China explicitly opposed the war.
||Ronzitti insinuates that a parallel could be drawn with the
Tanzanian invasion of Uganda, which was condoned by the international community. See
Ronzitti 1999, p. 51.
||This resolution was later reaffirmed by another General
Assembly Resolution 45/100 of 14 December 1990.
||In contrast, the "Declaration on the Inadmissibility
of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of their Independence
and Sovereignty", GA Res. 2131 of 21 December 1965, although much older, displays a
much more assertive language against the right of humanitarian intervention.
||Bettati characterises this as an "hypocrisy"
within international law: while the right of victims to assistance is recognised as part
of customary international law, it is not possible to derive a right of states to bring
this assistance by all means, including military force. See: Bettati 1996, p. 171.
||Bring 1999, Cassese 1999, Guicherd 1999.
||However, the suitability of change of international law
should not be overestimated. Allowing for a right of humanitarian intervention would
constitute a partial derogation of the ban on force enshrined in Art. 2(4) of the UN
Charter. Because the ban of force is ius cogens, it does not allow for derogations
(See footnote ) and it is not affected by violations ("ex injuria ius non
oritur"). Nonetheless, the status of the ban of force as ius cogens does not
make it completely impossible for humanitarian interventions to become legal. Art. 53 (in
conjunction with Art. 64) of the Vienna Convention on the law of Treaties of 1969
establishes that a peremptory norm can be modified by a subsequent norm having the same
character. This means that that humanitarian interventions could become legal if the
(quasi) totality of the community of states would regard them as legal. As Higgins has
pointed out, norms that are ius cogens cannot be derogated from because they have
something like a higher normativity, but the inverse is right: because these
norms are particularly dear to the community states as a whole, they continue to be a
requirement of customary international law. See Higgins, Rosalyn: Problems and Process.
International Law and how we use it, Oxford 1994, pp. 18-22.
||See Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 17 Oktober 1998.
The cluster of reasons presented by Scharping´s predecessor Kinkel as well as by former
NATO Secretary-General Solana reflects the belief that the combination of certain
conditions make a military threat legitimate.
||European Parliament: Resolution of 20. April 1994, see:
BT-Dr 12/7513 von 10.Mai 1994.
||Address of Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the Commission
on Human Rights in Geneva, 7 April 1999. Similar statements of Annans predecessors
include: Pérez de Cuellar stated at speech at the University of Bordeaux in 1991:
"[W]e are clearly witnessing what is an irresistible shift in public attitudes
towards the belief that the defence of the oppressed in the name of morality should
prevail over frontiers and legal documents". (quoted in Abiew 1998, p. 1) For his
part, Boutros-Ghali observed in his "Agenda for Peace" that "the time of
absolute and exclusive sovereignty
has passed". (see Boutros-Ghali: An Agenda
for Peace: Preventive Diplomacy, Peacemaking and Peace-keeping, Report of the
Secretary General pursuant to the statement adopted by the Summit Meeting of the Security
Council on 31 January 1992, New York 1992, p. 5)
||See for instance interview in the Swiss newspaper Le
Temps, 23 Octobre 2000.
||See Pradetto, August: Die NATO, humanitäre Intervention
und Völkerrecht, Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, 11/99; Remiro Brotons, Antonio: De la asistencia a la agresión humanitaria?, Política
Exterior, 68. Mayo/Junio 1999; Deiseroth 1999; Mohr, Manfred: An der Schwelle zu einem
neuen Völkerrecht?, Wissenschaft und Frieden, 4/99-1/00.
||Ipsen 1999b; Tomuschat 1999; Greenwood 1993, also as quoted
in: War with Milosevic, The Economist, 3rd April 1999. A number of observers admit
the illegality but defend the legitimacy of the strikes: Roberts, Adam: Willing the Ends
but not the means, The World Today, 55(5), May 1999; Glennon, Michael J.: The New
Interventionism, Foreign Affairs, 78(3), May/June 1999. See also footnote .
||See for instance Hoffman: Sovereignty and Ethics of
Humanitarian Intervention, in Hoffman (ed.): The Politics and Ethics of Humanitarian
Intervention, Notre Dame 1996, p. 38.
||See for instance Dallmeyer, L.: "National Perspectives
on International Intervention, in Daniel and Halyes: Beyond Traditional Peacekeeping,
London, 1995, p. 25.
||Glennon 1999, p. 5.
||Greenwood would be contented with only three criteria met:
that a catastrophe is occurring, that it poses a threat to international peace and that
the responsible is identifiable. See: War with Milosevic, The Economist, 3rd April
1999, p. 18.
||See page 13. Glennon regards the demise of the UN Charter
system as a fait accompli. See Glennon 1999, p. 7 or Woodward 1999, p. 277.
||Ronzitti 1999, p. 54
||"Selbst bei einer personell wie finanziell
verbesserten Ausstattung der UN könnte die internationale Staatengemeinschaft nicht
überall einschreiten, wo Bürgerkriege und menschliches Leid herrschen". See
Krennerich, Michael: Humanitäre Intervention, in: Nohlen, Dieter: Wörterbuch Staat
und Politik, München 1991, p. 262.
||See Glennon 1999, p. 9. See also Ress-Mogg, William:
Wheres the justice?, The Times, 29 March 1999.
||Critics like Chomsky also draw attention to the experiences
in Laos, Colombia or Turkey. See Chomsky, Noam: L'OTAN, maître du monde, Le Monde
Diplomatique, Mai 1999.
||See Hoagland, Jim: Blair on NATO: We must defend human
values, in: The Washington Post, 19 April 1999.
||Tony Blairs speech Doctrine of the
International Community, in Chicago, 22 April 1999.
||It should be noted that all advocates of legitimising
humanitarian interventions have anglo-saxon origins.
||It has been suggested that the emphasis on
humanitarianism did not stem from an intention to originate a new rule, but
was intended at diverting attention from the illegality of the operation. See Mohr 1999.
||Former German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel explained the
German government's position as follows: "The decision of NATO must not become a
precedent. As far as the Security Council monopoly on force is concerned, we must avoid
getting on a slippery slope." See Deutscher Bundestag: Plenarprotokoll 13/248,
October 16 1998, at 23129.
||See Bauer, Friederike: Mehr Druck vom Sicherheitsrat
verlangt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, October 16, 1998.
||Internally, Art. 26 (1) of the German Constitution forbids
the country to initiate any war not grounded on self-defence. Internal legislation like
Art. 80 StGB prohibits even preparations for war. Internationally, Germany acquired a
further obligation to restrict the use of force under the "Two-plus-Four-Treaty"
of September 12, 1990, which stipulates that a unified Germany would only employ force in
conformity with its Constitution and with the UN Charter. See Art. 2 of
"Abschließende Regelung in bezug auf Deutschland", in: Auswärtiges Amt
(Hrsg.): Verträge der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1992. Further, the Federal
Constitutional Court has demonstrated a clear willingness to uphold the constitutional
requirements for German participation in international organisations, which include the
conformity of all these activities with the rules and procedures of the UN Charter. See
Simma 1999, p. 14.
||For Tomuschat, "man (wird) den Entschlub der NATO, zum Schutz der Kosovo-Albaner mit militärischen Mitteln
einzugreifen, nicht in ein Licht der Illegalität rücken können. Zweifel ergeben sich
freilich angesichts der gewählten militärischen Strategie, lediglich auf das Mittel des
Luftkrieges zu setzen." See Tomuschat 1999, pp. 35-36.
||See Preuß, Ulrich K.: Zwischen Legalität und
Gerechtigkeit, Blätter für Deutsche und Internationale Politik, 44(7), Juli 1999,
||Rogers 1999, p. 4. Some have argued that the withdrawal of
the OSCE observer force immediately before the war left Serb paramilitaries with a free
hand to drive out hundreds of thousands of Kosovar Albanians.
||Initially, only military objectives were targeted. During
the second half of the war the target list in Serbia was progressively expanded.
||Article 52 of the First Additional Protocol of 1977 to the
Geneva Conventions of 1949 reads: "Attacks shall be limited strictly to military
objectives. In so far as objects are concerned, military objectives are limited to those
objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to
military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralisation...offers
a definite military advantage."
||Article 54 (2) of the First Additional Protocol of 1977 to
the Geneva Conventions of 1949 prohibits to attack objects indispensable to the survival
of the civilian population, such as drinking water installations and supplies. Official
statements corroborated that the destruction of water supplies was aimed at causing war-
fatigue among the population. See statements by NATO Generals in Philadelphia
Inquirer, 21 May 1999.
||See Human Rights Watch, NATOs Use of Cluster
Munitions in Yugoslavia, 11 May 1999. For a short discussion of further charges see
Kröning, Volker: Kosovo and International Humanitarian Law, Humanitäres Völkerrecht,
||Collateral damage is unintended, incidental damage
inflicted upon civilians or property that is not itself part of a military target as a
result of attacks on military objects. The Geneva Convention provides that the
belligerents observe some requisites in the targeting such as the principles of
Proportionality and Precautions in Attack. See Art. 35/2, 51/5 (a) 56, 57/2 (iii) and 57/2
(b) of Protocol 1.
||See Preuß 1999, p. 826. See also Merkel, Reinhard: Das
Elend der Beschützten, Die Zeit, 12 Mai 1999.
||Until 1999, its military intervention in former Yugoslavia
was comprised of maritime operations to enforce the UN arms embargo (Res. 787), air
operations to enforce no-flight-zones (Res. 781 and 816), air strikes (Res. 836) and
ground operations (IFOR/SFOR) to implement the Dayton Agreement.
||The New Strategic Concept of NATO, April 4, 1999.
||Originally, the Oslo Ministerial Declaration of June 1992
made this offer only to CSCE. Two years later, the same offer was made to the UN: "We
reaffirm our offer to support, on a case by case basis in accordance with our own
procedures, peacekeeping and other operations under the authority of the UN Security
Council or (CSCE), including by making available Alliance resources and expertise."
NATO: Summit Declaration of the North Atlantic Council, January 11, 1994, title 7.
||Taken from an account of the Security Council debate, UN
Press Release SC/ 6659, March 26, 1999.
||This ambiguity has to be seen against the background of the
virulent debate that took place within the Alliance on whether a legal basis to conduct
crisis management was required. This debate was defined by the extreme stances of the US,
who defended that a UN mandate was not always necessary for NATO actions, and France, who
contended that the Alliance should bind itself to a Security Council authorisation. The
imprecise references to the UN Security Council included in the final formulation result
from a compromise eventually found between the two stances. See Kamp, Karl-Heinz: Das neue
strategische Konzept der NATO, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Arbeitspapier, Sankt Augustin,
||As noted above, Allies do not hold any treaty obligation to
act beyond the scope of collective self-defence. In Article 5 of the Washington Treaty,
the Allies merely agreed to "assist the Party or Parties so attacked by
such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force."
Participation in out-of-area operations will therefore continue to rest on a voluntary
||Council of the European Union: Helsinki European Council
Presidency Conclusions, December 10-11, 1999, paragraph 26.
||NATO: Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Co-operation and
Security between NATO and the Russian Federation, see above.
||As early as in 1991 Weiss and Campbell reported indices of
this preoccupation: "There is manifest concern in the Kremlin that UN operations in
Iraq might provide a precedent for outside intervention in Moscows domestic
affairs." See Weiss, Thomas G. and Campbell, Kurt M.: Military Humanitarianism, Survival,
32(5), September/October 1991, p. 461.
||By progressively marginalising the arrangements where
Russia has a veto, i.e. OSCE and the UN, Western leaders have effectively excluded that
country from European security affairs. See Zelikow, Philip: The masque of institutions, Survival,
38(1), Spring 1996, pp. 6-18.
||See NATO: Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Co-operation
and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation, Paris 27 May 1997, p. 3. The only
out-of-area operations mentioned are peacekeeping operations under the authority of the UN
or the OSCE.
||Russian leaders have consistently warned that such policies
could lead Moscow to adopt countervailing measures, or that they could even trigger a
backlash in Russia by strengthening nationalist elements in the domestic arena.
||Rogers wrote: "In perhaps the greatest irony of the
entire Kosovo war, NATO was rescued from its predicament in Kosovo by its historic
enemy." See Rogers 1999, p. 6.
||Blackwill, Robert D., quoted in: Dannreuther, Roland:
Escaping the Enlargement Trap in NATO-Russia relations, Survival, 41(4), Winter
||See Mearsheimer, John J.: Back to the Future: Instability
in Europe after the Cold War, International Security, 15(1), Summer 1990.
||"In Zukunft werden andere Sicherheitsratsmitglieder
große Zurückhaltung üben, Resolutionen in Menschenrechtsfragen zu verabschieden, die
wie im Fall Kosovo als Rechtfertigung für ein einseitiges militärisches Vorgehen benutzt
werden könnten." See Pradetto, August: Zurück zu den Interessen: Das Strategische
Konzept der NATO und die Lehren des Krieges, Blätter für Deutsche und Internationale
Politik, 44(7), Juli 1999, p. 813.
||"Violations of international law are all the more
alarming as the perpetrator is an alliance which enjoys an unprecedented military
superiority, with two thirds of global military expenditures, and which includes no less
than three nuclear-weapon states. Both because of this position of military preponderance
and by virtue of its three permanent seats in the Security Council, NATO can violate
international law with virtual impunity." Møller 1999, p. 89.