October 9, 2012

WELL, OTHER THAN THE LEGAL THEORY UPON WHICH THE UN IS BASED:

Obama's Drone Dilemma : The killings probably aren't legal--not that they'll stop. (Eric Posner, Oct. 8, 2012, Slate)

The U.N. Charter permits countries to use military force abroad only with the approval of the U.N. Security Council, in self-defense, or with the permission of the country in which military force is to be used. The U.N. Security Council never authorized the drone war in Pakistan. Self-defense, traditionally defined to mean the use of force against an "imminent" armed attack by a nation-state, does not apply either, because no one thinks that Pakistan plans to invade the United States. That leaves consent as the only possible legal theory.

Except, of course, that the UN, as its name implies, is premised on relations between sovereign nations and the legal theory of sovereignty holds that a nation is only sovereign where it exercises political control over territory.  Pakistan wields no such authority over the territory where terrorists operate freely.  If it claimed to, then it would be answerable for their actions.

Posted by at October 9, 2012 5:09 AM
  

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