Shift in Dynamics of Chapter VII Function of the Security Council

By Arsanjani, Mahnoush H. | Proceedings of the Annual Meeting-American Society of International Law, Annual 2012 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Shift in Dynamics of Chapter VII Function of the Security Council


Arsanjani, Mahnoush H., Proceedings of the Annual Meeting-American Society of International Law


The Syrian problem is only the latest in a series of conflicts--over the last two decades-which have exposed the shifting dynamics of the Security Council's Chapter VII functions.

The burst of optimism after the Cold War as to an effective role for the Security Council in dealing with international conflicts involving high levels of violence soon dissipated. The cooperative posture of a diminished Russia was succeeded by a reassertion of the new Russia of its status as a global power. At the same time, an increasingly reassured and economically powerful China became a more important actor on the international scene with its own aspirations. If this sounds like the reemergence of a dynamic not too far from the Cold War, why should it not have a paralyzing effect on the Security Council's ability to deal with conflicts similar to the one we saw during the Cold War?

But there is more. At least five other factors have affected the Chapter VII dynamics of the Security Council. First, the increasing demand of regional organizations to play a key role, at least at the policy level, about how to address serious disturbances in or caused by a regional delinquent state. Second, the increasing need for robust military force and firepower in enforcement actions by the Security Council. Third, the inability of the organization to muster such a force from the contributions of a large number of states willing and able to contribute to and to operate under UN command and control. Fourth, the unavailability of a sufficient number of highly trained military personnel and military material in many states due to their shrinking military budgets. And fifth, beyond the traditional peacekeeping operations, the continuing indispensability of the participation of the United States in almost any serious military operation conducted under the auspices of the UN. I will discuss two of these factors.

Recent enforcement actions have required significant amounts of military firepower. The success of major enforcement operations for crises such as the uprising in Syria may require--as they did in its predecessors, the first Gulf War, Kosovo, and Libya--a strong military and a significant military arsenal. Those states that possess such now rare commodities are understandably reluctant to put them under UN command and control. In addition, with the shift in perception of international politics, national priorities, and shrinking military budgets, the number of such states has been reduced significantly. If anything, it has become clear that major enforcement actions authorized by the Security Council requiring significant use of force cannot be accomplished without the effective participation, if not the leading role, of the United States. From the first Gulf War in expelling Iraq from Kuwait, to creating a safe zone for humanitarian assistance in Somalia, and to aerial bombing in Kosovo and Libya, the United States has had to shoulder the major military burden. On a smaller scale, other states have stepped in: other NATO states in Kosovo, Australia in East Timor, and France in Cote d'Ivoire.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Shift in Dynamics of Chapter VII Function of the Security Council
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?