The Gulf War and the New World Order: International Relations of the Middle East

By Tareq Y. Ismael; Jacqueline S. Ismael | Go to book overview

1
Reflections on the Gulf War Experience

Force and War in the UN System

Richard Falk

The most ambitious aim of progressive international law is to outlaw war as an instrument of policy available to sovereign states. Resort to force in foreign policy is unconditionally prohibited in modern international law except in situations of self-defense. This legalist undertaking remains unfulfilled, existing in a domain of jurisprudential traction: It is neither repudiated nor implemented. Implementation would require several fundamental political adjustments: a real shift in the practice of powerful states with respect to force as an international policy option; a limitation of expenditures and deployments to accord with a purely defensive role for weaponry; and a commitment of resources to establish a collective security system to protect weak countries against aggression.

Iraq's invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990 challenged and tested the willingness and capacity of the United Nations to mount an effective response through collective security. The results were definitely mixed, and the reality is too recent and unresolved to yield anything as definitive as "the lessons of the Gulf War." Nevertheless, it is time to reflect upon the experience: to identify strengths and weaknesses, and to offer some preliminary appraisal from the perspective of international law.

At the outset, it seems clear that if the UN Security Council's response had achieved unconditional Iraqi withdrawal without recourse to counterwar, it would have greatly strengthened tendencies toward the renunciation of force and increased overall confidence in the potential role of the UN in the war-peace area. Such a result would encourage the view that the political situation after the cold war was open to a collective security approach to combat aggression.

Prior to the Gulf crisis, collective security was generally discred-

-25-

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The Gulf War and the New World Order: International Relations of the Middle East
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - The Gulf War and the International Order 23
  • 1 - Reflections on the Gulf War Experience 25
  • Notes 38
  • 2 - The United Nations in the Gulf War 50
  • 3 - Bush's New World Order 52
  • Notes 73
  • Notes 74
  • 4 - The European Community's Middle Eastern Policy 107
  • 5 - Regional Cooperation and Security in the Middle East the Role of the European Community 116
  • Notes 129
  • 6 - Japan 132
  • References 148
  • Part II - The United States and the New World Order 151
  • 7 - Between Theory and Fact 153
  • Notes 174
  • 8 - The New World Order and the Gulf War 184
  • Notes 217
  • 9 - The Making of the New World Order 240
  • 10 - Defeating the Vietnam Syndrome 242
  • Notes 258
  • Part III - The Gulf War and the Middle East Order 263
  • 11 - Iraq and the New World Order 290
  • 12 - Iran and the New World Order 313
  • 13 - The Gulf War, the Palestinians, and the New World Order 339
  • 14 - Israel and the New World Order 347
  • Notes 363
  • 15 - Jordan and the Gulf War 381
  • 16 - Syria, the Kuwait War, and the New World Order 395
  • 17 - Imagining Egypt in the New Age 399
  • Notes 430
  • 18 - Turkey, the Gulf Crisis, and the New World Order 446
  • Part IV - Political Trends and Cultural Patterns 449
  • 19 - The Middle East in the New World Order 451
  • Acknowledgments 468
  • Acknowledgments 469
  • 20 - Islam, Democracy, and the Arab Future 473
  • Acknowledgments 497
  • Notes 497
  • 21 - Islam at War and Communism in Retreat What is the Connection? 502
  • Acknowledgments 520
  • Notes 520
  • 22 - Global Apartheid? 521
  • Notes 535
  • 23 - Democracy Died at the Gulf 548
  • Contributors 549
  • Index 554
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