Nato 's Justification Of The Security Council

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NATO’s 11-week bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) in March 1999 was a challenge in the history of the North Atlantic alliance. For the first time, NATO launched an armed intervention outside its borders in order to avert a humanitarian crisis (Solana 1999: 114). The bombing campaign was intended to stop Belgrade’s repression of Kosovo’s Albanian population and to oblige the Milosevic regime to accept NATO’s demands regarding the future political status of Kosovo (Wippman 2001: 129). NATO’s decision to intervene in Kosovo without the authorization of the Security Council raised doubts in the international arena among human rights activists about the legitimacy of the operation. This essay will argue that NATO’s intervention in Kosovo was legitimate because it was both legal and just. In so doing, this essay will start by carefully reading the U.N. Charter provisions that permit the use of force on limited grounds in order to set the legal conditions for intervention (Mertus 2000: 1751). NATO’s legitimacy in Kosovo will be scrutinized focusing on the emerging body of international law, which permits intervention for humanitarian purposes. Likewise, a just-war analysis will be applied to examine the morality of the decision to wage war, and the morality of the means and methods by which the war was conducted (Schroeder 2004: 180). The essay will eventually conclude that humanitarian intervention is now legal and widely accepted by most states
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