Who Holds the Real Veto: Use of Force and the Trusteeship Analogy


It is a well-known fact that except when a country is defending herself from an armed attack, all recourse to force must be authorized by the Security Council. In early 2003, when President Bush became frustrated at the reluctance of the UN Security Council to authorize the use of force against Iraq for stalling on the weapons inspections regime, he told the world in no uncertain terms that America would attack Iraq alone if necessary. What I want to explore in this article is the question of whether countries retain a residual right to act outside of such authorization on the basis of what I call the trusteeship analogy.


International Law

Date of this Version

November 2003