Continued "Swiss Military Model for Canada?" thread

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture
Continued "Swiss Military Model for Canada?" thread
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Canada and NATO’s New Strategic Concept
A brief on Canadian security policy and the development of NATO’s new
Strategic Concept
By Steven Staples and Bill Robinson
March 24, 2010

http://www.rideauinstitute.ca/file-library/Canada_and_Natos_New_Strategi...

Frmrsldr

Steven Staples from ceasefire.ca is big on Canada reverting to its Afghan war ante bellum role of being a strong player in U.N. peacekeeping missions.

There are two schools of thought on the future of NATO:

The American school which forsees a Super NATO (an expanded NATO)

The European school which sees NATO's involvement in the Afghan war as having over-extended itself and the loss in Afghanistan will mean the end of NATO.

Steven Staples' and Bill Robinson's arguments are closest to the European school's.

I don't see a need for NATO in Europe. NATO should have gone the way of the Berlin Wall, East Germany, communism in Europe, the U.S.S.R. and the Cold War.

You can accomplish far greater things through trust, dialogue and cooperation than by fear, mistrust and antagonism.

A_J

Frmrsldr wrote:

A_J wrote:

Frmrsldr has it wrong. There is absolutely nothing illegal about a country that has been attacked carrying on the war outside of its borders. If that were so, the allied powers (both the Soviets and the west) would be "aggressors" for having invaded Germany.

No, you've got it wrong. Read the links I've provided above.

I did. They do not, in anyway, support your claims. In fact, I'm left wondering whether you read them before posting them.

Frmrsldr wrote:

If using armed force to militarily attack, invade, wage a war of aggression against and/or occupy another/other countries is acceptable, then the Bush Doctrine of Strike First Pre-emptive war (which is the updated intellectual cousin to the Schleiffen Plan) would be legally and morally acceptable. The Nazi government's arguments that the Polish government, backed by the Soviet Union, was a hostile regime and that on the early hours of September 1, 1939 Polish army units attacked German radio stations and other communications infrastructure. The Nazi military invasion of Poland and regime change of the Polish government were legally and morally justified.

These are silly examples.

The whole point of pre-emptive war, its very definition even, is military action against another state which has not yet attacked you. Even then, the legality is fuzzy. Recall how everyone makes a big deal about the fact that Iraq did not have any nuclear/biological/chemical weapons. The non-existence of these weapons is a big deal because if Iraq did have such capabilities it is possible that the invasion could have been justified.

Re Poland and Germany: the alleged Polish attack was completely staged so it is pointless to say that it could have justified Germany's response. But if Poland had really posed a threat and had actually attacked Germany, then yes, Germany would be allowed to wage war on Polish soil, it would not be obligated to stop at the border and watch helplessly as Polish forces regrouped for another attack, lest it suddenly become the aggressor.

Now, that does not necessarily mean that Germany would be justified in overrunning half of Poland and removing its government, like id did. Its response should be propotionate and reasonable. Had U.S.-led forces done to Iraq in 1991 what they ultimately did in 2003, that would have been disproportionate. Liberating Kuwait did not require the occupation of Iraq or regime change.

But recall again that this was your claim:

Frmrsldr wrote:

Example 1 (Offensive War): Canada is invaded by the U.S.A., Canada "defends" itself by launching C-F/A-18 Hornet squadron counterstrikes against U.S. factories (located within U.S.A. sovereign territory) . . . No, sorry, this is a war of offense or aggression and is illegal/unjust.

i.e. that the victim of aggression becomes the aggressor if it so much as hits one target, or one soldier sets foot, in the territory of the state that attacked it. That is not at all supported by international law.

Think about what you are claiming for just one second: State A launches an aerial attack on State B. State B, despite knowing where the attack came from, the location of the airfield, etc. would be the aggressor if it attacked the aircraft once they had returned to State A. I'm sorry, but not only is there no basis for this in international law, it just doesn't make sense.

Frmrsldr wrote:

A_J wrote:

Not to mention UN-sanctioned actions against Iraq and North Korea which extended into the territory of the aggressor states.

What the hell are you talking about?

1950: North Korea, the aggressor state, attacked South Korea. The United Nations-sanctioned military actions to protect South Korea were perfectly free to continue the fight into North Korea.

1990: Iraq, the aggressor state, attacked Kuwait. The United Nations-sanctioned military actions to liberate Kuwait were prefectly free to strike targets inside Iraq and wage war on its territory (to the extent that this was necessary to liberate Kuwait, as I mentioned above).

 

 

EDIT: by the way, this is the text of Article 51:

UN Charter, Article 51 wrote:

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Nowhere does it restrict what a country may do in self-defence.

Frmrsldr

Frmrsldr wrote:

If using armed force to militarily attack, invade, wage a war of aggression against and/or occupy another/other countries is acceptable, then the Bush Doctrine of Strike First Pre-emptive war (which is the updated intellectual cousin to the Schleiffen Plan) would be legally and morally acceptable. The Nazi government's arguments that the Polish government, backed by the Soviet Union, was a hostile regime and that on the early hours of September 1, 1939 Polish army units attacked German radio stations and other communications infrastructure. The Nazi military invasion of Poland and regime change of the Polish government were legally and morally justified.

A_J wrote:

These are silly examples.

Re Poland and Germany: the alleged Polish attack was completely staged so it is pointless to say that it could have justified Germany's response. But if Poland had really posed a threat and had actually attacked Germany, then yes, Germany would be allowed to wage war on Polish soil, it would not be obligated to stop at the border and watch helplessly as Polish forces regrouped for another attack, lest it suddenly become the aggressor.

Now, that does not necessarily mean that Germany would be justified in overrunning half of Poland and removing its government, like id did. Its response should be propotionate and reasonable. Had U.S.-led forces done to Iraq in 1991 what they ultimately did in 2003, that would have been disproportionate. Liberating Kuwait did not require the occupation of Iraq or regime change.

In Iraq Wars I & II and in the Afghan War, there was/is no proportionality. The hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed in Iraq (Gulf) War I far exceeded the number of Kuwati and U.S. and Coalition troops killed. There was no proportionality to all the B-52, ECMFB-117, B-2 etc., and smart bomb air strikes obscene war pornography that was displayed ad nauseum over our television sets. I certainly didn't spank off to it, unlike some U.S. military officers, Congress people, political think tankers and members of the general public.

After Iraq was so thoroughly destroyed, the decision to keep the wartime blockade in place was both pointless and unecessary and given the tens to hundreds of thousands who died as a result of the complications this caused, constitutes a war crime and human rights atrocity.

In 9/11, app. 3,000 people died. So far, in the Afghan war it has been estimated that 12,000 to 36,000 Afghans have died. Again, so much for "proportionality".

Concerning 9/11, it is far from clear whether either Osama Bin Laden or Al Qaeda were behind it and the Pentagon, the CIA and other U.S. National Security Agencies and the Bush administration were not (either indirectly or directly). The comparison with 9/11 and the Polish attacks on September 1, 1939, is not so far fetched.

Frmrsldr wrote:

Example 1 (Offensive War): Canada is invaded by the U.S.A., Canada "defends" itself by launching C-F/A-18 Hornet squadron counterstrikes against U.S. factories (located within U.S.A. sovereign territory) . . . No, sorry, this is a war of offense or aggression and is illegal/unjust.

A_J wrote:

i.e. that the victim of aggression becomes the aggressor if it so much as hits one target, or one soldier sets foot, in the territory of the state that attacked it. That is not at all supported by international law.

Think about what you are claiming for just one second: State A launches an aerial attack on State B. State B, despite knowing where the attack came from, the location of the airfield, etc. would be the aggressor if it attacked the aircraft once they had returned to State A. I'm sorry, but not only is there no basis for this in international law, it just doesn't make sense.

"The General Assembly of the United Nations has further defined aggression as armed force by a state against the sovereignty, territorial integrity, or political independence of another state, regardless of the reasons for the use of force."     (Underscoring added)

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Just+War.

Not so likely in Canada, moreso in the U.S.A.: Citizen X, in his commute home from work goes through a rough neighborhood. Fearful of his personal safety and security, Citizen X carries a handgun for self-defense. One day, Citizen X is accosted by a thug attempting to rob Citizen X. The assailant pulls out a gun, fires but misses. Citizen X pulls out his gun and fires, injuring the assailant. The assailant lies incapacitated on the ground (Citizen X did his homework and carries a gun that has a good "man stopping" capacity) The police arrive shortly and take the assailant into custody.

This is an example of self-defense at the individual level that compares with a war of self-defense by restricting self-defense to the attacked state's territorial integrity. It is a slippery slope where the line is easily crossed where "self-defense" become illegal acts of aggresive violence (individual level) and illegal war of aggression:

Citizen X, after the attempted robbery incident, arrives at the conclusion that he can increase his security if he goes on his own and patrols the neighborhood with his gun and attempts to end or prevent crime in the area by shooting or threatening to shoot the "criminals" or those displaying "criminal intent" with his own brand of vigilante justice.

Um no, we live in a world of laws. For Citizen X, we have law enforcement officers, whose job it is to keep our streets safe. Among the world of nations, the U.S.A. or other nations (singly or in combination) can't assume exceptionalism and just go ahead and wage war whenever they want against whomever they want for whatever reason they want. That is what the U.N. is for. The U.N. makes such decisions. Unfortunately, it is either ignored or doesn't do so. But this doesn't make it right.

A_J wrote:

1950: North Korea, the aggressor state, attacked South Korea. The United Nations-sanctioned military actions to protect South Korea were perfectly free to continue the fight into North Korea.

The legality of the Korean War is suspect. In 1950, the U.S.S.R's delegate(s) on the Five Member Permanent Security Council were not present. They had been pulled by the Soviet Union government the previous year in protest to American, British and French, etc., planes flying over the Democratic Republic of Germany's (East Germany) airspace during the Berlin Blockade.

With the absence of the U.S.S.R.'s delegate(s), the Security Council went ahead and sanctioned the deployment of U.N. member states sending troops to South Korea and for the U.S. government and military leaders to prosecute the war. The absence or the Soviet Union's delegate(s) were taken as an "abstention" vote (in order for a motion or Resolution to pass in the Security Council, a unanimous vote is required). There were no precedents or laws that justified this action.

Of importance at this time, "China" was "represented" by the Republic of Tawain, not the People's Republic of China, on the Security Council which also explains the nature of the vote. Had the U.S.S.R. delegate(s) been there and had the People's Republic of China been represented on the Security Council, there would have been no U.N. sanctioned military option concerning Korea.

Consistent with Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, the mandate was to stop North Korean aggression and assist South Korea with its self-defense. When the North Korean forces were pushed across the border, the U.N. should have stepped in and said, "Our goals have been accomplished, the war is over as of now." A decision made that has since been to the detriment of the U.N. What the U.N. did was shirk its responsibility and deferred to the experts. The "expert" being General Douglas MacArthur, who was made commander of U.S. and alled forces. President Truman also could have stepped in and stopped MacArthur, a decision he would regret later. MacArthur made the decision himself to unite the two Koreas by invading North Korea. A decision he too, later regretted. At the time there was a great debate (still is in some quarters) in America over what should be the U.S. government policy: "The Containment of Communism" or "The Rollback of Communism".  As U.S. forces reached the Yalu River, MacArthur threatened to attack, invade and drop (both conventional and atomic) bombs on China. At this point Truman sacked "Mac". The rest is history most of us well know.

A_J wrote:

EDIT: by the way, this is the text of Article 51:

UN Charter, Article 51 wrote:

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Nowhere does it restrict what a country may do in self-defence.

Actually, there are five restrictions:

1. Revolves around the definition of the term "self-defense", not defined in Article 51.

2. An armed attack must have occurred.

3. The measures taken by the U.N. Members in the exercise of their right of self-defense are to be immediately reported to the Security Council.

4. U.N. Members may exercise their right of self-defense until that right is taken over by the U.N.: "...until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security."

5. At this point, the legally sanctioned power to wage war is ultimately not at the state level: "Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence ... shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security."

"Under the charter, the use or threat of force as an instrument of national policy was condemned, but nations were permitted to use force in individual or collective Self-Defense against an aggressor. The General Assembly of the United Nations has further defined aggression as armed force by a state against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another state, regardless of the reasons for the use of force."

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Just+War

The Afghan war is illegal.

NONE of the conditions in Article 51 were met.

Terrorism consists of acts of violence meant to coerce a state(s) perpretated by non-state actors.

9/11 was not an "armed attack" or an act of "armed force" perpetrated by a state (Afghanistan or any other state) against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of the U.S.A. 9/11 was not a breach of international peace and security. At best, it was only a breach of the U.S.A.'s national security. 9/11 was not an act of aggressive war. 9/11 was a criminal act. Waging a war of aggression against Afghanistan based on the 9/11 terrorist attacks was (and is) an inappropriate and illegal response.

"The General Assembly of the United Nations has further defined aggression as armed force by a state against the sovereignty, territorial integrity, or political independence of another state..."

That we are waging an illegal war of aggression is due to the fact that we are doing ALL these things without a U.N. Resolution that empowers us to wage war in Afghanistan.

As for the argument that "harboring terrorists" justifies war against Afghanistan, the 1986 International Justice Court case Nicaragua v. U.S.A. establishes the ruling that these are insufficient grounds for war or acts of armed force or aggression.

(See "The Ruling") http://en.allexperts.com/e/n/ni/nicaragua_vs._united_states.htm

 

 

A_J

Frmrsldr wrote:

Citizen X, in his commute home from work goes through a rough neighborhood. Fearful of his personal safety and security, Citizen X carries a handgun for self-defense. One day, Citizen X is accosted by a thug attempting to rob Citizen X. The assailant pulls out a gun, fires but misses. Citizen X pulls out his gun and fires, injuring the assailant. The assailant lies incapacitated on the ground (Citizen X did his homework and carries a gun that has a good "man stopping" capacity) The police arrive shortly and take the assailant into custody.

This is an example of self-defense at the individual level that compares with a war of self-defense by restricting self-defense to the attacked state's territorial integrity. It is a slippery slope where the line is easily crossed where "self-defense" become illegal acts of aggresive violence (individual level) and illegal war of aggression:

Citizen X, after the attempted robbery incident, arrives at the conclusion that he can increase his security if he goes on his own and patrols the neighborhood with his gun and attempts to end or prevent crime in the area by shooting or threatening to shoot the "criminals" or those displaying "criminal intent" with his own brand of vigilante justice.

Um no, we live in a world of laws. For Citizen X, we have law enforcement officers, whose job it is to keep our streets safe. Among the world of nations, the U.S.A. or other nations (singly or in combination) can't assume exceptionalism and just go ahead and wage war whenever they want against whomever they want for whatever reason they want. That is what the U.N. is for. The U.N. makes such decisions. Unfortunately, it is either ignored or doesn't do so. But this doesn't make it right.

I think I see where you went wrong here: you are assuming that international law works the same way as domestic law. It doesn't. That is not to say international law doesn't exist, or that there aren't very strong international norms and rules, because as someone who has studied public international law and international criminal law I can tell you there very obviously are.

But you're absolutely right to say, as you do, that the UN makes the decisions.

Your earlier posts suggest some inflexible code that automatically and objectively determines who is in the right and who is in the wrong (your example about the defending country becoming an aggressor for bombing so much as one target within the country that has attacked it). This is not the case. The Charter is very explicit that nothing prevents a country that has been attacked from defending itself individually or collectively, however, a country that is the victim of an attack and is defending itself is required to report its actions to the security council. Then, the UN, through the security council, determines what action the organisation will take.

That is a political process as much as it is legal, and no country that does what you illustrated in your example (bombing a target within the country that has attacked it) is going to be labeled the aggressor (in fact, as seen in Korea and Kuwait, the UN itself authorised such action and the organisation was borne out of the final years of the Second World War, when such action was taken against Germany), but if their actions go beyond what is reasonable, such a judgement is possible.

Frmrsldr

A_J wrote:

That is a political process as much as it is legal, and no country that does what you illustrated in your example (bombing a target within the country that has attacked it) is going to be labeled the aggressor (in fact, as seen in Korea and Kuwait, the UN itself authorised such action and the organisation was borne out of the final years of the Second World War, when such action was taken against Germany), but if their actions go beyond what is reasonable, such a judgement is possible.

1. Second World War:

You can't include the Second World War because these events took place prior to the existence of the United Nations. There was the League of Nations that came into being as a result of the First World War. It was meant to prevent the horrific travesty that was WW II. See what happened when the League of Nations was ignored? The United Nations came into being as a result of the Second World War. It is meant to prevent us from resorting to war as a first option. It is meant to prevent the horrific travesty that is World War III: Iraq War (1990-), Afghan War (2001-), Somalia War (2003-), Yemen War (2009-), Iran War (201_?) See what happens when the United Nations is ignored?

2. Korean War:

Again, with the exclusion of the U.S.S.R. delegate(s) and the exclusion of The People's Republic of China from representation on the Permanent Member Security Council, the legal basis of the U.N.'s Resolution to send the military forces of U.N. Members to Korea is legally questionable. With the inclusion of the U.S.S.R. delegate(s) and representation from The People's Republic of China, this Resolution would never have passed.

Also, after North Korean troops retreated across the 38th Parallel (ie., back into North Korea) and U.S. and allied forces crossed into North Korea, the U.N. harmed both its power and its reputation by failing to act. The U.N. deferred to the military "experts" when it came to command and control of the ground war. There was no active/objective (as opposed to tacit) U.N. authorization (like there was for sending U.N. Member military forces to Korea) for the U.S. and allied invasion of North Korea, just as there was no active U.N. authorization for the violation of sovereingty through the commission of acts of aggression and armed violence against the (internationally recognized) territory of the state of Iraq: The bombing of targets in Iraq by planes and attack helicopters. (See Kuwait/Iraq War I)

3. (Kuwait) Iraq War I:

Again, the U.N. authorized the sending of military forces of U.N. Member states to assist Kuwait in its self-defense and to end Iraq's military occupation of Kuwait. After that, again, to the harm of its power and reputation, the U.N. deferred to the military "experts" (Norman Schwarzkopf, etc.) The U.N. allowed the generals to look after the planning and controling of the war. There was no active U.N. authorization for operations (attacks/use of force) against the (territorial) state of Iraq.

Canada and the U.S.A. are not military juntas. They are not military states but have civilian governments that are ultimately in control. The fact of war (when an actual war is occurring) is a matter of state policy. In war, decisions by (a) state(s) concerning acts of aggression and armed violence against against (an)other state(s) are political decisions. If (a) state(s) decide(s) to commit (an) act(s) of aggression against (an)other state(s) then, yes, that state(s) has commited an act of (armed) aggression against (an)other state(s) and is therefore, an "aggressor", regardless of the fact that such (a) state(s) was the victim(s) of the initial aggression. Decisions like "Should we invade North Korea [in 1950]?" and "Should we authorize the bombing of and authorize the use of airstrikes against, Iraq?", are political and not strictly military.

War among nations is regulated by international law. According to Article 51, the duty of the U.N. is, to ultimately, make these decisions.

Frmrsldr

Wars have the tendency to escalate beyond the control of those who start them. That is the logic of war. Here is the "slippery slope" nature of the "self-defense" argument used to justify Iraq War II, Afghan War and the undeclared Pakistan War.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/03/drone-attacks-legit-self-defense...

State Department legal advisor Herold Koh's arguments are contradictions:

1. The U.S.A. is not at war with Pakistan.

2. The U.S.A. is not authorized by the U.N. to mete out vigilante justice to "high target terrorist commanders".

This policy is described as selective assassination. This poses a number of problems:

3. This policy is not authorized by the U.N. or Congress.

4. Missiles fired from drones are not accurate as advertized. Thus far, on average, 95% of drone attack victims are innocent civilians. Thus Pakistani civilians are subjected to collective punishment. The U.S.A. is not at war with Pakistan.

Pakistan is our ally, and we are assisting Pakistan in the fight against terrorists.

Committing acts of armed aggression against the state of Pakistan and its people (highly uncertain whether the U.S. has the permission of the Pakistani government to launch such attacks) is once again analagous to the Nicaragua v. U.S.A. IJC case.

"Al Qaeda and its allies, ... , have not abandoned plans to attack the United States. Thus, in this ongoing armed conflict, the United States has the authority under international law, and the responsibility to its citizens, to use force, including lethal force, to defend itself, including by targeting persons such as high-level al Qaeda leaders who are planning attacks," ...

No, sorry. This Bush Doctrine of "Strike First" pre-emptive war, is contrary to such international laws as the Nuremberg Principles and Geneva Conventions.

"Some have suggested that the very use of targeting a particular leader of an enemy force in an armed conflict must violate the laws of war."

5. The U.N. has not authorized the U.S.A. to use armed force against the state of Pakistan.

6. The leaders of the various armed groups in Pakistan are not state actors.

7. What goes on in Pakistan is a matter for Pakistan's government. The U.S.A. has no right to interfere in the internal affairs of Pakistan.

8. The leaders of the armed groups aren't even terrorists because they have not committed acts of violence against the state of Pakistan in order to coerce the Pakistani government. The pattern looks like the U.S. government put pressure on the Pakistani government to attack an armed group. The armed group defends itself by counter-attacking the Pakistani military. If the Pakistani army doesn't attack these groups, then these groups won't attack the Pakistani army.

remind remind's picture

Frmrsldr wrote:
You can accomplish far greater things through trust, dialogue and cooperation than by fear, mistrust and antagonism.

Agreed, an in diplomatic circles is called "soft power" of which Canada used to have lots.  Now Canada has no power, neither soft or hard....which perhaps in the long run is a good thing.