Opinion

Four reasons why NATO's actions in Libya aren't a modern 'crusade'

In the run-up to military operations over Libya, and since, NATO and the West have been criticized for acting immorally, if not illegally, with an eye to seizing control of Libya’s oil riches. The following four points show that nothing could be farther from the truth.

2. The United Nations expected NATO to do this.

Reminiscent of Security Council Resolution 836 which authorized NATO’s first actions to enforce a no-fly zone to protect largely Muslim populations from atrocities – in Bosnia in 1993 – the language of Resolution 1973 makes express provision for NATO involvement. The diplomatic formulation authorizing “Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements” is no accident.

It is well known that the NATO alliance does not consider itself a “regional arrangement or agency” under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. By deliberately referring to regional organizations when the use of coercive force was envisioned, the UN was giving the nod to NATO.

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