Casus belli

Casus belli

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is a Latin expression meaning the justification for acts of war. means "incident", "rupture" or indeed "case", while means bellic ("of war"). It is usually distinguished from , with being used to refer to offenses or threats directly against a nation, and to refer to offenses or threats to another, allied, nation with which the justifying nation is engaged in a mutual defense treaty, such as NATO.

The term came into wide usage in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with the writings of Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius , also known as Huig de Groot, Hugo Grocio or Hugo de Groot, was a jurist in the Dutch Republic. With Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili he laid the foundations for international law, based on natural law...

 (1653), Cornelius van Bynkershoek (1707), and Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui
Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui
Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui was a Swiss legal and political theorist, who popularised a number of ideas propounded by other thinkers.-Life:...

 (1732), among others, and the rise of the political doctrine
Doctrine
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system...

 of jus ad bellum
Jus ad bellum
Jus ad bellum is a set of criteria that are to be consulted before engaging in war, in order to determine whether entering into war is permissible; that is, whether it is a just war....

or "just war
Just War
Just war theory is a doctrine of military ethics of Roman philosophical and Catholic origin, studied by moral theologians, ethicists and international policy makers, which holds that a conflict ought to meet philosophical, religious or political criteria.-Origins:The concept of justification for...

 theory". Informal usage varies beyond its technical definition to refer to any "just cause" a nation may claim for entering into a conflict. As such, it has been used both retroactively to describe situations in history before the term came into wide usage and in the present day when describing situations when war has not been formally declared.

Formally, a government would lay out its reasons for going to war, as well as its intentions in prosecuting it and the steps that might be taken to avert it. In so doing, the government would attempt to demonstrate that it was going to war only as a last resort (ultima Ratio) and that it in fact possessed "just cause" for doing so. In theory international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

 today allows only three situations as legal cause to go to war: out of self-defense, defense of an ally under a mutual defense pact, or sanctioned by the UN.

Proschema (plural proschemata) is the Greek equivalent term. The stated reasons may or may not be the actual reason for waging the war (prophasis
Prophasis
In Greek mythology, Prophasis was the personification of excuse or plea. She was called the daughter of Epimetheus....

). The term was first popularized by Thucydides
Thucydides
Thucydides was a Greek historian and author from Alimos. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the 5th century BC war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 BC...

 in his History of the Peloponnesian War, who identified fear, honor, and interest as the three primary real reasons that wars are waged, while proschemata commonly play up nationalism or fearmongering (as opposed to rational or reasonable fears).

Reasons for use


Countries need a public justification for attacking another country. This justification is needed to galvanize internal support for the war, as well as gain the support of potential allies.

In the post World War Two era, the UN Charter prohibits signatory countries from engaging in war except 1) as a means of defending themselves against aggression, or 2) unless the UN as a body has given prior approval to the operation. The UN also reserves the right to ask member nations to intervene against non-signatory countries which embark on wars of aggression
War of aggression
A war of aggression, sometimes also war of conquest, is a military conflict waged without the justification of self-defense usually for territorial gain and subjugation. The phrase is distinctly modern and diametrically opposed to the prior legal international standard of "might makes right", under...

. In effect, this means that countries in the modern era must have a plausible for initiating military action, or risk UN sanctions or intervention.

Historical examples


This section outlines a number of the more famous or controversial cases of casus belli which have occurred in modern times.

Spanish-American War


The casus belli for the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 was the sinking of the USS Maine
USS Maine (ACR-1)
USS Maine was the United States Navy's second commissioned pre-dreadnought battleship, although she was originally classified as an armored cruiser. She is best known for her catastrophic loss in Havana harbor. Maine had been sent to Havana, Cuba to protect U.S. interests during the Cuban revolt...

.

There have been several alternative explanations to the explosion such as that proposed by Mr. Evans, the senior editor of Newsweek. In his book, he states that the USS Maine was designed incorrectly because the boiler room was right next to the gunpowder storage room and that an overheating in the boiler room may have heated the adjacent metal wall that caused the powder to explode.

World War I


A political assassination provided the trigger that led to the outbreak of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. In June 1914, the refusal of two points in the July Ultimatum
July Ultimatum
The July Crisis was a diplomatic crisis among the major powers of Europe in the summer of 1914 that led to the First World War...

 offered to Serbia, was used by Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 as a casus belli for declaring war on Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

. The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot dead in Sarajevo, by Gavrilo Princip, one of a group of six Bosnian Serb assassins coordinated by Danilo Ilić...

 at Sarajevo
Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

 in Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 by Gavrilo Princip
Gavrilo Princip
Gavrilo Princip was the Bosnian Serb who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914...

, a Serbian
Serbs
The Serbs are a South Slavic ethnic group of the Balkans and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and form a sizable minority in Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in...

 nationalist from Bosnia, Austrian subject and member of Young Bosnia
Young Bosnia
Young Bosnia was a revolutionary movement active before World War I, the members were predominantly school students who were ethnic Serbs, but included Bosniaks...

, was the reason why this ultimatum was made.

The Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 started to mobilise its troops in defence of its ally Serbia, which resulted in the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 declaring war on Russia in support of its ally Austria-Hungary. Very quickly, after the involvement of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 and the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

, five of the six great European powers became involved in the first European general war since the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

.

World War II


In his autobiography Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf is a book written by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. It combines elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitler's political ideology. Volume 1 of Mein Kampf was published in 1925 and Volume 2 in 1926...

, Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 had in the 1920s advocated a policy of lebensraum
Lebensraum
was one of the major political ideas of Adolf Hitler, and an important component of Nazi ideology. It served as the motivation for the expansionist policies of Nazi Germany, aiming to provide extra space for the growth of the German population, for a Greater Germany...

("living space") for the German people
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

, which in practical terms meant German territorial expansion into Eastern Europe.

In August 1939, in order to implement the first phase of this policy, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

's Nazi government under Hitler's leadership staged the Gleiwitz incident
Gleiwitz incident
The Gleiwitz incident was a staged attack by Nazi forces posing as Poles on 31 August 1939, against the German radio station Sender Gleiwitz in Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia, Germany on the eve of World War II in Europe....

, which was used as a for the invasion of Poland the following September. Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

's allies Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 honoured their alliance and subsequently declared war on Germany.

In 1941, acting once again in accordance with the policy of lebensraum, Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 invaded the Soviet Union
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

, using the casus belli of pre-emptive war to justify the act of aggression.

The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 also employed a manufactured casus belli against Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 during World War II on its part. In November 1939, shortly after the outbreak of hostilities between Germany, Britain and France, the Soviet Union staged the shelling
Shelling of Mainila
The Shelling of Mainila was a military incident on November 26, 1939, where the Soviet Union's Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila , declared that the fire originated from Finland across a nearby border and claimed losses in personnel...

 of the Russian village of Mainila, which it blamed on the Finns. This manufactured incident was then used as a casus belli for the Winter War
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

. In 1998, Russian President Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

 admitted that the invasion had in fact constituted a Soviet war of aggression
War of aggression
A war of aggression, sometimes also war of conquest, is a military conflict waged without the justification of self-defense usually for territorial gain and subjugation. The phrase is distinctly modern and diametrically opposed to the prior legal international standard of "might makes right", under...

.

Six-Day War


A casus belli played a prominent role during the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 of 1967. The Israeli government had a short list of , acts that it would consider provocations justifying armed retaliation. The most important was a blockade of the Straits of Tiran
Straits of Tiran
The Straits of Tiran , are the narrow sea passages, about wide, between the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas which separate the Gulf of Aqaba from the Red Sea...

 leading into Eilat, Israel's only port to the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

, through which Israel received much of its oil. After several border incidents between Israel and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

's allies Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, Egypt expelled UNEF
United Nations Emergency Force
The first United Nations Emergency Force was established by United Nations General Assembly to secure an end to the 1956 Suez Crisis with resolution 1001 on November 7, 1956. The force was developed in large measure as a result of efforts by UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and a proposal...

 peacekeepers from the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

, established a military presence at Sharm el-Sheikh
Sharm el-Sheikh
Sharm el-Sheikh is a city situated on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, in South Sinai Governorate, Egypt, on the coastal strip along the Red Sea. Its population is approximately 35,000...

, and announced a blockade of the straits, prompting Israel to cite its casus belli in opening hostilities against Egypt.

Vietnam War


Many historians have suggested that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident
Gulf of Tonkin Incident
The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, or the USS Maddox Incident, are the names given to two incidents, one fabricated, involving North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin...

 was a manufactured pretext for the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. North Vietnamese Naval officials have publicly stated that the USS Maddox
USS Maddox (DD-731)
USS Maddox , an was named for Captain William A. T. Maddox, USMC. She was laid down by the Bath Iron Works Corporation at Bath in Maine on 28 October 1943, launched on 19 March 1944 by Mrs. Harry H...

 was never fired on by North Vietnamese naval forces.In the movie "The Fog of War", then US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara
Robert McNamara
Robert Strange McNamara was an American business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense, serving under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1968, during which time he played a large role in escalating the United States involvement in the Vietnam War...

 concedes the attack did not happen, though he says that he and President Johnson believed it did so at the time.

Some people confuse the first Gulf of Tonkin Incident (the 2nd of August) and the second Gulf of Tonkin Incident (the 4th of August). The North Vietnamese claimed that on August 2 US destroyer USS Maddox was hit by one torpedo, and one of the American aircraft had been shot down in North Vietnamese territorial waters. The PAVN Museum in Hanoi displays "Part of a torpedo boat... which successfully chased away the USS Maddox August, [sic] 2nd 1964".

The casus belli for the Vietnam War was the second incident. On August 4 USS Maddox was launched to the North Vietnamese coast in order to "show the flag" after the first incident. The U.S. authorities claimed that two Vietnamese boats tried to attack USS Maddox and were sunk. The government of North Vietnam denied the second incident completely. Deniability played favorably into the propaganda efforts of North Vietnam throughout the war, and for some years to follow.

1982 Israeli Invasion of Lebanon


The cited by Israel for its June 1982 invasion of Lebanon
1982 Lebanon War
The 1982 Lebanon War , , called Operation Peace for Galilee by Israel, and later known in Israel as the Lebanon War and First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon...

 was the attempted assassination of the Israeli Ambassador in London, which the Israeli government blamed on the Palestinian Liberation Organization. A possible invasion plan had been prepared in advance by Israel.

Greece and Turkey



In 1995, The Turkish Parliament
Grand National Assembly of Turkey
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey , usually referred to simply as the Meclis , is the unicameral Turkish legislature. It is the sole body given the legislative prerogatives by the Turkish Constitution. It was founded in Ankara on 23 April 1920 in the midst of the Turkish War of Independence...

 issued a against Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 in reaction to an enacted extension of Greek territorial waters
Territorial waters
Territorial waters, or a territorial sea, as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is a belt of coastal waters extending at most from the baseline of a coastal state...

 from 6 nautical miles (11 km) to 12 nautical miles (22 km) from the coast.

War on Terror


The for the Bush administration
George W. Bush administration
The presidency of George W. Bush began on January 20, 2001, when he was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States of America. The oldest son of former president George H. W. Bush, George W...

's conceptual War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

, which resulted in the 2001 Afghanistan war
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 and the 2003 Iraq war, was the September 11, 2001 attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

 on the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, The Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

 in Arlington, Virginia and the apparently intended attack on the United States Capitol
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

 in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....


2003 Invasion of Iraq


When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

, it cited Iraq's non-compliance with the terms of cease-fire agreement for the 1990-1991 Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, as well as planning in 1993 attempted assassination of former President George Bush Sr. and firing on coalition aircraft enforcing the no-fly zones
Iraqi no-fly zones
The Iraqi no-fly zones were a set of two separate no-fly zones , and were proclaimed by the United States, United Kingdom and France after the Gulf War of 1991 to protect the Kurdish people in northern Iraq and Shiite Muslims in the south. Iraqi aircraft were forbidden from flying inside the zones...

 as its stated .

Cited by the Bush administration was Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

's weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

 (WMD) program. The administration claimed that Iraq had not conformed with its obligation to disarm under past UN Resolutions, and that Saddam Hussein was actively attempting to acquire a nuclear weapons capability as well as enhance an existing arsenal of chemical and biological weapons. Secretary of State Colin Powell
Colin Powell
Colin Luther Powell is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position. During his military...

 addressed a plenary session of the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

on February 5, 2003 citing these reasons as justification for military action.