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Was the U.S. military intervention in Iraq in 2003 legal?

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  1. Introduction
  2. Review
  3. Conclusion

The history of the war in Iraq is not just for the sole military intervention in Iraq in 2003 but has its roots in the 90s. Following the invasion of Kuwait, by Iraq on Aug. 2nd 1990, the Security Council adopted Resolution 660 which calls on Iraq to withdraw "immediately and unconditionally" from Kuwait. Faced with the refusal of Saddam Hussein to run, the Security Council adopted UN Resolution 678, authorizing the use of force against Iraq if it does not withdraw before 15 January 1991 from Kuwait. On January 16th, a coalition of 28 countries including the United States and France went to war against Iraq, under UN mandate and triggered Operation Desert Storm. On April 3, after the announcement of a cease-fire by President Bush, the Security Council adopted Resolution 687 stipulating that Iraq shall unconditionally accept its disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, including ballistic missiles, of more 150-km range. The resolution was accepted on April 6. In 1998, in response to poor cooperation of Iraqi authorities and UN, inspectors from UNSCOM were replaced by UNMOVIC (the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection UN) which withdrew from Iraq and between 16 and December 20 1999, the U.S. bombed Iraqi military installations in retaliation. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration declared a war against terrorists, and stigmatized the Axis of Evil including North Korea and Iraq. It was with this in mind, that the U.S. sought all grounds to intervene militarily in Iraq. This raises the question of whether military intervention in Iraq in 2003 was legal.

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