: NATO Action Against Serbia: Years of aggressiveEuropean empires have left the area known as the Balkans in an almost constantflux. The nation of Yugoslavia, originated in 1918, first became stable underthe leadership of Dictator Josip Broz Tito who turned the nation to communism in1945. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-* Copyright DueNow.
com Inc. *Category:Social IssuesPaper Title:Just War Theory: NATO Action Against SerbiaText:Just War Theory: NATO Action Against SerbiaYears of aggressive European empires have left the area known as the Balkansin an almost constant flux. The nation of Yugoslavia, originated in 1918, firstbecame stable under the leadership of Dictator Josip Broz Tito who turned thenation to communism in 1945. However, with Titos death in 1980, the countrydissolved into several smaller countries.
Presently the former state ofYugoslavia is comprised of the nations Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina,Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. Within Serbia lies a region called Kosovo, anarea where over ninety percent of the citizens are ethnic Albanians. Kosovos opposition to Serbian control of their region climaxed in January1998, when a group known as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) manifested itsplans to unify Kosovo with the neighboring nation Albania. In response, thepresent Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic, ordered Serbian forces to policethe area.
Within a short time, the Serbian forces also began to ethnicallycleanse Kosovo of all non-Serbs. The civil war escalated into an internationalconflict in March 1999 when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)intervened by bombing Serbian targets. According to the most basic tenets of just war doctrine, NATOsmilitaristic intervention with Serbia in the NATO Yugoslav War seems to beappropriate. NATOs actions appear to follow the principles of jus ad bellumas well as jus in bella. Their goal also seems in accordance with otherdocuments of sustaining peace, such as the Charter of the United Nations.
However, a more detailed analysis might suggest otherwise: NATOs interventionwas not justifiable in account that the war was more for Western interests thanending the ethical genocide of the non-Serbs in Kosovo. In the extreme realistic view of war, or alls fair view, any actionis justifiable if it protects or advances the interests of the state acting. This ideology strives on two tenets: (1) that any act in war is justifiableif it seems to serve the national interest, and (2) that rightness dependssolely on the ends sought rather than on methods used to obtain those ends. The realistic view also follows utilitarian reasoning, which states behavioris ethical if it brings the greatest good to the greatest number.
In thisperspective, NATOs interaction was most certainly just. Contrastingly, another view of war is the extreme pacifist view, that isavoiding conflict or any violent action in every situation. No action is ethicalif an individual is harmed. In this case, NATOs intervention would certainlyhave not been ethical. However, the current just war doctrine is neither of these extremes. Contemporary politics attempt to follow something in the middle.
There aresets of ethical principles to consider when judging the morality of war whichare justice of war or jus ad bellum and justice in war or jusin bella. Together they are embodied as just war tradition. Several ofthese modern just war theory tenets are expressed in the UN Charter. Article 33 states that any war must have a just cause :The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endangerthe maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek asolution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicialsettlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful meansof their own choice. Article 39 exemplifies the necessity of nation-states to make all attempts atrestoring peace and security:The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to thepeace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations,or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, tomaintain or restore international peace and security.
The UN Charter stresses that war is a last resort. In fact, the document goeson to describe war as an act of self-defense. The principle of last resortsuggests that states should exhaust all peaceful means of resolving disputesbefore resorting to military force, a condition that is easily met when a statehas been attacked and is merely engaging in self-defense. These ideas areexpressed in Article 51:Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individualor collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of theUnited Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary tomaintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in theexercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to theSecurity Council and shall not in any way affect the authority andresponsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at anytime such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restoreinternational peace and security. Just war tradition also includes other agreements, such as discrimination,which is the requirement that combatants respect the immunity ofnoncombatants, and proportionality, which is met when the legitimateaims sought by a state resorting to war outweigh the harm that will result fromprosecution of the war.
In retrospective, NATOs actions led to an end of the ethnic-cleansing ofthe non-Serbs in Kosovo as well as doing so with minimal causalities. In fact,with Milosevic having been dethroned in recent election, the possibleinstallation of Serbian democratic government seems to be exciting the region ofKosovo. Reporters of the KFOR, the liberating army of Kosovo, documententhusiasm. For example, the KFOR treatment of elections in October 28, 2000demonstrate this situation:After intense and thorough preparations, KFOR soldiers are ready to protectand secure the first free, democratic political elections in Kosovo, which willbe held today, October 28. KFOR’s operational reserve has been brought in and ison alert after conducting Air Insertion Exercises in the province.
Tounderline the seriousness of KFOR’s treatment of this matter, a big strengthdemonstration took place near Camp Monteith in the Multi National Brigade (MNB)East prior to the election day. With the participation of KFOR British, Greek,Ukrainian and U. S. elements, an Air Insertion Exercise was carried out in aprofessional way. In that perspective, NATOs intervention, the resort to arms and theprosecution, meeting the above criteria, seems to both conform to the principlesof just war.
According to British Prime Minister Tony Blair on April 22, 1999:This is a just war, based not on any territorial ambitions but on values. . . . No longer is our existence as states under threat.
Now our actions are guided bya more subtle blend of mutual self interest and moral purpose in defending thevalues we cherish. In the end values and interests merge. If we can establishand spread the values of liberty, the rule of law, human rights and an opensociety then that is in our national interests too. The spread of our valuesmakes us safer. As John Kennedy put it “Freedom is indivisible and when oneman is enslaved who is free?”Blair states that the war is of mutual interest.
The values of the NATOnation-states are further established in the international world, and there is astrong effort towards peace in Serbia. However, just as there are several supporters of the war, there are severalcritics of the intervention ethics practiced in Kosovo. Most critics focus theirdiscontent of the intervention with the ethics of NATO itself. These people seeNATO as an instrument for spreading Western culture instead of a device forinternational peace. In fact, according to one critic Paul Treanor in KosovoIntervention Ethics, the intervention became a full crusade for NATO values.
The European liberal-democratic tradition is, increasingly, an ideology usingforce to implement its values. As Treanor explains in Why Is NATO Wrong?, NATO has no moral basis: itsexistence is wrong, let alone its interventions. In ending the civil war inSerbia, NATO served as ironically the non-liberating force in Kosovos attemptat succession. The NATO belongs to a category of boundary-fixing entities, whichare probably inherent in all world orders constructed from one type of stateAnd this function is morally wrong. Treanor elaborates: Anysecession-preventing, boundary-fixing organisation of this kind, preventsinnovation in state formation. It usually does this at the expense of aminority.
In this type of action, according to Treanor is unjust. Accordingly, a close analysis of the NATO would demonstrate this behavior asinherent. First, the structure of the NATO reveals that since it is an alliance ofseveral nation-states, and therefore a representation of the beliefs of severalnation-states, it cannot be a fair representation of all the nation-states inthe war. Furthermore, the nation-states in the NATO are largely controlled bythe political and military elites.
Thus, a minority is created. It canalso be deduced then, since the elite officials of each nation-state of the NATOcontrol NATO, it therefore defends the political and militaristic tenets ofthese elite. Accordingly, the NATO influences/ controls the non-NATOnation-states in the following ways:(1. )The NATO enforces the permanence of each member state, restricting itsinnovative abolition,(2. )the NATO enforces the transgenerational nature of community inside nationstates – restricting individual freedom from inherited tradition,(3.
)the NATO reinforces attempts by nation states, to impose some form ofnational core culture,(4. )the NATO enforces the codification of economic and technological activityalong national lines, especially through national standards – restrictinginnovation which conflicts with these national standards,(5. )the NATO restricts the freedom of each individual to secede from thenation of residence, although in eastern Europe the NATO sometimes supportssecession of national groups (and national groups only), and. (6. )the NATO enforces the contiguous territory of nation states. All of theNATO area is covered by its members territory: there is no reserve territory tofound innovative states.
Furthermore, the NATO does not remain politically neutral, and imposes itsvalues on the non-NATO nation-states with coercion, if necessary. It thereforestrives, according to Treanor, to keep its own interests secure. This ideologyis not immoral itself; what is truly immoral is that it has the ability to killpeople to secure these values – to enforce a free market, and liberaldemocracy, securing the values in the process. In fact, the NATO valuesare stated explicitly in the speech by Vclav Havel : Euro-Atlanticvalues, especially the respect and care for human rights, democracy, the rule oflaw and the free market economy.
The idea of a moral crusade, as expressed in the Prime Minister TonyBlair quotation above, is exactly what critics like Treanor are against. Intervention begins with peacekeeping. NATO values are enforced. When actionoccurs, values are enforces.
When NATO seizes the area afterward, more valuesare interjected into the specific area, especially when the political leadersare removed and a new government is created. Accepting help from NATO can bejust as harmful as not accepting help. Furthermore, the area being helped hasconscientious objections to these values, it is morally wrong for thesevalues to be forced upon these nations. Treanor stresses in the conclusion of Why is NATO Wrong? that NATO isinfluencing the dogma:(1.
)that Europe should consist of nation states(2. )that consequently there should be no European-scale state, or entitycomparable to a state(3. )that each state in Europe should be primarily allied to the United Statesof America(4. )that the United States should be the ultimate arbiter, of the pattern ofstates on the European continent(5. )that the United States should station military forces in Europe, toenforce this pattern. In Kosovo Intervention Ethics, Treanor directly criticizes the specific NATOintervention of Kosovo.
The war was first seen as a rescue interventionlegitimized by the suffering of ethnic Albanians. Later, naturally, thecampaign in Kosovo became an ideological crusade. Supports of the NATOaction stated the intervention was justifiable in that there was mass genocidetaking place. However, according to Treanor, this is not only a false logic:it is also wrong in itself, to make such demands. It is standard practice, atthe NATO itself, to demand support on the basis of “opposedatrocities” (and the ending of atrocities will be used to legitimise NATOpresence in Kosovo).
Political leaders use this language to rally the nation. The truth of the matter relies in weighing if there is an obligation largeenough to risk intervening, and risk helping in a way that might not becompletely helpful to the receiver. Ultimately, the decision whether NATOs intervention into Serbia was inaccordance to just war tradition depends on personal opinion. Having generalfaith in the United States government, and believing that it is a more noblecause to spare at least one human live than not acting and thus avoiding thebrutal criticism that acting on the world scale involves, it is my personalopinion that the NATO acting appropriately by intervening.
A more importantopinion would come from the mouths of the victims of the ethnic-cleansing, thecenter of the hurricane. I am confident that affected ethnic-Albanians of Kosovowould accept any help, even if it might ultimately scar who they are. Works Cited:Russett, Bruce, et al. World Politics. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2000.
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