Preemptive Use of Force against Terrorism Term Paper by Nicky

A look at whether the preemptive use of force against terrorism is lawful.
# 150918 | 2,395 words | 12 sources | APA | 2012 | US

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This paper examines the issues of terrorism and whether the use of preemptive force against terrorism is lawful in nature. Additionally, the paper reviews an extensive base of literature which examines preemptive use of force against terrorism, further exploring this issue on an international basis. The paper analyzes the United Nations Charter and its approach to international law. Then, it discusses various theoretical issues, such as an imminent threat to a nation's safety and security. Debates between such theories and realities are cited in the paper. Specific historical events in which nations faced such situations are highlighted. The paper concludes by stating that the conflicts noted in the paper, such as the US attack on Iraq, do not fall within the guidelines or principles as stated in International Law.

From the Paper:

"The work of Narelle Thomas (2004) entitled: "The Use of Force and Pre-Emption: A Legitimate Practice Under the UN Charter?" states that Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter has been described as "an unequivocal prohibition on the use of force. Pre-emptive use of force, therefore, would also seem to be prohibited." Thomas goes on to state that pre-emption "...brings theorists to the murky issue of self-defense - an ill-defined, ambiguous and controversial exception to the blanket prohibition on the use of force, set out in Article 51 of the Charter and interpreted with reference to customary international law." (Thomas, 2004) It has been evident in development of international law that self-defense in the realm of municipal criminal law has involved a great deal of debate in regards to the legitimacy of self-defense that is pre-emptive in nature and that is "in the absence of an actual attack" and specifically in regards to international law. (Thomas, 2004) There are questions in relation to the "...source of such a right and the criteria, which would..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Address by Bush Administration National Security Advisor, Dr Condoleezza Rice, Winston Lecture, 1 October 2002; Sapiro, M. "Iraq: The Shifting Sands of Pre-emptive Self Defense" (2003) 97 American Journal of International Law 599 at 599.
  • Caroline Case (1837) 2 Moore 409.
  • Champion, Sarah (2005) Anticipatory (Pre-emptive) Self-Defense: The Need for a Modern Approach. Online available at:
  • De Vattel, E. The Law of Nations (Charles G Fenwick translation, 1916) 243
  • Franck, TM. (2001) "Editorial Comments: Terrorism and the Right of Self-Defense" 95 American Journal of International Law 839 at 842. Franck states this intuition is supported by the language of Article 51.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Preemptive Use of Force against Terrorism (2012, May 02) Retrieved April 06, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Preemptive Use of Force against Terrorism" 02 May 2012. Web. 06 April. 2020. <>