In 2002, during his speech to the United Nations, the then United States head of state, President George W. Bush stated that the possible utilization of force against Iraq was necessary to enforce the proposed Security Council resolutions. To him, the use of force would also help eliminate potential danger threat to the existing international peace as well as security (Walzer 2017). The Security Council responded to the request by adopting Resolution 1441 which found Iraq to be in material breach of the past resolutions by the Council. In effect, the Council threatened severe consequences to Iraq for its further intransigence (Williamson 2016).

However, when Iraq refused to comply with states resolutions as was required, the United States was forced to lead what Glahn and Taulbee (2017) call an ad hoc coalition of the willing that invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003. The Iraq armed forces were defeated in the attack bringing to the end Saddam Hussein’s regime as well as the Ba’ath party. Subsequently, in March 2003, President Bush announced to the world the end of a major combat operation in Iraq and the United States has just assumed an occupying power in the country to help in rebuilding it as was recommended in 1483 by the Security Council. While the attack on Iraq could be viewed either as legal as a war preventive measure as was authorized by the Security Council or illegal from a humanitarian perspective, none of them justifies nations going to war. In effect, the event places the debate about the war in various contexts some of which include the dilemmas that emerge in regards to international order such as the problem of law in managing foreign affairs, the claims of equality and even the presence of hyperpowers.  The present paper, therefore, discusses the various ways in which the 2003 invasion of Iraq could be seen as contributing to the international law.

Background Information Leading up to Iraq Invasion

A thoughtful examination of the facts and legal settings that led the Iraq war demonstrates that there was sufficient legal authority for the 2003 invasion. Previously, On August 2, 1990, the country of Iraq invaded Kuwait. The attack was quickly preceded with Security Council adoption of Resolution 660 which was the first resolution attempt that aimed are condemning Iraq’s actions and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the troops from Kuwait (Lowe et al. 2010). However, when the diplomacy approach failed to quell the situation, the Security Council adopted another resolution, dabbed Resolution 678 which authorized the member states to use all necessary measures to implement and uphold the recommendation of Resolutions 660 as well as other relevant resolutions primarily to restore the international peace and security. Regardless of the international intervention, Iraq still refused to withdraw from Kuwait before the stipulated deadline which she was given. This obstinate behavior by Iraq triggered Operation Desert Storm which was initiated to expel Iraq from Kuwait by February 27, 1991.

After two months of the operations, on April 3, 1991, the Security Council established Resolution 687 which aimed at creating conditions form a formal cease-fire to suspend hostilities that were being experienced in the Persian Gulf (Williamson 2016). According to Hehir (2013), the 687 resolution demanded that Iraq destroys its chemical as well as biological weapons and missiles besides agreeing for an onsite inspection. Secondly, it required the Iraq government to stop the development, construction henceforth and acquiring any WMD and their delivery systems. Thirdly, the resolution required the state stop developing and obtaining a nuclear weapon, their components, and related materials. Finally, the resolution demanded Iraq to accept immediate on-site inspection to ascertain her actual compliance with the international regulations as stated by the Security Council. The review was to be done by United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), a special commission established specifically for this assignment and was required to take possession all the target country’s nuclear weaponry. Interestingly, Iraq cooperated with the demand and a formal cease-fire went immediately into effect in between Kuwait and its invading force, Iraq. The international community worked together with Kuwait to help rebuild it.

It is worth mentioning that Iraq had previously resisted UNSCOM interventions as were mandated by the Security Council. The effort to continue resisting even after the adoption of Resolution 687, Security Council condemned the country’s continued violations of its obligations. The Security Council observed the behavior by Iraq constituted a severe breach of its relevant provisions especially Resolution 687 which established cease-fire methods as well as conditions for attaining international peace and security (Hehir 2013). The refusal to comply with the Security Council demands by Iraq continued for many years even necessitating the introduction of Resolution 1137 which warned that continued misconduct by the target country would constitute severe consequences for failing to comply with the international obligations.

However, despite the many warnings against Iraq, the country was obstinate to comply, and UNSCOM reported failure to complete its mandate due to target country’s obstructionism. Subsequently, the United States and Britain launched a seventy-hour campaign of missiles and aircraft bombing in over hundred targets in Iraq with the aim to force the country to comply with the regulations (Grant 2003). The focus on the Iraq problem was further heightened when terrorists attacked the United States on September 11, 2001. Towards the end of 2002, President Bush challenged the Security Council through the United Nations to face threats posed by Iraq owing to its continued defiance of the international resolutions. In response, Resolution 1441 was established to address the repeated non-compliance of Iraq and its proliferation of dangerous weaponry of mass destruction as well as failure to renounce international terrorism (Lowe et al. 2010). Although Iraq responded to the resolution to allow inspection, it failed to submit to the entire demands as were requested of her. It later filed an incomplete declaration on December 7, 2002, which fell short of the obligations as stated by the Security Council on behalf of the international community.

While the historical background information may appear monotonous given the repetitive nature in which events occurred, it, however, provide a comprehensive understanding of the inescapable triggers of the 2003 invasion of Iraq (Fenton 2017). From the background data, it is evident that Iraq was in material breach of several resolutions, namely Resolution 687 and Resolution 1141. While it is considerably clear the reason behind the attack on Iraq including being a brewing ground for international terrorism, the ex-post developments do not necessarily provide sufficient justification for the utilization of force ex-ante (Grant 2003). Nonetheless, the events leading up the attack on Iraq contributed significantly to shaping the present international law and relations that Security Council, as well as United Nations, has with its member states.

The law states that as long as the regulation or the agreement itself does not allow for the variation, individuals involved in a contract can be altered by word of mouth or written consent. The law further states that for the variation to be valuable, certain conditions must be met

A suitable harmony between the parties and therefore, a meager notice by a particular group to the other does not validate the change. The consideration comes in different forms which include; shared desertion of accessible privileges, fresh payback being approved by each section to the other party and the corporations assuming added obligations in case the pact is breached (Grant 2003)

Dispensation established by one party to the other for that group’s expediency, and at its appeal, will not, therefore, comprise a variation. Whenever such considerations do not exist, a variation is likely to be influenced by deed.

There is a possibility that a contract can be varied by a spoken understanding or by the conduct of the involved parties even where the contract does not provide for oral agreements in the clause. The position as it appears is confirmed and clarified by the Court of Appeal while ruling on the legal disagreement involving RW Lucas Varity Electric Steering Limited v Globe Motors. The same take was also jointed in a case heard in 2016 between Rock Advertising v MWB Business Exchange Centers.

One party may willingly concur with the request made by the other not to persist with the outlined performance in the contract. Considering the prevailing situation, it may be said that party has waived its right to insist on performance in that particular way. It is worth noting that where the terms of the contract include a provision which is solely for the benefit of one party, that party may relinquish conformity with the stipulation and implement the contract in a manner that appears to have been ignored. It is probably inapplicable where the provision is intended to benefit both parties involved.

The general rule excludes a contract which is expected by law to be performed or accounted for in writing, for instance, consumer hire agreements and consumer credit can only be varied in writing.

With reference to work done by Grant (2003), a thin line is drawn between amendments and variations provision for the work contracted by employees. Amendments are made through well and precisely articulated concurrence between the parties and the expected future changes to the contractual necessities excluding the extent of the work to be accomplished.

Dissimilarities on the performance of the task are made following the variation process crafted into the contract requisites. This is because contractual projects are occasionally extensive and last for longer periods to be completed, therefore,  it is managerially less of a saddle to the parties to resolve a variation procedure in advance, as such an amendment to the contract is not necessary every time the extent of the work changes.

Considering the deviation is made with reference to the correct procedure, changing terms of the contract is not necessary. Consequently, there is no need to establish that the consideration is part and parcel of the amendments. With no appearance of state requirements to the divergent, there is usually an indirect expression in a contract that the contractor does not accomplish the work in a way which disobeys relevant performance regulations or applicable laws.  Factors considered states that; the work for which the contract sum is payable is defined in elaborate terms enough to include work which is unspecified in the contract, but necessary to comply with contract guidelines. Where the contract work is not clear in such extensive terms, whether the contractor acquired the employer’s instructions before carrying out the unanticipated work essential to fulfill the performance regulations or whether the contractor can show a promise to pay (Grant 2003).

Where the indenture is for a lump sum, the courts are tasked to infer a promise on the contractor’s part to provide everything necessary to complete the entire work including everything compulsory to conform to regulations and other relevant laws.

The facts can be borrowed from the report compiled by Sharpe Pritchad Adjudications dated 4th of October 2016, during the ruling of a case involving RW Lucas Varity Electric Steering Limited vs. Globe Motors Inc in 2016. In this case, the Court of Appeal determined that addition of a clause projected to prevent variation of the contract not shown in writing would not stop future variation of a treaty verbally or by demeanor.  The case was concerned with the long-term contract involving the supply of certain products to an automotive company.  TRW consented to purchase buy from Globe, under a supply accord which allowed for variations to be applied to the products supplied (Grant 2003).  It also included a clause which stated that “amendment can only be done to a written document which one, purposely refers to the provision of the conformity to be amended and secondly, is approved by both groups.” From the onset, the judge resolute that TRW violated the agreement for purchasing enhanced motors from another company which Globe was in a position to supply suppose changes in engineering model had been made.

During the appeal case, the court asserted that the description of the word product did not consider the improved motors, and TRW did not violate the agreement in any by sourcing the products from another manufacturer (Grant 2003). The court confirmed that the harmony was prepared so that TRW had an option of accepting new supplies or reconsider suggesting engineering changes to available products, but was not indebted to do so. As much as the court was not gratified to deal with the anti-oral variation provision, Judge Beatson made obiter remarks designed to clarify the situation surrounding existing inconsistent resolution on the point (Fenton 2017). The judge noted that the concerned parties had autonomy to agree on terms they preferred to accept, and could do so in writing, by conduct and by word of mouth. The effect with reference to the context applied in law the fact that the companies’ contract contains a clause in common law does not prevent the two parties from entering into a new contract, varying the contract verbally or by deed. Judge LJ recognized that intricacy of proof might arise whenever it is argued that indenture has been made orally or by the conduct of the companies and the particulars have to be shown by the judge in charge from the evidence given by the parties and their witnesses. In view of the case, a variation can only be found where the proof on the equilibrium of prospect reputable such change is certainly fulfilled (Fenton 2017).  The remarks reiterate the belief in liberty to bond, besides highlighting efforts to limit the style in which the parties can change the contract deficiently to supersede the code of party independence.  For that reason, suppose the companies intend to vary the contract, changes should be properly documented to avoid the likelihood of disputes.

Another case fact involves Rock Advertising and MWB Business Exchange Centers. Rock Advertising is licensed managed office space owned by MWB. Rock company becomes indebted with monthly payments. MWB circulates a note to stop the contract. Rock disputes that a verbal agreement had been entered into the director of Rostock and MWB’s credit controller to postpone the monthly license fees to enable Rock paid at a reduced rate for a number of months and promised to pay at an advanced charge for the remainder of the license (Fenton 2017). The agreement reached at regard the acquisition of license had a regular article which affirmed that“all variations to the license agreed upon, is accounted for in writing and signature appended on behalf of both companies before implementation.” Issues surrounding the case were focused on whether the verbal variations clause in the license implies that the oral variation to reschedule the monthly license fees was of no effect or if an oral variation can still be effectual unless sustained by enough deliberation presented by Rock.

The decisions reached were, firstly, the article applied in the license does not avert verbal changes. This was in line with the autonomy companies have of contracting each other to agree whatever stipulations they desire and the freedom of those parties to vary those terms as they may prefer. Secondly, although, Rock’s assurance to pay is fundamentally a guarantee to pay whatever the due, there are sensible paybacks in Rock’s undertakings that can constitute new consideration.

The war between North and South Korean is traced back to the mid-1950s when it broke and had since prolonged until the present times. Although the real cause of the war is never apparent, many historians have come to associate the fight to the different forms of governance that were adopted by the colonial masters of each region (Grant 2003). The South Korean was under the rule of the United States of America was subjected to capitalism whereas the Northern part which was under Soviet Union (USSR) was pro-communism. Given the prolonged nature of the rivalry between the two nations, it has become a significant attraction academic discussion and debates. Thus, the present paper explores the background of the border conflict between the two countries. It explores the historical roots of the war as well as a hint on the impact it has on the stability of the nations.

Historically, before the two nations were politically divided, they all belonged to one geographical country, the Korean Peninsula, which was governed as a dynasty regarded as Grant (2003). For many years, the rulers of the country accommodated each other with manageable conflicts. However, towards the end of World War II, the Soviet Union (USSR) attacked Japanese setting the state to the path of division.  At the end of the war, Korean Peninsula was divided into two regions at the famous 38th parallel (Grant 2003). The division initiated a conflict of interest between proponents of communism on the Northern part and followers of anti-communism governance, capitalism, on the Southern region of Korean Peninsula.

The conflict was mainly instigated by the attempt to unify the two regions under one system of government. America officials did not consider the invasion of the North on the South Korean as a mere border dispute between two dictatorships. Instead many people felt it as the first steps of the communist campaign to over the countries in the world (Lavelle). In response, National Security Council report recommended that the United States adopt the use of military force to prevent the communist expansionism. The report indicated stopping the communism from spreading in spite of the economic impact or the intrinsic strategic of the regions in questions.

According to Glahn and Taulbee (2017), the use of force on the basis of anticipatory self-defense as has been exemplified in the international law may be used by other nations against those they suspect to breed armed groups with WMD as well as other rogue nations. However, the use of force in anticipatory defense would be dependent on three fundamental factors. One, the country must determine whether its target nation has WMD and has shown any inclination to use them. For the case of Iraq, its leader, Saddam Hussein confessed to having WMD and had all the intentions of using them against the countries enemies such as Iran and even the country’s citizens. Thus, using the same tangent as the one adopted for the war in Iraq, the international legal systems must decide whether to approve the use of force preemptively after carefully considering the possible possession and evidence of hostility. It means, therefore, such decisions will rely heavily on proper intelligence about the rogue country, its possession of WMD, its ability to develop and acquire related components as well as technical expertise to develop other dangerous weapons.

With over sixty years since it broke out, the war between the two nations is still raging on, at least technically. The border popularly referred to as 38th parallel is up to date is regarded as a demilitarized zone (DMZ) and is a constant patrol of heavily armed military personnel (Arend and Beck 2014). Given the polarized nature of the borders between the nations, any slight provocation is enough to instigate a prolonged warfare. A good example was the recent provocation by the South Korean military when they used loudspeaker broadcasts against their North Korean counterparts (Arend and Beck 2014). The loudspeakers were considered a tactical psychological weapon that was commonly used to havoc to both military and civilians living around DMZ.

Although the Korean War was relatively short, it was exceptionally bloody and costly both to the two nations. It is said that approximately 5 million people from both sides died during the war.  With no peace treaties signed, the two countries continuously find themselves always at war leading to the establishment of demilitarized zone which contributes to slight stability in the regions. The disparate systems of governments that were predominate in each side of the former Korean Peninsula were mainly to blame for the war since liberal societies such as America could not allow the full spread of communist ideology.


It could be stated that the International law allowed the utilization of force against Iraq on two independent fronts. Firstly, military actions were permitted as secondary measures when Iraq had failed to comply with the primary negotiation mechanisms. The adoption of military action was aimed at facilitating the implementation of the resolution of the cease-fire to suspend the hostilities that were being experienced in the 1991 Gulf war (Arend and Beck 2014). Owing to Iraq’s repeated breaches of the established principles of international law on a cease-fire, the United States was granted permission by the treaty as well as armistice law to suspend its diplomacy terms and use force against Iraq to force it to comply (Grant 2015). Secondly, according to Williamson (2016), the international law also allowed the use of force against the target country principally as anticipatory-self-defense. Given the threat that Iraq continued to pose to the international community with its harbor of weapons for mass destructions and its cooperation with associated terrorist organizations, it was worth to stop them on their track.  To a more significant extent, the adopted approach to resolve into the use of military force against Iraq to force it to comply has a significant implication on the general outlook of the international law and its application.

Williamson (2016) observes that in all its fairness, the case of Iraq may seem unique given the numerous invitations to peace compliance with the international obligations and the United States together with its allies had sufficient legal authority to act as they did. It is uniquely so because, since the invasion of Iraq, no other situation has promoted such massive support from the Security Council in regards to the threat that a country poses to the international peace and security. However, Iraq set the stage for what Owen and Wheeler (2016) regards as a representation of the future challenges posed by rogue states with mass destruction weaponry that may compromise the extant international peace and tranquility. In reference to the security situation established by the events proceeding to the war in Iraq, the United States together with its allies may opt to use their right to anticipatory self-defense to lead attacks on other nations. In the effort to address the emergence of this new threat, the international legal system will be forced to adapt to consider the likelihood of an attack, the scale of possible harm on civilians, as well as the window of opportunity within which necessary proportionate military force, may be adopted (Glahn and Taulbee 2017).

According to Glahn and Taulbee (2017), the use of force on the basis of anticipatory self-defense as has been exemplified in the international law may be used by other nations against those they suspect to breed armed groups with WMD as well as other rogue nations. However, the use of force in anticipatory defense would be dependent on three fundamental factors. One, the country must determine whether its target nation has WMD and has shown any inclination to use them. For the case of Iraq, its leader, Saddam Hussein confessed to having WMD and had all the intentions of using them against the countries enemies such as Iran and even the country’s citizens. Thus, using the same tangent as the one adopted for the war in Iraq, the international legal systems must decide whether to approve the use of force preemptively after carefully considering the possible possession and evidence of hostility. It means, therefore, such decisions will rely heavily on proper intelligence about the rogue country, its possession of WMD, its ability to develop and acquire related components as well as technical expertise to develop other dangerous weapons.

The second factors entail proper consideration of the available window of opportunity. State governments have the responsibility to protect its citizens and therefore, it must act whenever it has a window of opportunity to prevent any possible attacks. According to Von Glahn and Taulbee (2017), the government has a mandate always to use its resources of intelligence to ascertain any potential harm that may occur its citizens and then act before the targeted civilians are put in the arms-way. While the recent modifications in the terror community notably the adoption of suicide bombers who hide in the plain site may pose considerable challenges to the state agents, the government must be prompt in reacting on any whims or suspicion. By and large, preventing a terrorist attack against civilians through the use of WMD require governments across the globe take advantage of any window of opportunity that opens to stop the terrorist attacks on its citizens. It might be challenging for any state, regardless of its military stature and level of preparedness to minimize casualties if it waits until rogue nations have developed or acquired WMD (Glahn and Taulbee 2017). This is because of the sporadic nature that such attacks are often carried out and the tactical style that these extremist organizations use to infiltrate the civilian population.

The third and final factor entails the consideration of the possible harm that may result from an attack. The states must consider the degree of injury that WMD attack may have on the country that it has been used. Arguably, the combination of the possible vast destructive capacity that WMD attack, as well as the modest means that are often needed to, move them makes the threat from these weapons considerably dangerous (Glahn and Taulbee (2017). Most of the biological and chemical weapons are usually very easy to hide, and this complicates the efforts of security agents to detect them. As a result, given the possible degree of harm that these weapons pose to the civilian population and their low level of detection makes it necessary for state agencies to sensitize the general public to be cautious and report any criminal intentions.


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Walzer, M., 2017. The triumph of just war theory (and the dangers of success). In Empowering Our Military Conscience (pp. 27-44). Routledge.

Williamson, M., 2016. Terrorism, war and international law: the legality of the use of force against Afghanistan in 2001. Routledge.

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