Essay on Self-Defense Post 9-11

Essay on Self-Defense Post 9-11

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When we are attacked with force, we have natural response to want to defend our selves. Whether attacked as individuals, as a group or collectively as a nation, we have the inherit right to use measures of self-defense in response to acts of violence and aggression. Article 51 of the United Nations Charter makes this point extremely clear: “nothing…shall impair the inherit right of individual or collective self defense if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations..” Before 9-11, it was understood within the international community that ‘armed’ attacks were planned and executed by nation States against other sovereign States. According to Theresa Reinold however, the terrorist attacks on the pentagon and the world trade center on September 11th, 2001, has changed the definition of an ‘armed’ attack; effectively changing who is to be held accountable. It is thus necessary to explore the reasons for this change as well as its future implications for the international community in general. In this essay I will examine the criteria for the State’s right to self-defense as it applies to state weakness, irregular warfare and international law in our post 9-11 world. Furthermore, while such change may appear to be linear and expected, Naomi Klein offers a different narrative aimed at exposing the hidden agenda of changing such definition to exploit war for financial gain.
At 11:00 pm on September 11th, 2001, the George W. Bush administration of the United States declared war against Osama Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda terrorist network. This declaration of war was a direct response to the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. This was an unprecedented declaration of war because it was not directed at a p...


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...and Ruth Eglash. "E.U. Designates Hezbollah’s Military Wing as a Terrorist Organization." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 22 July 2013. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. .


Klein, Naomi. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. New York: Metropolitan /Henry Holt, 2007. Print.


Reinold, Theresa. State Weakness, Irregular Warfare, and the Right to Self-Defense Post-9/11. The American Journal of International Law , Vol. 105, No. 2 (April 2011) , pp. 244-286

United States. Bush Administration. Statement by the President in Address to the Nation. US Gov, n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. .


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