Just war theory 1



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Western Intervention on the Somali Civil War


This term paper will analyze the conditions under which the western military forces led by the U.S. intervened in the Somali civil war in 1991. By looking at the rules of the merely war theory it will be shown that the intercession was a merely war.

The Region Background Information

Harmonizing Reagan ( 1996 ) the district of Somaliland is located on the Horn of African. The writer is utilizing the district because it can non be considered as a state because of the many cabals of independent leading which govern themselves. The part has experienced instability for a long clip and has ne’er been united as a individual part since the interruption down of the civil war back in 1992 ( Reagan, 1996 ) .

The part is located in the eastmost portion of the African continent. Its dwellers are homogeneous groups ( Somalis ) who become Muslims during the first millenary of the Christian epoch. The part was colonized by three colonial Masterss. Great Britain occupied the cardinal part, France the northern part while Italy was left with the Southern part. The part gained its independency in 1960 with the British and Somali land unifying to organize the democracy of Somaliland ( Rohloff & A ; Pfetsch, 2000 ) .

The Somaliland democracy is a hot desert like with low tableland and covers an country of 246, 199 square stat mis. The north and northeast part is cragged. Reagan ( 1996 ) wrote that at the beginning of 1991 the population of Somaliland was eight million. The Somali people are divided into kins and sub kins. Islam is the dominant faith with 99.9 per cent of the population being Muslims. On economic footings, the part is developing with largely depending on mobile farm animal. Agricultural takes topographic point chiefly planting of bananas and sugar cane ( Rohloff & A ; Pfetsch, 2000 ) .

The Governance after Independence

After independency in 1960 the part was under parliamentary regulation up to 1969. The authorities was dominated by the Somalian Youth League. The authorities at this clip had links with the Soviet Union which provided it with some weaponries. However after election in 1967 the leading shifted their involvement to the West nevertheless a military putsch shortly followed which returned the focal point of involvement back to the Soviet Union. The putsch was led Major General Mohammed Siad Barre who went Forth to set up a military authorities ( Reagan, 1996 ) .

There has been a difference between Somaliland and Ethiopia over the Ogaden part. This is a part which is to the North of Somali. In 1977 a struggle erupted between Ethiopia and Somaliland. The Soviet Union supported Ethiopia in this struggle and as consequence the Somali authorities cut links with the Soviet Union and turned to the United States for support ( Reagan, 1996 ) .

The Start of the Civil War

The military authorities led the state throughout the 1980s. Reagan ( 1996 ) wrote that the enterprisers from the Northern Somali go dissatisfied with the military leading. This group gave support for the Somali National Movement started its operation in the Northern part runing from across the Ethiopian boundary line. Reagan claimed that by 1988 the northern portion rebellion became a full graduated table war. In 1989 there was problem brewing in so south parts. The Somali Patriotic Movement was responsible for the unrest in the Southern part. The cardinal part was every bit blown into this agitation by the United Somali Congress. With the North, cardinal and south inhabited by Rebels the part was about to step into a full graduated table civil war ( Reagan, 1996 ) .

In the early 1990, the authorities of U.S.A. stopped back uping the Somali authorities militarily. The military authorities turned to Libya for support. At the clip the Rebel activities had intensified and most of the state was under the control of the Rebels. The northern part was controlled by the S.N.M. the cardinal part was controlled by U.S.C which was chiefly composed of military apostates while the southern part was under the S.P.M.

General Siad Barre fled the capital in 1991 on January 26th. The U.S.C. Rebels who controlled the cardinal part assumed the leading and proclaimed an interim authorities to be led by Mohammed Ali Mahdi. However this was non accepted by the Rebel party president General Mohammed Farah Aidid. Other groups besides refused to acknowledge the interim authorities. This meant that the cardinal part was non at peace. In the north part the Rebels at that place declared the part an independent part. The south part was even more unstable as wars between kins and bomber kins continued. There was crisp force recorded between the groups of Mahdi and Aidid. At this clip the part was in full graduated table civil war ( Reagan, 1996 ) .


In 1992 exactly on January 23, the U.N. Security Council imposed an trade stoppage on the cargo of arms to Somali. On April the same twelvemonth, the U.N. voted for an operation to be carried out in Somali part. The intent of the operation was to, “ facilitate and keep an immediate ceasefire, to advance a political colony, and to transport out a 90 twenty-four hours program of action for human-centered aid ” ( Reagan p. 181 ) . This program was to be undertaken by U.N.A Fifty perceivers and five 100 member bodyguard for security intent. The alleviation was to be distributed to the Centre in and around the capital ( Reagan, 1996 ) .

The intercession was non adequate and was irregular. There was a terrible dearth at this clip seting 1000000s of people at the hazard of famishment. The status was made worse by onslaughts on alleviation airlifts. The alleviation which was stored was looted. The transit of alleviation providers over the land became difficult because of the robbery and extortion which took topographic point. By the month of July, it was clear that the alleviation supply was non making the needy Somalis but feeding the Rebels. As a consequence it was necessary for stairss to be taken to guarantee that the needy Somalis were reached. This led to the U.S. in coordination with the U.N. undertook a military airlift of the providers to Somali ( Reagan, 1996 ) .

On August, the U.N Security Council allowed the deployment of peacekeeping forces in the part. This was peculiarly to offer protection of the alleviation providers. In September U.S. aircrafts and U.N. conveys transporting alleviation nutrient were attacked. This prompted a support squad which was non allowed because the airdrome and haven were still under the control of the Rebels. In October the Southern town of Bardera was occupied by some Rebel groups coercing some U.N. and other alleviation bureaus to evacuate it. Harmonizing to Reagan ( 1996 ) the decease toll at this peculiar town was two 100 caputs per twenty-four hours ( Reagan, 1996, p. 182 ) .

The same month of October saw some group of Rebels in the southern portion shuting the southern haven of Kismayu the 2nd largest in Somalia. Towards the terminal of the month some other Rebel group forced the closing of the haven of Mogadishu the largest in Somali. By the month of November the robbery was serious that merely 20 per centum of the alleviation supplies were making destitute Somalis. By the month of November statistics from perceivers showed a sum of 300, 000 1000 Somalis had died from dearth and force since 1991. More 100,000 were estimated to hold died in 1992. The dearth was ended in 1992 and decreased instances of famishment ( Reagan, 1996 ) .

The northern portion of Mogadishu was under the control of Mahdi while the southern portion of Mogadishu was under the control of Aidid. There were irregular packs which were neither controlled by Mahdi nor Aidid which besides caused unrest. In the southern portion Bardera was under the control of Morgan while Kismayu was under the control of Colonel Omar Jess. The northern part was comparatively stable under the control of S.N.M. which had declared the north part independent ( Reagan, 1996 ) .

A U.N. ship transporting alleviation providers was attacked as it tried to dock at the haven of Mogadishu. This led to the constitution of a secure environment for human-centered alleviation. More peacekeeping military personnels were sent to the part.

Resolution 794

Reagan ( 1996 ) wrote about declaration 794 which was agreed by Security Council. He observes that,

declaration 794 noted the alone character of the state of affairs, the demand for an immediate and exceeding response, the menace to international peace and security constituted by the magnitude of the human calamity, the impairment of the state of affairs and demand for prompt human-centered aid, conditions that continued to hinder the bringing of such assistance and insufficiency of UNISOM entirely to react to the calamity ( Reagan, 1996, p. 183-184 ) .

This declaration besides had an aim of easing the procedure of political colony. All the cabals were to ceased fire and belligerencies. The declaration condemned human-centered jurisprudence misdemeanors particularly the obstructor of the bringing alleviation providers. This declaration led to the intercession of the U.S. in Somali. It should be noted that this intercession had the support of the Congress leaders of class, authorities of other states and the two main war Godheads ( Aidid and Mahdi ) ( Reagan, 1996 ) .

The Intervention

The U.S. forces landed in Mogadishu on December 9th. The air port and the haven were secured without any incident. The U.S. forces were joined by other forces from other states. Looting was stopped as the intercession forces secured more ground inside. The two war Godheads agreed to discontinue fire on 11th December. Order was restored in the capital Mogadishu. On January 4, 1993 there was a conference of leaders of the 14 warring kins in Addis Ababa. The conference led to an understanding for disarming of the warring kins and the puting up of an interim authorities ( Reagan, 1996 ) .

The Just War Theory

This subdivision will look at the merely war theory and seek to analyze whether the western intercession which took topographic point in Somali can be justified in the visible radiation of the theory. To carry through this, the definition of the theory is given and its rules. A cross cheques with mention to the above instance survey will be done and later a decision made on whether the intercession can be justified or non. Harmonizing to Walzer ( 2006 ) a merely war theory can be viewed as an account with an purpose of warranting why some wars should be fought. This means non all wars can be justified. The theory hence examines the justification of how and why wars are fought ( Walzer, 2006 ) . This theory is based on some rules which have to be fulfilled for the war to be considered a merely war.

Harmonizing to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy the rule are as follows:

A merely war can merely be waged as a last resort

This means that for the war to be fought all the possible solutions should hold been exhausted. For our instance survey this is really clear because the U.N. had tried non to military forces including up to a clip when about 80 per centum of the alleviation supplies were traveling to the warring groups alternatively of to the needy Somalis. Ship which was to present alleviation providers was attacked. This showed that it could non be possible any more to provide relief providers to the Somalis and therefore an action in of intercession had to be undertaken to guarantee that the alleviation supplies are non obstructed ( Reagan, 1996 ) .

A war is merely merely if it is waged by a legitimate authorization.

The intercession was carried with the mandate of the U.N. Security Council which is a legitimate organic structure recognized by all the states ( Reagan, 1996 ) .

A merely war can merely be fought to right a incorrect suffered

Harmonizing to the declaration 794 of U.N Security Council the intercession was aimed at conveying political stableness and an terminal to human-centered agony. It should be noted that this was made possible as the war Godheads agreed to disarmings ( Reagan, 1996 ) .

A war can merely be merely if it is fought with a sensible opportunity of success

Success opportunities for the intercession were apparent. At the start of the intercession the airdrome and haven were capture easy without any much incidence. This ensured that supplies could flux into the part without much obstructor at the points of entry. Though causalities were met it is expected of war zone ( Reagan, 1996 ) .A

The ultimate end of a merely war is to re-establish peace

This is really apparent of the intercession which took topographic point in Somali. Hundreds of people were deceasing on a day-to-day footing and the intercession brought a halt to this.

The force used in the war must be relative to the hurt suffered

There was no inordinate usage of force in of sophisticated arms or arms of mass devastation. This was to guarantee the guiltless people were non caught in the cross fire ( Reagan, 1996 ) .


As Orend ( 2000 ) claimed, merely wars save the lives of many guiltless people. The instance of Somali intercession by the western forces led by U.S. was a instance of merely war aimed at salvaging the lives of 1000s of people confronting famishment and crisp force.


Orend, B. ( 2000 ) . War and International Justice:A Kantian position. United statess: Wilfred Laurier University.

Reagan, R. ( 1996 ) . Just War: rules and Cases. New York, NY: CUA Publishers.

Rohloff, C. & A ; Pfetsch, F. ( 2000 ) . National and international struggles, 1945-1995:New empirical and theoretical attacks.New York, NY: Routledge.

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. ( 2006 ) .Just War Theory. Retrieved on January 28, 2010 from: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.utm.edu/research/iep/j/justwar.htm

Walzer, M. ( 2006 ) Just and Unjust wars:A moral statement with historical illustrations.London, UK: Basic Books.


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