Argument: Iraq never disarmed after Kuwait, inviting the use of force

Issue Report: Withdrawing from Iraq

Supporting quotes

  • Greg Hunt. “Yes, this war is legal”. The Age. March 19 2003 – “The first element, Iraq’s duty to comply with international law, has been reaffirmed through 17 Security Council resolutions over 12 years. This duty began with resolution 678 of November 29, 1990, which authorised use of “all necessary means” to force Iraq to quit Kuwait and importantly “to restore international peace and security in the area”.
After operation Desert Storm forced Iraq from Kuwait, the Security Council authorised a ceasefire under resolution 687 on April 3, 1991. The ceasefire was conditional on Iraq destroying or removing all its chemical and biological weapons. This condition was reaffirmed in resolution 1441 of November 8, 2002.
Critically, resolution 1441 declares Iraq “in material breach” of its obligations, offers “one final opportunity” to comply fully – not partially – and threatens “serious consequences” if it continued to violate its obligations. The term “serious consequences” is the same enforcement provision that underpinned Desert Storm.
So, Iraq’s duty to disarm is continuing and absolute.”