A dawn of peace appears in sight as a most awful chapter nears closure with a bill to be presented in Congress, H.R. 3261: To repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution.
“H.R. 3261 would repeal Public Law 102-1, which authorized the President to use the armed forces to enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait” the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says.
The 2003 invasion of Iraq was based on UN Security Council Resolutions 678 and 687. Passed in 1990, 678 authorized member states to use “all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area.”
Resolution 660, adopted the day after Iraq invaded Kuwait, demanded that Iraq withdraw unconditionally from Kuwait. Resolution 678 became the UN’s authorizing instrument for Operation Desert Storm. It has never been rescinded.
Resolution 687 likewise authorized “further steps as may be required for the implementation of the present resolution and to secure peace and security in the area.”
The UN did not pass a resolution in 2000s regarding the very different circumstances from the brief invasion of Kuwait. The United States and the United Kingdom nonetheless relied on those 90s resolutions as the legal basis for the invasion’s compliance with international law.
CBO however says the repealing of Public Law 102-1 does not in any way affect the current operations in Iraq. Another Act of Congress was passed in 2002, Public Law 107–243. This however in part relied on the 90s law that is now up for repeal as it says:
“Whereas in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102–1), Congress has authorized the President ‘to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolution 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677;’
Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it ‘’supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102–1).'”
The repealing of the 90s law therefore would weaken any legal reliance on the 2002 law, and in many ways it would amount to Congress withdrawing its support for any armed intervention in Iraq while not directly interfering with current operations and the drawdown.
Making it a symbolic declaration of the end of war as guns start falling silent, opening the way hopefully for the pen.
In Syria, tranquility has also fallen. After a most brutal decade that ended up with the forces of democracy being crushed, all parties are now just sitting in their own territories with peace de facto in prevalence.
A political solution to this balkanized situation will probably come in due course, with Libya too looking up as the UN backed Government of National Accord backed by Turkey and Italy prevails over ostensibly dictatorial forces, with agreement reached there for the people to dictate in peaceful elections.
Yemen remains as the only hot zone. The story here is similar to Syria. A people’s protest against the government during the Arab Spring, but unlike in Egypt the government doesn’t back down. A civil war ensues, with it then turning to a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
There’s hot flashes in Africa too. The untold story here is of a rising and in many ways booming continent that is generally very much at peace and fast developing.
A completely transformed picture thus from the 90s starvation, with growth leading to some ambition. In particular Ethiopia, which prides itself with never having been invaded, is seemingly trying to consolidate power and order with less of a civil war and more a government imposition going on there.
The weakness of some governments has further opened space for tensions with what we will call beduin mercenaries that have flashes even over the very dry sand desert.
Yet overall, there’s no proper war here. No mass displacement. No ancient cities being razed.
That’s because we have or are about to enter a unique period of reconfiguration in part thanks to technological advances that are restoring a global balance with bias towards peace.
And however much America may want to replace terrist with China or however much some war mongering ‘experts’, disguising themselves as ‘geopolitics’ commentators, may shout of Cold War 2.0, the world has changed far too much, and more importantly generations have changed, for this to work again.
The two are limited to a trade war, or more appropriately competition, a far more benign version of the cold ‘war’ and in many ways a fairly ordinary state of affairs.
This all therefore is starting to look a bit like a golden dawn in some ways, a period of general peace and general global order as millennials finally seemingly manage to stop the silly games and turn focus to science and human achievement.
With the Israel-Palestine brief episode so being the best recent example of a transformed world where global politics is concerned due to the rise of a new generation that has no tolerance whatever for brutalism.