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This study looks at the obstacles of the UN as a Collective Security mechanism with reference to the 2002-2005 Iraq war. It looks at the concept of collective security as a technical term in the field of international relations and how it contributes to international peace and security.
The UN played a role that was totally against its underlying principles because a Collective Security mechanism always prohibits the use of force or in one word war. The study gives a strong discussion on the obstacles that led to the war in Iraq and views on how such can be avoided in the future.
The UN used force, an act that is considered antithetical to a Collective Security mechanism. Those obstacles that laid the impetus which later conglomerated and culminated to the UN Iraq war forms the focus of this study.




1.0 Introduction
Empirically, history reveals that international relations is all about conflict, competition and co-operation, that is a struggle between law and politics, because of one inherent characteristic of the international political system namely anarchy. International conflicts as a matter of fact have been a major characteristic of that system and in reference to these, different methods have been thought as modalities through which such conflicts could be settled and a modicum of order maintained in the absence of a world government.
There are at least six methods of attempting to settle such international conflicts. These include, no action taken by disputing parties, settlement through the parties own initiative, intervention by an international agency to facilitate peace, collective action by an international agency to restore order, coercive self-help including recourse to war and intervention by other states to promote or secure their own interests. The basic purpose of collective security is to help in the evolution of peaceful international relations. Collective security can be said to be the hallmark of international organizations as it has been the crowning principle in the two major international organizations in the world namely; League of Nations and the UN. 1 2
1 A Leroy Bennett (1995) 6th ed. International Organizations. Principles and Issues. New jersey, Prentice Hall p. 143
2 Kumar Mahendra, Theoretical Aspects of Internationa Politics. Shiva Lai. Agarwala and Company Publishers 1990p.401.
The first assumptions of collective security can be seen by referring to numerous efforts which were made before the First World War and which have been interpreted by some writers as adumbrations of the idea of collective security. Thus it is held that the treaty of Osnabruck provided in Article 17 that “all and each of the contracting parties shall be held to defend and maintain all and each of the dispositions of this peace, against whomsoever it may be”. William Penn the Quaker also put forth schemes for European order.3 4 Similarly William Pitt suggested in 1805 that all major European powers should jointly support a new status quo against “any future attempts to trouble the general tranquility.5
All said, nevertheless, the first attempt to adapt the vague concepts of collective security to a worldwide system for preventing war was the establishment of the League of Nations in 1919.6 7 Thus collective security became the crowning principle of League of Nations as it came to be for the United Nations.
Practically, therefore, it was only in the UN that the idea of collective security was accepted in a practical sense of the term. Once accepted, this idea was sought to be effective in the efforts made for the improvement of the machinery of International Organization. All in all, the UN in Iraq failed to act according to its basic principle as evidence today shows that the role that the UN played in Iraq remains illegal and
3 George A. Finch, The Sources of Modem International Law Washington D.C 1937 p.64.
4 Frederick L. Schuman, “The Dilemma of the peace seekers” American Political Science Review 39 (February 1945) P.13, E.C.O Beatty, William Penn as a Social philosopher (New York 1939) pp.107- 112.
5 Walter Alison Phillips. The Confederation of Europe (London 1920) p.40
6 Thomas G. Weiss Collective Security in a Changing World. Lynne Reinner Publishers. USA 1993 pp.1-40.
7 David Mitrany, The Problem of International Sanctions (London 1925) pp. 1-50.
totally against its preamble that force shall not be used, human rights respected and that justice will be upheld irrespective of the size of a nation.
The proponents of collective security viewed it as a method of controlling war in a world of sovereign states as experience had brought disillusionment with the capacity of balance of power system to maintain peace8. Although collective security is the prime crowning principle of the UN and that war remains antithetical to such a system, war was fought in Iraq in the name of promoting international peace and security. While the main objective of the UN is to maintain international peace and security by joining together the governments of all states to prevent any member from using coercion to gain advantage, this was done in Iraq by some members of the UN and upto today such an act remains illegal and totally against the crowning principle
of the UN. Why did the UN fail to exercise collective security?
The study therefore attempts to contextualize the obstacles faced by the UN as a collective security mechanism in Iraq because the mere fact of war in Iraq in the name of the UN contravenes the basic assumptions of its crowning principle and its preamble. The study examines the origin and justification of collective security as a means of maintaining peace and security as well as the political, legal and institutional obstacles therein.
G. Mattingly, Renaissance Diplomacy (Baltimore: Penguin Books 1935) 75-76, 144-145.
1.1 Definitions
Collective security is a specialised concept, a technical term in the vocabulary of international relations.
1.1.1 Conceptual definition
Conceptually, Morgenthau defines collective security as an international principle that can be translated as “one for all and all for one”9. Ideally, it is a system that will be devoid of any threat to international security as all the members of that system will be aware of the consequences thereafter and so measures will be taken to preclude any act that will be considered to be an act of contumacy.
1.1.2 Operational definition
Operationally a collective security system can be defined or approached by a process of elimination, “it represents the means for achieving national security and world order which remain when security through isolation is discarded as an anacronism, security through self help is abandoned as a practical impossibility, security through alliance is renounced as a share and a delusion and security through world government is brushed aside as a dream irrelevant to reality hence it is a system that cannot permit eternal friends or everlasting foes10. This certainly means an alliance like North Atlantic Treaty Organization which is between friends who set pressure against an existing or an identifiable potential enemy is a threat to collective security system. Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations. New York 1949, P. 331
Cited in Philip C. Jessup, International Security. New York: Council on Foreign Relations. 1935,
This means therefore on a continuum delineating preponderance of power and centralization constitute the other end and collective security becomes the middle
zone of the spectrum. It is the halfway house between the terminal points of international anarchy and world government”.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
The study investigated obstacles to the United Nations as a collective security mechanism in the Second Iraq war.
As a collective security mechanism, the United Nations main purpose in Iraq was supposed to prohibit war by urging all its members to be ready to a settle that dispute peacefully. This did not take place and instead UN member states used force against Iraq and secondly there was no proper terms on the basis as to why force was used against Iraq as this violates and conflicts with the fundamental principles of the UN Charter and most important violates International law. United Nations was founded on the principle of collective security where the notions of universality, proper definition of goals, impartial decisions and fairness must highly be considered. This means that if any act by a member state against such a system is considered a breach to peace or threat to international peace and security, it should amount to all states acting unanimously because peace is considered indivisible. This means that the identification of the guilt should not be political as this would paralyse the basic assumptions of collective security system. In the case of Iraq war, it is widely 11
11 Kenneth W. Thompson, Collective Security Re-examined. American Political Science Review. Vol. 47, Sept 1953. Pg. 758.
acknowledged that the UN’s role was totally played by a section of member states and that many states did not agree that Iraq was a threat to international peace and security, yet a resolution was passed against Iraq by the Security Council which was a total violation of the basic assumptions of a collective security mechanism, that war is antithetical and instead disputes should be settled peacefully.
The United Nations has in practice refrained from simply following the pattern laid down by its crowning principle and instead has improvised policies related to the general problem of collective security, like in Iraq a coalition U.S and U.K was forged to act in the name of the UN. In this case, in the United Nations, little evidence can be seen in the urge to patch up the political legal, structural and institutional factors to make it conform more closely to the requirements of a full-fledged collective security system.
The arbitrary use of force or even threat of force by any state and in the name of UN or by the UN though morally wrong and politically unwise was used within the UN system. Today, is peace no longer indivisible? The use of force against Iraq and the language of the resolution 1441 which reminded Saddam Hussein of serious consequences if he failed to disarm is also against the basic principles of UN as a collective security mechanism.
Legally, lack of proper creation of legal and structural apparatus capable of giving institutional expression to its basic principles remain a dream and such affect the UN as a collective security mechanism in Iraq. Practically, the UN needs to define
aggression, needs to define breach of peace because the question remains; what was the basis used to define Iraq as a threat to international peace and security? How comes that the Security Council defines all what should be taken as breach to peace and that a problem remains on the legal basis against which Iraq was defined as acted against international peace and security, and whether such was unanimously accepted by all states.
The Charter, most importantly, establishes the role of great power unanimity in the Security Council. The adoption of great power unanimity in Iraq and the adoption of Resolution 1441 clearly reflects a deliberate decision not to attempt to institute a system of collective security applicable to the great powers, the very states which possess the greatest capacity to threaten the security of other states as U.S and U.K
did in Iraq.
What was the legality and the plausibility of the resolution 1441 as it was only adopted by a few states after a long period of diplomatic slogging to be carried by the UN but in favour of the U.S policy?
Purportedly, such political disposition that gives precedence to a few great powers and even other more factors have affected the UN efficacy leaving it almost docile as a collective security mechanism.
The above stated considerations will pragmatically be appraised against the UN as a collective security mechanism in the Second Gulf War to show that the role played by
the UN in that war as a collective security mechanism remain pejorative and demeaning.
1.3 Level of Analysis
The study focused on institutional level of analysis. This took into consideration that many methods/approaches have been thought as strategies of mitigating anarchy in the international political system and as means of settling international disputes. Collective action by an international agency to restore order after international peace has been breached or threatened is one of those means. This research took into consideration that the international system is anarchic, no arbitration exists to solve conflicts peacefully and in addition, that a world government remains a dream today. The only means to ameliorate the harsh conditions of international anarchy remains the collective security system, through an international organization like the United Nations.
1.4 Objectives of the study
The study was guided by following objectives:
(a) To establish what obstacles inhibited the United Nations (UN) to act as a collective security mechanism with reference to Second Iraq War 2002-2005.
(b) To establish the political obstacles to the UN as a collective security mechanism with reference to the 2002-2005 Iraq war.
(c) To establish the legal obstacles to the UN as a collective security mechanism with reference to the 2002-2005 Iraq war.
1.5 Literature Review
The study posited to investigate obstacles that inhibited the United Nations to act collective security mechanism in the Gulf War. In this accord the literature review was divided into two sections. The first section reviewed literature on collective security as an approach to international peace and security, while the second section reviewed literature on UN as a collective security mechanism in Iraq.
1.5.1 Literature on Collective Security as an approach to International Peace and Security
This section reviewed literature on the meaning of collective security and how collective security qualifies to be a technical concept that has specific aspect’s different from any other approach to international peace and security.
Collective security is one of the most invoked schemes since the latter part of the twentieth century as the ultimate for saving the world from the scourge of interstate military confrontations and conflict which invariably seems to lead to breach of world peace . As a means of achieving international peace and security collective security became the basis of League of Nations and also became the crowning principle of the United Nations. The goal which the league sought and which the UN is seeking through collective security has been to prevent war by providing a deterrent to aggression and act on breach of peace and to defend the interests of peace loving states in case of a War by concentrating a preponderance of power against the aggressor12 13.
12 Naidu M.V.R. (1977) Collective Security and the United Nations. The Macmillan Ltd, p.6
13 Marina and Lawrence. The Future of Collective Security. An Essay in Collective Security. (San Francisco: Chandlier 1956)
The principle of collective security implies that international order should rest not on a balance of power but on a preponderance of power wielded by a combination of states acting as the agents of international society as a whole that will deter challenges to the system or deal with them if they occur14.
Similarly, collective security revolves around the ideal that governments of all states would join together to prevent any of their member using coercion to gain advantage over the rest15.
From the time it was instituted in 1919 to the present, collective security has been applied only very occasionally under the UN, fairly crudely even though the term has frequently been stretched to cover a multitude of actions that fit badly with any sensible notion of the original idea. As a result one may feel justified to approach the history of collective security with certain skepticism16.
In the collective security mechanism, the word “security” represents the “end”, “collective” defines the nature of the “means” and “system” denotes the “institutional component” of the effort to make the means serve the end17. But since the means is collective the nature of the goal is also bound to become collective. Collective security is security of all states by all states and for all states, hence according to Hans Morgenthau, collective security can be translated as an international principle that
14 Brierly, J.L. The Covenant and the Charter. 1946, 23 British Yearbook of International Law 83 at 92.
15 Thomas, G. Weiss. Collective Security in a Changing World. Lyne Rienner Publishers. U.S.A 1993, p.30.
15 Miller Lynn. The Idea and Reality of Collective Security. July 1999 Vol.5 Issue 3, p.303.
17 Inis, L. Claude. Swords into Plowshares. New York 1963, p.250.
means “one for all and all for one”18. The above statement means that security measures will be taken on behalf of all states and not any particular power alliance, that every state will be entitled and obliged to participate in the decision making and in the enforcement action of the system. The security measures will defend all states without discrimination against any threats or acts of aggression. In other words the systems of collective security is based on the presumption that peace is indivisible thus universalisation and centralisation are fundamental characteristics of the collective security system19 20.
Collective security is a device to control or what Inis Claude calls, the management of power, not that of elimination of power. The other devices of management of power are according to Claude, the balance of power and world government. Collective Security occupies the central position between balance of power and world government, in the sense that the control of power under collective security is more than what it could be under balance of power and less than what it could be under world government . Collective security is conceived of as the alternative which could be useful because world government is not feasible21.
The first collective security mechanism in the world history was league of nations but numerous efforts had been made before the first world war and which have been interpreted by some writers as adumbrations of the idea of collective security . Thus it is held that the Treaty of Osnabruck , the Amphictyonic council of
18 Op. Cit 9, p.33.
19 Op. Cit 12, pp.1-30.
20 Op. Cit 17, p.6
21 Op. Cit2, pp.403-404.
ancient Greece were limited collective security mechanisms22 *. All in all such predilection of labeling such schemes as collective security measures have been castigated.
Collective security brings a lot of weight on the creation of an international mechanism through which peace could be ensured by the combined use of sanctions and deterrence but not through force .
A collective security mechanism differs a lot from any forms of systems selective security like NATO which embodies the principle of some for some whereas a collective security mechanism is dedicated to the concept of all for all24 *.
As an approach to peace, a collective security mechanism has to define its competence legally such that no political grounds will be used to do so. Breach to peace must be defined legally. All said and done the idea of establishing collective security has neither been realized nor abandoned .
The basic purpose of collective security is to help in the evolution of peaceful international relations26. This was used as a basis in the study to help delineate the obstacles that lead to war in Iraq by the UN yet it’s prohibited by Collective Security.
1.5.2: UN as a Collective Security Mechanism in Iraq war
Op. Cit 3, p.64
The Related Documents are available in D.H. Miller, the Drafting of the Covenant, New York 1928.
Op. Cit 17, p.275
Ibid. 292
Op. Cit 1, p.405
This section will review literature on the role played by the UN in the Iraq war as a collective security mechanism.
The military action against Iraq under the existing UN resolutions remain unlawful and contravenes27 the crowning principle of the UN as a collective security mechanism. As a matter of principle, international law precludes UN member states from relying on any implied authorization to use force28 29. The use of force without clear collective authorization would be in conflict with the fundamental principles of the UN Charter and in violation of international law yet this was used in Iraq. The UN Charter for instance articles 41 and 42 make it clear that war is a matter of the last resort. International law traditionally allows for pre-emptive strike but only if the event of an imminent threat. Few agree Iraq poses such a threat and particularly with the UN weapons’ inspectors in the country27.
A question is asked of what force was designed to achieve by the UN resolution as there is no precedent in international law for aiming to use force to change a regime30 as this violates sovereignty and territorial integrity, legal aspects that a collective security mechanism must respect.
The legal community is deeply divided on the question of the legality of using force against Iraq in the absence of a further UN resolution. According to the UN Charter exceptions, there are only two possible solutions in which one country can take military action against another. The first is in individuaf or collective self defence a
O’Connell Mary, The Occupation of Iraq: What International Law Requires Now, 2003 Columnist 4.
28 Taylor Richard, Law unto Themselves. March 14th 2003.
29 Op. Cit 3, p.30
Delphy Christine, International Law and the Humanitarian Crisis in Iraq. March 27th 2003.
right under customary International Law, which is expressively preserved by Article 51 of the UN Charter, the second is where under Article 42 of the Charter, the Security Council decides that force is necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security where its decisions have not been complied with, other words where a UN resolution clearly authorizes military action31.
In the above analysis. Starmer Keir criticizes the use of force under all terms and of important, points at Article 2 of the UN Charter which requires all states to refrain from the threat or use of force that is inconsistent with the purposes of UN which emphasized that peace is to be preserved if at all possible32.
Further Ford noted that with or without Security Council resolution authorizing use of force pre-emptive force is extremely dangerous and flat out illegal33. The war in Iraq could be legitimized even though it is illegal if all the issues against Iraq were justified says Anne Marie but all in all, it is going to require the U.S and U.K truly prove their cases34 she adds. But Currie quickly points out that Article 2(3) of the UN Charter requires that all members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means, in such a manner that international peace, security and justice are not endangered and Article 2(4) requires that all members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or
31 Op. Cit 1, p.30
32 Keir Starmer, Sorry Mr. Blair but 1441 Does not Authorize Force, Guardian March 17th 2003.
33 Ford Peter, As Attack on Iraq Begins, Question Remains, is it Legal, March 21st 2003.
34 Anne Marie, Law Groups Say its Illegal, march 21st 2003.
political independence of any state or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the UN and so resolution 1441 by security Council remains illegal35.
In reference to the above views about the UN as a collective mechanism in Iraq, experience shows that the UN with regard to handling threat to peace and breach to peace has been filled with disappointment and frustration. The failure of collective security thus call for substitute innovations to respond to international peace and security.
It is true that the shadow still falls between the idea and reality of collective security today as experienced in the Iraq war. Those obstacles that have rendered hopeless the high aspirations of the UN as a collective security mechanisms to maintain international peace and security thus challenging the deepest preconceptions of the UN as a collective security mechanism forms the central concern of this study.
1.6 Significance of the study
The study focused on investigating those factors that inhibited the United Nations to act as a collective security mechanism in Iraq war. This was implemented and has provided recommendations that will improve the United Nations performance on meeting the basic objectives of its preamble. This will improve performance in policy formulation.
The study also came up with concrete modalities of overcoming the shortfalls of the organisation’s principal goal of maintaining international peace and security.
35 Currie Duncan, Preventive War and International after Iraq, 22nd May 2003.
The study too established whether collective security as the crowning principle of UN has been abandoned and if so, how.
Withal the study has also contributed to the academic debate on how and why the United Nations has in practice refrained from simply following the pattern laid down in its basic document and has instead improvised policies related to the general problem of collective security.
1.7 Theoretical Framework
The study attempted to investigate obstacles to the UN as a collective security mechanism in the Iraq war.
The study was based on the ideal theory of collective security, its tenets were taken as the epitome of the United Nations Organisation because the ideal theory of collective security forms the basic assumptions of a collective security mechanism. As a matter of fact, the research critically appraised the ideal theory of collective security against the United Nations accessing its applicability in the contemporary international political dispensation.
A lot has been advanced by different scholars concerning the theory of collective security in the early twentieth century, it is but until the 1950’s that the ideal theory of collective security clearly and comprehensively was consolidated, its assumptions defined and its analytical components identified. Thus, Inis Claude in his book Swords into Plowshares published in 195636 became the first writer in the recent years to specify the elements and delineate the characteristics and assumptions of the theory.
The ideal theory of collective security rests on the basic assumption that wars are likely to occur and that all nations share a primary interest in maintaining peace.37 The ideal theory of collective security has several assumptions, these include:
The theory prohibits use of force38. The arbitrary use of force or even threat of force by any state is morally wrong and politically unwise and should therefore be legally and permanently prohibited39. This assumption forms the hallmark of this study, first, why is it that force was applied yet it is considered to be unscrupulous, myopic and legally wrong by any collective security system and secondly, why did the United States play the role of an international policeman or a world government? And thirdly, why did United States and Britain as individual states go to war in Iraq on behalf of the U.N?
A second assumption of the ideal theory collective security is, the collective guarantee of security40. In the light of the fact that the modem world is becoming increasingly interdependent, modem wars are no longer a bilateral affair under the system of collective security, therefore the motto is “one for all and all for one.”41 No state can claim the right of neutrality or even of self-help42. Some commentators have
16 Inis L. Claude Jr. Swords into Plowshares (New York 1965) pp. 250-294.
37 For Various Meanings of Collective Security, see Eamst, B. Haas “Types of Collective Security, American Political Science Review 1955, pp.35-62.
38 Op. Cit 12, p.255
39 Ibid, p.256
40 Ibid, p.257
Hans J. Morgenthau Politics Among Nations (New York 1949) p.331
Kenneth W. Thompson “Collective Security Re-examined” American Political Science Review 47 (September 1953) pp.272.
suggested that self-help is an exception to the system of collective security43 but this is not true as the right of self defence would undermine the system of collective security as it has been defined. In this case, collective security theory places collective responsibility under collective security and this means that collective security is placed on both moral and pragmatic bases.44 Against this assumption, it will be considered of importance that, peace under collective security is indivisible, but then why did some states counter the initial decision that Iraq was a threat to peace and security, a condition that precipitated to few countries supporting that war. The study established why.
A third tenet of the ideal theory of collective security is collective force as detterence/sanction45. The principle of prohibition of force and the principle of collective guarantee become effective, through the principle of deterrence/sanctions. The combined forces under the collective security system can inhibit the potential threat to peace, when they seem irresistible. And if the aggressor actually starts a war the combined forces should be able to overwhelm the illegal use of force, to drive home the lesson that aggressor actually does not pay. This would be sanction. Deterrence can be achieved only when collective power is overwhelming and irresistible. Even after it was agreed that force was to be used, then all U.N members should have joined militarily to ensure that its power was overwhelming and irresistible, such that the war could even have ended before it started, but it has taken several years to win the war, if so can be argued, the study established why.
Hula Collective Security and the United Nations. London, 1965
Arnold Wolfers Collective Security and the War in Korea Yale Review vol. Xliii no.4 pp.480-496.
Op. Cit 12, p.280
Another tenet of ideal theory of collective security is the automatism in collective action46. In this, any form of threat to international peace and security will automatically trigger off the mechanism of collective security. Collective security theory puts it that, collective guarantee should be absolute and certain in the sense that they do not permit in the words of Claude, ifs and buts either in warning the potential threat or in assuring the potential victim47. This principle of automatism of security action implies three elements; first, the guarantee of response against aggression, the quickness of responses and the impartiality of response. The study established why member states of the U.N did not act automatically, why lobbying to go to war provided the guarantee to go to war and also why there was no absolute participation by all members of the UN in Iraq.
Another principle is anonymity of victims or aggressors48. The principle of


automation implies the anonymity of victims and of aggressors. When the collective guarantees under the system of collective security are automatically released the moment international security is endangered, it also means that the collective sanctions are applied against the wrongdoers without any discrimination of race or religion, ideology and affluence, strength or applying sanctions on behalf of the organisation. A nation might even be required to defend or strengthen an arch enemy against a close ally. In one word collective security acts against aggression perse. It cannot permit eternal friends or everlasting foes49. This principle was of great
46 Ibid, p.283
47 Op. Cit 17, p.250
48 Op. Cit 12, p.290
49 Ibid, p.291
importance that the study investigated why Iraq had been viewed by some members of the U.N as a threat to international peace and security even when it could not be properly established that it had weapons of mass destruction. The study established why some states held inimical orthodoxies against Iraq and why Iraq has been considered by some states as an everlasting foe and how this acted as a principal reason to attack Iraq.
Another important tenet of ideal collective security theory is assignability of guilt50. The operation of the principle of automatism of sanction is conditional to the occurrence of any threat to international peace and security. This means that aggression has to be defined first before releasing the mechanism of sanctions. Here, the study investigated whether the United Nations has legal definition of aggression and whether the definition of an act as being an act of aggression is done politically and/or the definition is left to few members who guided by their andocentric fallacies built on their unprecented mental constructs discriminatively insinuate that an act of aggression has occurred
The last tenet of ideal collective security theory is the principle of permanency and generality of the system51. The collective security system unlike an alliance of a balance of power is not adhoc, expedient or particularistic. A system of collective security is a permanent and institutionalised arrangement for international security against all dangers. It is therefore permanent abstract and general52. Under this
50 Ibid, p.292
51 Op. Cit 17, p.256
52 Inis Claude pp.256
assumption, the study investigated why the U.N acted against Iraq yet Iraq was not a threat to international peace and security.
However, the ideal theory of collective security also assumes and stipulates some complex network of requirements and/or prerequisites for the suitability of the global situation for the operation of a collective security system. These are divided into two; subjective prerequisites and objective prerequisites.
The subjective prerequisites of the ideal theory of collective security include faith in the rationality/goodness of man. The study therefore established whether the war in Iraq was one against undemocratic ideas in Iraq and whether Iraq could not be considered democratic.
Secondly, faith in world community. The concept that world peace and security can be and should be guaranteed by all the governments of the world (i.e. assumption of collective guarantees and defence) implies the concept of the brotherhood of man or the conviction that rational governments will not be foolish and desperate enough to fight losing battles as or to win pyrrhic victories. Nations that accept collective security must say in the words of Sir Arthur Salter “friends are we, with all enemies are we of none, except of any who break the peace”53 Thus the study attempted to establish whether it is universally agreed by all members of the UN that peace and security are the core ingredients of a world community and whether people belong to one global community.
53 Salter Sir Arthur Security London Oxford University Press (1939) pp.55.
Third prerequisite is faith in the indivisibility of peace. The conviction that world peace is indivisible can arise out of the moral conviction that you are your brother’s keeper or out of the factual considerations of international interdependencies, products of modem science and technology and war54. The study hence investigated whether all countries today view peace as being indivisible and that today we are living in a global village where one act of aggression could affect the whole world due to interdependence.
Another prerequisite is faith in the impartiality of the system. The principle of anonymity of aggressor or victim is founded upon the faith in the honey that is morality or the objectivity that is rationality of the decision-makers in charge of operation of the security system. The objectivity of the security system demands impartiality. But impartiality without effectiveness is not enough55. The system must prove impartiality. Here the study investigated whether the U.N system adopted its decision to go to war impartially.
On the other side, the four basic objective prerequisites include;
The world of diffused power. Ideally, the collective security theory stipulates that, the collective security system requires an international society in which power is not concentrated56. The study investigated how the U.S hegemony affected U.N as a collective security mechanism.
54 Op. Cit 17, p.297
55 Ibid, p.299
56 Ibid p. 298
Another objective prerequisite is legality of concepts, procedures and institutions. The theory of collective security assures that concepts have to be defined legalistically. The study of importance will establish whether the U.N has legal definition of its core concepts such as aggression, peace and others.
The last objective prerequisite of the theory of collective security is that, in the process of international organisation there will be an approximation to world government . The study investigated whether U.N is there to stay and whether the organization respects sovereignty as such a system of collective security withholds sovereignty with high esteem. This formed the study of this research. A lot has been done as factors that affected the U.N system before the end of the cold war as compared to the period after the cold war. Many changes took place after the cold war and hence the research sought to fill that gap by providing specific reasons that could have laid the impetus to the political fiascos that instigated to a modicum of success by the UN in the second Iraq war.
1.8 Hypotheses

  1. The current international political system (unipolar) has greatly affected the United Nations Organization as a collective security mechanism.
  2. Lack of proper legal definition of terms (e.g. aggression and proper legal definition of structural apparatus in the UN Charter) affected decision making and policy adoption in the UN as a collective security mechanism in the Iraq war.
    1.9. Methodology and Data Collection
    The study utilized both secondary and primary sources of data.
    57 Ibid p. 301
    Secondary data
    This basically involved library research, published and unpublished materials like books, journals, periodicals, newspapers, reports, documents and bulletins, magazines, public documents, seminar papers and other papers decreed relevant to this study. The internet acted as an important source of secondary data
    Primary data
    Primary data was gathered by use of personal interviews with lecturers and students of international relations in Moi University and Maseno University and also a senior officer in the United Nations office Gigiri. The oral interviews were reinforced by official documents concerning UN and Iraq war. Articles on the Iraq war also provided an indepth information about the war.
    1.10. Summary on Chapter outline Chapter one.
    Chapter one of this study included the introduction, the research problem, objectives, literature review, justification, theoretical framework, hypotheses, methodology and data collection and summary of chapter outline.
    Chapter two
    Chapter two of the study looked at the meaning of the concept of collective security, its origin, evolution and justification. This chapter traces the history of collective security upto 2005.
    Chapter three
    Chapter three looked at the political factors that affected the United Nations to act as collective security mechanism in the Second Gulf war.
    Chapter four
    Chapter four looked at the legal aspects that affected the United Nations to act as collective security mechanism.
    Chapter five
    Chapter five carried a critical analysis on the role played by the UN as a collective security mechanism during the 2002-2005 Iraq war.
    Chapter six
    Chapter six focused on the conclusion and recommendations of the study.

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