Americans have greatly contributed towards the growth and development of International law. The Founding Fathers of America were the genius like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Jefferson, John Adams and James Madison who introduced the modern concepts of democracy, liberty and fundamental rights. They were the flag-bearers of human rights and fundamental freedom. Likewise, the ‘Monroe Doctrine’ propounded by President James Monroe in 1823 reflecting the US foreign policy of that time was based on the principle of non-intervention. It helped promoting peace in the world and a sense of self-respect among the members of international community.

This process of growth still continues but somewhat in the quite opposite direction. The so-called ‘Bush Doctrine’ by the George W. Bush is essentially based on the concept that favours the practice of unilateralism in the international affairs. After 9/11, ‘fence-sitting’ was no longer an option available to the international community. Bush made this clear by saying that, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists,” and called for the unqualified and unquestioned support of the international community for what he claimed to ‘war on terror’. Now, drone attacks conducted by the US in several parts of the world and particularly in Pakistan are another important development.

Following are the important points of its newly-introduced and recently-evolved ‘Drone Doctrine’ in the world. Firstly, a single incident like 9/11 can give a nation a ‘licence to kill’ and impose war on another nation. Under this licence, one can attack any country and dismantle any regime anywhere in the world.

Secondly, In the name of some ‘higher causes’ e.g. war on terror, now, one state can violate the national sovereignty of another state and may totally reject its protests.

Thirdly, no formal authorization from the UN Security Council is required for taking a coercive action against another state. It is a blatant violation of the International Law and UN charter including Article 2(4) which refrains the member states from the use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of other states.

Fourthly, a civil and non-military agency of a state, like CIA, can directly and openly involve itself in committing acts of hostilities against an alien state.

Lastly and most importantly, now, one can act as prosecutor, adjudicator and executor simultaneously and arbitrarily by relying on the newly-formulated fundamental legal principle of ‘Guilty until proven dead’

MOHSIN RAZA MALIK,

Lahore, March 22.