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UK military campaign objectives stress legal foundation for Iraq attack

[JURIST] In advance of a planned TV address Thursday to the British people [BBC report] by Prime Minister Tony Blair, the British government has published its military campaign objectives for Iraq, which begin with the following legal analysis:

In UNSCR 1441, the Security Council decided that Iraq was in material breach of its obligations under UNSCR 687 and other relevant resolutions. The Council gave Iraq a final opportunity to comply by co-operating with the enhanced inspection regime established by UNSCR 1441, but warned of the serious consequences of failing to do so. The evidence shows that Iraq has failed to comply with the terms of UNSCR 1441 and is now in further material breach of its obligations. In these circumstances, UNSCR 678 authorises the use of force to enforce Iraq's compliance with its disarmament obligations.

The obstacle to Iraq's compliance with its disarmament obligations under relevant UNSCRs is the current Iraqi regime, supported by the security forces under its control. The British Government has therefore concluded that military action is necessary to enforce Iraqi compliance and that it is therefore necessary that the current Iraqi regime be removed from power. All military action must be limited to what is necessary to achieve that end. The UK is contributing maritime, land and air forces as part of a US-led coalition.

The UK's overall objective for the military campaign is to create the conditions in which Iraq disarms in accordance with its obligations under UNSCRs and remains so disarmed in the long term.
Read the complete text of the UK military campaign objectives, online from 10 Downing Street.

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