Why Defence Minister Parrikar Necessitates UN Resolution For Strike Against ISIS?

Shailesh Kumar
New Delhi
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar expressed India’s willingness to join fight against ISIS under an UN mandate. “We have made it clear that if there is a UN resolution and if there is UN flag and a UN mission, then as per India’s policy to operate under UN flag, we will participate,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrika said at Amar Jawan Jyoti on Vijay Diwas. But how America, France, and Russia are striking ISIS strongholds without a UN resolution? Under what legal authority America and Russia launched air strikes against ISIS? And why India is not participating in a war against ISIS? Lets read defence minister’s mind from a legal point of view.

In is important to note that UN Security Council on 20th November unanimously approved a French sponsored resolution calling on all nations to join fight against ISIS. But much before the US and Russia were striking ISIS camps and command centers. What was their legal authority?

Article 2 (4) and Article 51 of UN Charter governs military action by any nation on a foreign soil. The Article 51 of UN Charter reads, "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

In case of America, neither an armed attack occurred nor security council approved any such resolution to this affect. In fact, during that period, the matter was not taken to security council as US feared Russia may have vetoes the proposal.

Now, the section 4 of article 2 of United Nations Charter read "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations".

It is very clear that America's decision to strike ISIS are on shaky grounds as America can not clearly harp on the view point that Syria or Iraq are unable or unwilling to fight against the ISIS. This is but obviously for political reason. Now even article 51 is also a poor ground to support ISIS strikes by US, which had two of its citizens beheaded by ISIS operatives.

Russia has comparatively multiple grounds to attack ISIS as not only its civilian flight was grounded by ISIS but later it suffered a loss of its fighter plane shot down by Turkey allegedly on charges of violating Turkey's air space. However, Russian strikes complimented the ruling President Bashar Al- Asad fighting the ISIS forces.

Even France has grounds to launch air strikes against ISIS for which it got a UN Resolution passed by the Security Council on 20th November following 13 November terror attack on its soil by the members of Islamic State. Resolution passed by UN Security Council is binding on all member nations under article 25 of Charter of United Nations which says, "all members of the United Nations “agree to carry out and accept the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter”.

India is a member of United Nations hence it is binding on India to follow the suit. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar categorically stated in a joint press statement with US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in Pentagon on 10th December that “there is no change in India's policy against ISIS. And India would not mind sharing intelligence in action against ISIS”.

So America and Russia launched strikes against ISIS even before a UN Security Council Resolution. But in case of India, is it just a resolution or geo- political interests or a will power to fight against the global enemy as ISIS emerged in recent times? For India, the situation is complex. There has not been any ISIS attack on its soil or on its interests outside as of now. However, according to Indian Security Agencies about 20 Indians are fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Given Indian situation, a threat is underlying the surface as the ISIS ideology is dangerous to India's secular and democratic framework in the backdrop of ISIS resolution to form a Khilafah, a muslim world order. Any decision of joining the international bandwagon necessitates a policy change on Indian stance against ISIS. The decision to fight ISIS directly implicit complexity and no one at the outset can predict its fall out for India.    
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