The Libya civil war took place in the year 2011 and is usually referred to as the Libyan Revolution. The armed conflict was fought between the forces of loyal of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and people who were seeking him out of the government. The first war was preceded by protests in Zawiya in 2009 and later ignited by the protests, which occurred in Benghazi in February 15, 2011. The protests led to clashes between the people and the security forces. The security forces ended up firing into the crowds to disperse them. The National Transitional council was created as an interim body that governed the country as the protests escalated over time.
The uprising was aimed at removing Gaddafi’s government from power as their leadership was a dictatorship the Libyan people did not like their way of ruling anymore, and they wanted them out of power as soon as they could and by protesting, they wanted their issues to be heard. Gaddafi had committed atrocities against the people, which were contrary to human rights that had been provided by the international community. Gaddafi had ruled the country since 1969 as the “Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution”. Benghazi after the defection of the military that had been stationed in the city fell under the control of the protestors.
Gaddafi’s son through a televised public address introduced the idea of a constitution in the country, and if they did not do that, the county would be succumbing to civil war. After the address by Gaddafi’s son, 230 protesters were killed, which led to the United Nations accusing the Libyan government of community humanity crimes against the people. Officials and diplomats from Libya started to defect from the Gaddafi Government, which subsequently led to the formation of the National Transitional Council (Walzer 67). Over the months, the opposition took over the country as they took over more cities, gaining support all over the country. The international community at the same time was trying to take over the Libyan government to prevent the death of more protesters.
The United Nation Security Council in 2011 adopted a Resolution that imposed sanctions on Gaddafi’s government, including a travel ban, freezing of assets and arms embargo. The state of affairs was referred to the International Criminal Court, and because Libya was not a signatory of the Rome statute, the ICC did not have jurisdiction to prosecute any government official who had committed crimes against humanity. Jurisdiction was given to the ICC, and an investigation began on March 3, 2011 by Chief Luis Moreno Ocampo. The investigation targeted Gaddafi inner circle to ensure that the perpetrators were arrested for their crimes.
The investigations established that Gaddafi had committed crimes against humanity as he had been involved in the shooting of the civilians, torture, mass arrest and forced disappearances (Hehir and Rober 217). Following the findings of the crimes that the Gaddafi’s family had committed over the years, a warrant of arrest was issued to Gaddafi, his son and brother in law. The United States involvement in the war did not last a very long time, as operation Odyssey Dawn ended in less than ten days as they handed over control to NATO. Reason being the President of the United States did not have the power to launch any military action in any country. Therefore, he needed to involve the congress in the matter. This was passed in the Wars Powers Resolution in 1973.
The United States intervened in the war because they felt obligated to defend the civilians who were being killed and arrested by Gaddafi’s government. Ethics is viewed as the act of doing what is wrong or right. For that reason, NATO and the United States believed that they needed to get involved in the war because it was the right thing to do for the people of Libya as they needed more than what they were being given by Gaddafi. For instance, the president of Libya had dictated his way into power, and he did whatever he thought was right according to him. He had been in power since 1969 and did not allow democratic elections for the people of Libya he had power and control over the people.
The interventions were ethically right as long as they did not use force to make their bid or to help the people of Libya. The United States president in his mind was doing the right thing by sending troops there Libya. However, he went in contravention with the War Powers Resolution because he did not get any advice from the congress before he decided to send more troops to strike in Libya. The use of force was not required in the circumstance because the opposition had already started to take over the country. The United States could have given them time to seek their situation out before they decided to intervene.
The way the United States decided to handle the matter was not the right way because they did not have the right to interfere unless the situation was extremely necessary. Although, within a shorter time, the United States gave up the war in Libya. NATO took over, and in July they went to Gaddafi’s hometown, where the NATO troops bombarded Gaddafi’s convey when they were fleeing from the protesters through air strikes. The strike eventually led to the capture of Gaddafi where the Protesters killed him. This was unethical because they had no right to force the arrest of Gaddafi and for that reason; the matter was called for a full investigation by the United Nations office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.
Walzer in his theory of just war theory states that when there is a war there is the importance of ethics while at the same time eschewing pacifism. Therefore, when there is a disagreement or war people should not use their power or money to find their way. There should be a war where people find solutions to their problems. Just war theory states that there should be a justification why and how wars are fought. The just war tradition has been the agreement or mutually sets rules to combat that mostly evolve between two mutual and cultural enemies. Walzer in the Libyan War would have concluded that the war was not just, and the United States and the NATO had not right to intervene the way they did.
Walzer in his view thinks that before any country decides to intervene in other countries way they should first understand the necessity of the intervention as well, as how much the force they should use to ensure that peace is attained in the country. For instance, the war in Libya had no gone for longer than two months before president Obama decided to intervene. Although he thought that it was not necessary for the congress to be, involved with the decision of sending troops to Libya he had a duty to wait and wage to see whether there was a need to use for and whether it was necessary to intervene in the war.
In conclusion, the intervention was unjust in my view because the President of the United States did not consult the congress before he sent the military troops to Libya. This was ethically wrong because the president went against first the powers that were given to him by the constitution and against the War Powers Resolution of 1973. The president is the leader of the armed forces, and in the United States; he does not have the supremacy to make decisions when it comes to war or sending the American troops into another country to resolve internal conflicts.
Additionally, the United States troops used force, which was unethical because they forgot the concept of just war. The force they used was not ethically permitted, especially NATO who went ahead to use airstrike enabling people who were protesting against the Libyan government to capture Gaddafi and kill him. This was unethical, and NATO should not have allowed such an incidence to happen to the people of Libya. The reason why I have been convinced that the war was unethical is for the sole reason that according to the just war theory, there is a need to establish the necessity of war. Consequently, if a country needs to make interventions on behalf of another country they should first give the country a chance to see whether they can find a solution to the matter on their own without help. If it has been established that they need help, then at that point intervention is permitted.
Hehir, Aidan, and Robert Murray. Libya, the Responsibility to Protect and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention. , 2013. Internet resource.
Walzer, Michael. Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations. New York: Basic Books, 2006. Print.