In 1989, Panama was under the dictatorship rule ofNoriega who was accused by the US government of suppressing democracy andendangering American nationals in Panama as well as involving in drugtrafficking. Noriega annulled Panama Presidential Election to maintain hisdictatorship. In 1989, the US under George H. W.
Bush authorized an invasion ofPanama to topple down Noriega. On December 20, some 9,000 US troops were sentto Panama in addition to the 12,000 US personnel stationed in Panama. ByDecember 24, the US captured most of the country, and Noriega was arrested on 3January 1990 (HISTORY, 1989). The US invasionof Panama also provoked international reactions. After discussing the issue forseveral days, the Security Council voted in December 1989 on a resolutioncondemning US military action in Panama and demanded the US to withdraw fromPanama immediately; however, the resolution was vetoed by the United States andtwo of its allies, France and UK (Lewis, 1989).
The veto power granted by the UN Charter to thepermanent members of the Security Council has been used by those powerfulstates as a means to achieve their political interests of those states. TheUnited States, one of the permanent members of the UNSC, has used vetoes innumerous occasions to block the resolutions that would harm its national andpolitical interests around the world including the protection of its allies fromUN condemnation and the defense of its military interventions in many regionsfrom international reactions.1. The Use of ForceThe adoption ofthe UN Charter has classified the use of force as an illegal act against theinternational peace and security. In fact, Article 2(4) has clearly prohibitedall members from the use of force against sovereignty and territorial integrityof other states (UN, 2018a). Nevertheless, the document showcases the extensiveprivilege of the Security Council, as the council has the rights to legallyauthorize the use of force if the threat to peace and security has beendetected.
Regarding this matter, the Article 42 in the Chapter VII of theCharter provides that ifthe Security Council finds the non-military measures to be ineffective or have provento be ineffective, it may use all necessary means including the use of force tomaintain the international peace and security (UN, 2018b). Although the measureis intended to serve as an enforcement mechanism towards the violation of theprinciples of the UN Charter, it also provides a loophole for the superpowerlike the US to exploit for its own benefits. The enactment of collectiveforce through Chapter VII by the US can be seen in the case of Iraq’s invasionof Kuwait in 1990 to assist its ally for economic interests and maintain itspower in the Persian Gulf. After a series of failed negotiations on thecancellation of the loans provided by Kuwait to Iraq during the Iraq-Iran Warand on the reduction of the oil production in Kuwait to boost oil price