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There can be little doubt that economic sanctions are not very effective if the boycotted state has strong economic resources, if it is more or less self-sufficient, and especially if it is in possession of the raw materials essential to the production of arms and ammunition and has a prosperous armament-producing industry. A serious difficulty in executing economic, and especially financial, sanctions is the possibility of retaliatory economic measures which may be taken by the boycotted state against a boycotting state. Economically weak states may be affected seriously by such measures. Consequently, economic sanctions directed against an aggressor should be complemented by mutual economic assistance to boycotting states.10 States which are the immediate neighbors of the boycotted state are particularly exposed to retaliatory measures by the latter, and the economic sanctions taken against a state may have undesirable effects on its neighbors. Hence it may be necessary to exempt these neighboring states from the obligation of participating in the execution of economic sanctions, which consequently cannot be universal. However, if economic sanctions are not applied by all states, or at least by all the members of a security organization comprising the overwhelming majority of states, their value becomes highly problematical. Furthermore, even if the organization is universal, it is hardly possible to guarantee the effective cooperation of all members in the execution of economic sanctions. From what has been said before, it appears that the effective execution of a sanction depends on the centralization of this function. Within an international security organization, economic sanctions can be centralized only to a very limited extent. Since the organization must remain "international," it cannot have the means by which economic sanctions are applied at its direct disposal. Hence, the execution of economic sanctions must be left to the individual members of the organization. They may be obliged to execute the economic sanction decided upon by the central organ under the direction of this organ. However, as has been pointed out, this organ cannot rely on the strict fulfillment of these obligations.
Another insufficiency of economic sanctions is that they cannot have an immediate effect on the aggressor, and consequently this state may inflict irreparable damage on its victim before economic sanctions force it to stop its aggression. There can be little doubt that economic sanctions alone cannot guarantee international security in a way which could be considered satisfactory, even from the point of view of a very modest expectation. Within the League of Nations, the stubborn resistance to the establishment and application of military sanctions and the attempt to realize the purpose of the security
organization by the application of economic sanctions only led to the breakdown of this organization. Besides, in order to be effective, economic sanctions cannot be isolated from military enforcement measures. A complete economic boycott of an aggressor who has a seacoast is hardly possible without a blockade which has to be established by men-of-war and which consequently constitutes a use of armed force.
As has been pointed out in a previous chapter,11 the treaty constituting an international security organization may protect the members not only against aggression (in the wider sense of the term) on the part of a member state but also against aggression by a nonmember state by providing that the sanctions stipulated in the treaty are to be directed against any state which commits an act of aggression against a member state. In this respect, there is a difference between sanctions which constitute enforcement measures short of war and enforcement measures which have the character of war. Under general international law, enforcement measures short of war are permissible only as reprisals. That is, if they constitute the violation of a right of the state against which they are directed, they are legal only as a reaction against a violation of the law committed by this state. If under a security treaty all members of the organization are obliged to take enforcement measures short of war against a nonmember state which has committed an act of aggression against only one of them without violating a right of the others, the action of the members whose rights are not violated by this act of aggression of the non-member state is illegal under general international law if their action constitutes a violation of a right of the non-member state. Some of the non-military sanctions provided for by a security treaty, for instance diplomatic sanctions, may not violate any right of the non-member state against which they are directed. However, economic sanctions may do so if, for example, they can be applied only in violation of a treaty concluded between the non-member state and a member state which is not a victim of the aggression. The blockade of the coasts of a non-member state is certainly illegal under general international law if it is not a reaction against a violation by the blockaded state of a right of the blockading state not a victim of the aggression. If an act of aggression, against which a security treaty provides for enforcement measures short of war, does not constitute a violation of general international law, for example, if military mobilization or the refusal to submit a conflict to peaceful settlement is considered to be an act of aggression, and if the members of the security organization are obliged to take enforcement measures short of war against a non-member state which has committed such an act
of aggression, the enforcement measures taken by the members are illegal under general international law if they constitute the violation of a right of the non-member state. In both cases, an opposite opinion can be maintained only under the problematic presupposition that the security treaty is also binding upon states which are not contracting parties to it.
On the other hand, if they have the character of war, military sanctions stipulated by a security treaty may be directed against á nónmember state without constituting a violation of general international law by members which are not victims of the aggression and by all. members if the act of aggression for which the non-member state is made responsible is illegal only under the security treaty to which this state is not a contracting party. This is the paradoxical consequence of the view that the bellum justum principle is not part of general international law, and hence that any state may resort to war against any other state for any reason whatsoever.
(dd) Military sanctions.
(A) THE OPPOSITION TO MILITARY SANCTIONS Any use of armed force as a reaction against a violation of international law is a military sanction, and if armed force is used for this purpose to an extent characteristic of war, a military sanction has the character of war. The fact that armed force is used as a sanction does not deprive this use of armed force of its legal character of war. Hence the rules of international law regulating the conduct of war apply to it.122
The opposition to providing military sanctions in a treaty constituting an international security organization is based on two kinds of reasons: political and moral. Governments are averse to imposing the sacrifices involved in a military action upon their subjects if this action cannot be justified as necessary for self-defense, and they are disinclined to resort to or participate in a war which, from a purely military point of view, is aggressive, if its outcome is doubtful. However, as we shall see, a reasonable degree of certainty that a military sanction will achieve its purpose and that those who execute this sanction will be able to impose their will on the delinquent state, exists only in case this sanction is highly centralized, and, for political reasons, it is just this centralization which encounters the strongest resistance on the part of governments defending the so-called sovereignty of their states.
The moral arguments against military sanctions are partly the same as those set forth against capital punishment: human life should
never be destroyed, not even as a sanction. However, capital punishment can be replaced by a sanction which is only a little less effective, namely, imprisonment and especially imprisonment for life, whereas the only sanctions which can be substituted for military sanctions are economic sanctions which are far less effective. The most impressive argument against military sanctions is the undeniable fact that, even if their destructive effect is restricted to the members of the armed forces of an aggressor and even more if such restriction is impossible as in the case of aerial bombardment, military sanctions bring about the death and suffering of many individual human beings who by their own voluntary acts did not commit the violation of the law against which the sanction is a reaction. However, this is an inevitable consequence of the collective responsibility which exists not only in the military but also in the economic sanctions of international law. This consequence cannot be avoided by renouncing military sanctions and by restricting the reaction of the security organization against aggression to economic sanctions. In order to avoid the morally undesirable consequences of collective responsibility, military and economic sanctions both must be abandoned, and only those sanctions provided for which can be imposed upon the individual persons who by their own voluntarily performed acts committed the international delicts which impaired international security. These sanctions will be discussed later.18
(B) THE ORGANIZATION OF MILITARY SANCTIONS Different ways of organizing military sanctions may be distinguished according to the degree of centralization. Military action against an aggressor may be left completely to the individual member states which may not be obliged but only authorized to take such action through their own armed forces without any interference on the part of a central organ of the security organization. However, a treaty constituting the security organization may establish a central organ competent to make recommendations concerning the military action of the member states 14 or to oblige them to execute the military sanction decided upon by the central organ in conformity with its directions. 16
If the constituent treaty stipulates such an obligation, the central organ may entrust the execution of the sanction to one single state or to some states, the territories of which are nearer to that of the aggressor than the territories of the other members, or which have a particular interest in maintaining and restoring peace within the area where the aggression has taken place. In all these cases there is no armed force at the direct disposal of the central organ of the security organization.
The armed forces through which the military sanction is to be executed remain under the command of their national governments, and consequently the coordination of their operations is very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. As in the case of the analogous organization of economic sanctions, the working of the coercive machinery of the security system depends, in the last analysis, on the readiness of the respective governments to exercise their rights or to fulfill their obligations to take military action against the aggressor.
In order to place an armed force at the direct disposal of the security organization the members may be obliged to make contingents or “quotas” of their armed forces available to the central organ, and in case it decides to take military action, this organ would be authorized to call upon members to provide the armed forces in conformity with their obligations and to use these forces in the military action against the aggressor. The numerical strength, composition, armament and location of the contingents may be determined in advance by the constituent treaty or by special agreements to be concluded between the individual members on the one hand and the organization on the other. As long as they are not made available to the central organ for the purpose of a military action of the organization, the contingents of the armed forces of the member states remain under the exclusive control of their national governments. Only if they are actually placed at the disposal of the central organ are they unified under the military command of the central organ or of a commander in chief appointed by this organ, and assisted by a military staff as an auxiliary organ.16 The financial problems of this system are relatively simple. Each member state has to bear the costs of its contingent in time of peace and possibly also in case of a military action of the organization in which its contingent takes part. However, the expenses for this action may be paid out of the funds at the disposal of the organization established by the financial contributions of the member states.17
The difference between the contingent or quota system and a system in which there is no armed force at the direct disposal of the international organization is not as great as it may first seem. It is true that, if placed within a unified command, the cooperation of the different contingents would be much easier to achieve than if the armed forces of the member states each operated under its own national command.18 However, it should not be ignored that, even if superior in numerical strength and armament, an armed force composed of contingents of the armed forces of different nations is always handicapped in a fight against a homogeneous armed force of an aggressor state. Although legally parts of an international force, the contingents would retain their national spirit. Their readiness to fight an