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ing to enforce the law and a state which is the lawbreaker becomes problematical.
According to the bellum justum principle, not only is the immediate victim of an international delict permitted to make war against a delinquent state but the other states who are members of the international community are authorized to assist the victim in its legitimate reaction against a violation of the law. If the bellum justum principle is part of general international law, this legal order guarantees a certain degree of security to the states as members of the international community. However, it is a very low degree of security, for the international legal order is completely decentralized. It does not institute special organs for the legal functions of creating and applying the law. There are no courts, no executive and no legislative organs under general international law. All the legal functions are left to the individual states. If there is a conflict between them, the states involved must decide whether or not the law has been violated and which state is responsible for the violation. If agreement cannot resolve these questions, each state may act in conformity with its own answer—that is, it may or may not resort to either reprisals or war. Even if the law is on its side, a state will not initiate such an enforcement action if its opponent is more powerful. However, if an enforcement action taken by one state meets with resistance in the form of an enforcement action by another state, the question as to which of these two actions is a sanction and which a delict remains open. For these reasons, many writers consider the bellum justum principle useless as long as a certain minimum of centralization, at least the establishment of a tribunal competent to decide in an objective and impartial way which of the parties to a conflict is right and which is wrong, is not yet achieved. They further argue that even in this case the value of reprisals and war as sanctions remains highly problematical if their execution is left to the victim and to the voluntary assistance the victim may get from other states. Hence, the bellum justum doctrine advocated by the followers of the natural-law theory during the 17th and 18th centuries was almost completely abandoned during the 19th century and was reassumed only after the first World War, and then only by a relatively few scholars.
This doctrine then lost its importance because, as a result of this war, the use of armed force was forbidden by two treaties to which almost all of the states of the world were contracting parties: the Covenant of the League of Nations, 1919, (the first part of the peace treaties with Germany, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria) and the
Treaty for the Renunciation of War, 1928, (the Pact of Paris or Kellogg-Briand Pact). If-in conformity with the opinion of the majority of writers on international law—the bellum justum principle is not considered to be part of general international law, the Covenant of the League of Nations together with the Kellogg-Briand Pact constitutes the first attempt in the field of international relations to establish a relatively universal system of collective security. As a matter of fact, it was only after the two treaties had come into force that the problem of collective security began to attract the attention of scholars and politicians and that the term became commonly used in the literature of international law.5
However, as an effect of the second World War, the Covenant of the League of Nations ceased to be valid. The second World War led to the conclusion by the majority of the states of the world of the Charter of the United Nations, by which not only war as the use of armed force but also the threat of force was forbidden and a system of international security established which displayed the highest degree of centralization reached until that time in the history of international law.
(b) Alliances and the Balance of Power
The idea of a universal international organization for collective security is directed against the policy of alliances in general and the so-called balance of power in particular. Though intended as a means of guaranteeing a kind of security to the states adhering to them, these policies have ultimately led to war.
Alliance treaties are usually concluded for the purpose of preserving the status quo in the relationships between allied states and other states by preventing the latter from expanding their power at the expense of the former. In this sense, they have a defensive character as they are directed mainly against an aggression on the part of states not parties to the alliance treaty. However, states may unite in an alliance not for the purpose of preserving but for the purpose of changing the status quo in their favor. The alliance then has an aggressive character. In a concrete case, it is hardly possible to distinguish a defensive alliance from an aggressive one, because the purpose of an alliance depends on the intention of the allied governments, and an aggressive intention is never admitted. The official purpose of an alliance is always defensive, although under general international law, if the bellum justum principle is excluded, a war of aggression is not illegal. This is a fact which seems to prove that
the principle concerned is at least recognized as a rule of international morality.
If alliances really have a defensive character, there is a certain similarity between them and regional organizations for collective security. An alliance treaty either expressly stipulates that the contracting parties are obliged to refrain from resorting to war in their mutual relations, which, in this respect, makes it a non-aggression pact, or it tacitly presupposes such an obligation, at least in the moral sense of the term. An alliance treaty always imposes upon the contracting parties the obligation to assist each other in case of aggression. Hence, in this respect, it is a mutual assistance agreement. Prohibition of war and mutual assistance against aggression are essential elements of a collective security arrangement. However, it must be noted that a treaty of alliance, in the specific sense of the term, provides for mutual assistance only in case of external aggression, whereas universal collective security organizations are directed only, and certain regional security organizations to some extent, against an illegal use of force within the organization. In case one of the contracting parties to a mutual assistance alliance violates the express or tacit obligation of nonaggression and attacks another contracting party, no obligation of assistance applies. It is precisely because alliances are directed against third states that they create an atmosphere of suspicion, lead to counteralliances and, in many cases, have led to war. This is the reason why merely regional agreements for mutual assistance have been stigmatized as "camouflaged alliances.” It has been suggested that the obligation of mutual assistance should be restricted to aggression originating within an organization in order to avoid the possibility that a mutual assistance agreement will degenerate into a mere "alliance.” ? This demonstrates an important aspect of regional arrangements. An agreement for mutual assistance can be an “alliance” only if it is regional—that is, only if it is restricted to a relatively small group of states on the basis of a common interest uniting them against another state or other states. If it is universal, it cannot be directed against a state outside the organization. If it is almost universal—that is, if it unites an overwhelming majority of the states of the world including all or the majority of the great powers—aggression by a state outside the organization is so unlikely that the relationship of the organization to non-member states is of secondary importance. Only regional organizations for mutual assistance and not universal or quasi-universal organizations may be conceived of as "alliances."
Regional arrangements for international security also differ from alliances in that the former provide for mutual assistance only in case
of an illegal use of force whereas in alliance treaties concluded under general international law, as it is usually interpreted, the legal or illegal character of the use of armed force is irrelevant, for aggression as an illegal use of armed force does not exist under a general international law which does not prohibit the resort to war. This means that a regional organization for international security can be established only within the framework of a universal or quasi-universal organization whose constituent treaty prohibits, in principle, the use of armed force, so that under this legal order particular agreements of regional character providing for collective action against aggression as the illegal use of armed force are possible. Under general international law, a treaty binding only upon the contracting parties may oblige these parties to assist each other in case of the use of force by a third state directed against one of them, but it cannot make the use of armed force by a third state an illegal act. Consequently, there can be no regional organization for international security without a universal or quasi-universal organization for collective security in the field of international relations, provided the principle of bellum justum is not part of general international law.
What has been said about alliances also applies to the so-called balance of power policy which is almost always realized by alliances and counter-alliances. By "balance of power," that political principle is meant which maintains or brings about by all means considered appropriate by the policy-making state or alliance of states a situation in which power is distributed with approximate equality between this state or alliance of states and other states or another alliance of states. Insofar as this policy aims at preserving the status quo and tries to prevent the states against which it is directed from changing the existing distribution of power by the use of armed force at the expense of the states parties to the balance of power alliance, this type of alliance seems to pursue the same purposes as any other organization for collective security. This purpose is to protect the states who are parties to the alliance against the use of armed force on the part of other states and thus to guarantee to the former their territorial integrity and political independence. In addition, the collective measures provided for by the treaty which constitutes a collective security organization are supposed to outweigh the power of any state or group of states as a potential aggressor. Hence, the idea of a certain balance of power seems to be implied in the principle of collective security. However, if a collective security organization is universal, or even almost universal, it differs from a balance of power alliance in that the latter is always directed against states outside this alliance. Furthermore, even if a collective security organization is
only a regional arrangement within a universal or quasi-universal collective security system, it still differs from a balance of power alliance as the latter pursues its purpose by all means, legal or illegal, without regard to the question of whether the action undertaken or intended by its adversary is legal or illegal, whereas a regional organization of collective security is supposed to react only in a legal way against an illegal use of force.sa By its very nature, collective security is a legal principle, while the balance of power is a principle of political convenience."
(c) The Opposition to International Security
A universal or quasi-universal international organization for collective security is not a generally accepted ideal. There is a remarkable opposition to establishing such an organization, or if the organization has been established as in the cases of the League of Nations and later the United Nations, there is opposition to consolidating it by making it more centralized and thus more effective. The main arguments set forth by representatives of governments at international conferences and by writers of texts and monographs on international law and international politics will be discussed in this section.
The first argument is that an international organization for collective security is neither desirable nor useful unless it is of limited competence, because, by its very nature, it tends to preserve the existing distribution of power; in reality it constitutes only a legal ideology the purpose of which is to justify a status quo policy in general and a balance of power policy in particular. The second argument holds that because this ideology is in conflict with the nature of the state as a sovereign power and particularly with its egotistic interests, an international security organization cannot work in conformity with its principles. The third argument is that not only is an international security organization unable to prevent the use of force in international relations, it also makes the use of force, especially war, inevitable. Furthermore, it prevents the localization of war and hence leads to universal war.10
As to the argument that an international security organization tries to preserve the status quo as it exists at a particular moment and hence tries to prevent any change of this status, it must be remembered that a collective security organization, whether national or international, is a legal order. By its very nature, every legal order has a conservative tendency which manifests itself in the principle that relations between the subjects, constituting a certain distribution of possessions (as under national law) or of power (as under international law), shall be established and consequently shall also be changed only in conformity with