What is this "Unilateral" crap?

I have to totally agree with you about that.

Ahh, but we, and other countries have done plenty of things, “unilaterally” and I’ve never heard the term used negatively before. For example, Clinton taking action in Kosivo. I don’t remember hearing cries for us to go through the UN first. And in fact, Milosevic wasn’t even a threat to us.

Let’s hope so. I’m not so sure, after that little accident we had with bombing their troops in Afghanistan. There may be some reluctance to set themselves up for more of the same. The best measure of uni vs multilateralism will be how much the US can actually convince these countries to contribute to the war effort. If we end up supplying the bulk of the forces used, and paying for almost everything, the claim for a multilateral alliance will look pretty thin.

Nah. The mood in Canada over that was, “we’re sorry it happened, and we’re glad you’re taking the right steps to correct it.”

If there had been a whitewash of what happened, Canadians might have gotten upset. But the U.S. military was extremely honest about it all. They made all the audio tapes available to the press. They held hearings, and it looks like there will be punishment for real wrong doing.

No hard feelings at all.

As opposed to repeatedly saying “weapons of mass destruction” and “violating UN security council resolution?”

So what are you saying? Are you saying Iraq hasn’t “violated UN security council resolutions”? Are you saying they don’t have “weapons of mass destruction”?

If you go back and read the OP, it’s about “Unilateral” being untrue since many countries are with us on this. Your “Counter examples” are true, so they are not very good counter examples.

And we’ll say. “Thanks! Be right back!”.

When it comes to ‘conventional’ mechanized warfare, few nations can stick with us. The logistics ‘tail’ involved is enormous, and fewer can actually get their troops to the region, and fewer still can them supplied.

Britian can, and did send the mighty 1st Armored along with reinforcing its air detachment in the region, and the largest British fleet since the Falklands campaign. Australia has sent a SAS detachment and support units, I believe.

Others have sent support units:

Germany, suprisingly, has a chemical warefare decontamination unit in the region, as do the Czechs. Poland had a engineer detachment in the area, but they may be back home. I am sure there are others.

I seriously doubt that the US asked many people for anything but basing rights, but I am sure offered help (most likely support units), will be gladly accepted and put to good use.
I suppose we will just have to make do without the benifit of Syrian and Egyptian combat units this time around…

Interesting. So, if every country in the entire world, except France, wanted to remove Saddam from power, thereby resulting in a security council veto of the action, then we’d be acting unilaterally. Nice definition of unilateral you’ve got going there.


Checked the link. Maybe it’s because I haven’t done my homework, but somehow I’m suspicious at the tally of “540,000 (US) troops” being involved in Desert Storm. Methinks someone is counting support personnel at the very least.

…especially for helping dumb US pilots in accidental live firing tests.

There are only 15 countries represented on the UN security council. Perhaps I missed the meeting where the other 90+% of world nations get a vote on the issue.

My, but aren’t we offensive? For your information, my snotty UK friend, Canada helped out by having a combat force in the theater almost as large as the U.K’s. We helped out by saving an entire company of the 101st airborne that was pinned down by Taliban forces - our soldiers approached under fire without cover, and killed them all. An action the U.S. thought was helpful enough that they wanted to award Bronze Stars to the Canadians. And we helped out by racking up a kill ratio higher than any other country, including your own.

And now we’re helping out by preparing to send 1,000-2,000 soldiers back into Afghanistan.

Or as Boss Tweed is reputed to have said once “What are you going to do about it?” I can only hope that this does not represent the opinion of a spokesman for a nation that has been waiving the Rule of Law banner.

William Safire makes an interesting point today:


Well as i recall it the term “unilateral” was originally put on the agenda this time around by the bush administration when describing it’s own policy decisions on a number of different international issues (pre september 11th).


…as an euphemism for going with their own “convictions” even if that meant straying from the “international community”…

**Sam Stone - **

I don’t care much for flag waving. But I do wonder why US pilots have such a nasty habit of attacking allied forces.

What sort of ridiculous intelligence breakdown do you need for US pilots to start bombing Canadians in Afghanistan? The same sort of ridiculous intelligence breakdown that led to US pilots destroying UK armoured vehicles in the Gulf War, perhaps?

If you want to feel offended by someone, look to those responsible for causing the majority of allied deaths in both theatres of war.

Offering up lies in the cause of supporting a hateful prejudice is a form of cowardice. Cowards like you offend me, and I don’t have to look any further than that. (According to the Christian Science Monitor, about one fourth of US and allied combat deaths together were attributable to friendly fire, largely due to the small number of other combat-related deaths–not that I expect that an actual cite would put the slightest dent in your prejudice).

Would you ever, in your wildest RPG jerk off fantasies, spew such invective at (say) Airman Doors to his face? This kind of ball-less sniping at folks who really do risk their lives in the course of their jobs sure is a cheap form of self-empowerment.

From Dictionary.com :

u·ni·lat·er·al ( P ) Pronunciation Key (yn->tr-l)
Of, on, relating to, involving, or affecting only one side: “a unilateral advantage in defense” (New Republic).
Performed or undertaken by only one side: unilateral disarmament.
Obligating only one of two or more parties, nations, or persons, as a contract or an agreement.
Emphasizing or recognizing only one side of a subject.
Having only one side.
Tracing the lineage of one parent only: a unilateral genealogy.
Botany. Having leaves, flowers, or other parts on one side only.

I think we would all agree unilateral in this context means one country acting alone. This is obviously not true with regards to US policy towards Iraq at the moment.

However, if there isn’t a UN security council resolution which specifically calls for war on Iraq and the US goes ahead for war… How many of those 20 countries quoted above do you think will actively help?

My personal opinion is that very few will. Maybe Kuwait, and thats it. I don’t think even the UK will join in without a resolution given the feelings of the majority of the British population. In that case, i think the US would be acting unilaterally…