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Harold Jacobson died unexpectedly as we neared completion of this book, but Jake and I had finished final drafts of the opening and closing chapters and we had received all the other chapters and worked through them together. So the work remains as it began, a joint effort, codirected and coedited by the two of us.
This project had its origins in an on-going conversation that Jake and I began in late 1995 about the role of international institutions after the end of the Cold War. We both observed that the world had been unprepared for the post-Cold War world, and that this lack of preparation had handicapped the important institutions and powers in handling the problems that emerged after 1991. Since there had been no concept of or opportunity for post-war planning, as there had been during the First and Second World Wars, there was no coherent vision of what the post-Cold War world, including its international institutions, should look like.
We considered what questions demanded an answer, and concluded that an important but not well-understood issue was how democracies maintained accountability to their citizens when they acted under the auspices of international institutions. As Americans, we thought of the rallying cry of the American colonists against Westminster, “No taxation without representation,” as capturing the right of citizens of democratic countries to understand and to shape their country's international obligations.
The attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in the Washington, DC area on September 11, 2001 were a sobering reminder that the use of force to destroy is still very much a part of life. The instruments of war may have changed and the field of battle been redefined, but the use of force to change the existing political order cannot yet be relegated to history. For the United States, September 11 was a further reminder of one of the principal functions of government – protection of its citizens. For the world, this event added the dimension of states waging war against a non-state enemy. Applying traditional methods and means to fighting a global but non state threat and attack will engage lawyers, analysts, and policy makers for some time.
International responses to September 11 showed how the world had changed since 1941, the last time the United States was attacked from abroad on its territory. In 2001, the United Nations Security Council invoked Chapter VII and the North Atlantic Council took action under Article 5 to authorize US measures to counter a threat to the peace and restore stability to the North Atlantic area. The US government paid close attention to the reactions, not only of its own citizens, but of a diverse global public opinion, to the attacks and its response to them.
The spread of democracy to a majority of the world's states and the legitimization of the use of force by multilateral institutions such as NATO and the UN have been two key developments since World War II. In the last decade these developments have become intertwined, as multilateral forces moved from traditional peacekeeping to peace enforcement among warring parties. This book explores the experiences of nine countries (Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Norway, Russia, UK and US) in the deployment of armed forces under the UN and NATO, asking who has been and should be accountable to the citizens of these nations, and to the citizens of states who are the object of deployments, for the decisions made in such military actions. The authors conclude that national-level mechanisms have been most important in assuring democratic accountability of national and international decision-makers.