MILITARY INVASION OF A FOREIGN STATE
The term military invasion refers to the strategic and pre-planned offensive by a large number of soldiers of one county entering into another country for the purpose of establishing their control in the foreign state, taking revenge, dethroning or removing the current regime and establishing a new regime, etc. The history of military invasions goes back to as far as the 279 BC when the Gauls invaded the Balkans. The biggest military invasion was Operation Overlord which took place during the Second World War.
SECOND WORLD WAR
Even though military invasions have been taking place, in one form or other, for centuries, but their potential harms have never been as grave as in today’s times. With the development of technology and modernization, the interests of various countries have become integrated and interlinked. In today’s world, any such military invasion draws the attention of various other countries whose interests may be affected due to such invasion. This leads to an increase in the scope of any military invasion and leads to the involvement of several other nations. Any country that benefits from such an invasion supports it and any country that loses something or suffers a loss due to such invasion opposes it. This is what happened in the case of the Second World War. Germany’s military invasion of Poland prompted Britain and France to declare war on Germany. This drew various other countries into the war and it developed into a World War. Japan’s invasion of China also contributed to the destruction caused by the World War. The Second World was is the most glaring example of the harms that a military invasion may lead to.
LONG TERM HARMS
Military invasions tend to cause various long-term, if not permanent, harm. They cause mental trauma to the people and lead to immense loss of life and property. Economies of countries are shattered due to such invasions. Iraq’s military invasion of the State of Kuwait led to the First Gulf War. After Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait, 35 member states of the United Nations formed a coalition and declared war on Iraq. This was the biggest military alliance since the second World War. The after-effects of this invasion can be felt till today. Kuwait has still not been able to recover from the loss it suffered from the invasion. The military and economic infrastructure of both Iraq and Kuwait were destroyed due to this invasion.
Military invasions also shatter diplomatic relations and create tensions between the countries. It leads to an environment of hatred, distrust and insecurity. The socio-political instability of the middle east can be largely attributed to the history of military invasions by the countries of the middle east.
With the development and advancement of nuclear and biological weapons, military invasions have become all the more deadly. Most of the countries have some sort of nuclear or biological weapons and they are advancing their armoury with every passing day. In such a scenario, the use of such weapons in military invasion becomes inevitable. Either these weapons are used at the very start of the invasion to destroy the opposite force completely or they are used when one of the sides feels that they are losing and it is a better option to use the deadly weapons than suffer a defeat. While some argue that these weapons act as a deterrent for the countries from getting into a war, but still there is always the risk of the usage of the deadliest of weapons like the atom bomb. The after-effects of the atom bombs can still be seen in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These weapons destroy the lives of several generations and sour the memory of an entire nation.
Any military invasion carries a significant risk of backfiring like what happened in the case of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia or Nazi military’s invasion of Russia. Both these invasions caused tremendous losses to the invading country and its military. The military invasions do not have any legal backing often result in long-term international disputes. Even the Iraq War which was declared by the UN and led by the United States of America was illegal and in sharp contrast to the letter and spirit of the UN Charter.
Modern history is filled with examples in which such military invasion led to a full-fledged, large-scale and deadly war. Peaceful restraint, solving disputes through diplomatic channels and respecting the sovereignty of the states is the only way forward. The world leaders are also realizing this and therefore we see a significant decline in the number of military invasions since the second World War.
Chanakya National Law University.
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