The third and most dangerous development is that powerful organisations for collective defence (NATO) have turned themselves into security and police organisations, watching over regions that they themselves select, and which are not necessarily confined to the territories of Member States but may extend, beyond them, into ‘out of action areas’. The fundamental reason for this parallel action independent of the UN is the attempt to avoid the effects of vetoes within the Security Council. The consequence is the creation of a parallel system of military intervention tacitly and even surreptitiously dominated by the principle that it is not accountable to the UN. This evolution can again be seen quite neatly in the context of the ‘war on terror’. Taken together, these developments could seriously weaken the ‘centralisation’ of the Charter system in the principal organs of the UN, and may open the way to even graver forms of unilateralism. For international law on preventing war, there is a danger that the calendar will be turned back to an as yet unknown date.
Robert Kolb, Professor of Public International Law, University of Geneva, Switzerland i International Law on the Maintenance of Peace Jus Contra Bellum, Edward Elgar Publishing 2018