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33 Int'l L. News 1 (2004)

handle is hein.journals/inrnlwnw33 and id is 1 raw text is: WWWA
SPECIAL

VOL. 33 NO.1
IAL
,W  P A   A  I N        OCIATION
BAN ET.ORG/I NTLAW
FOCUS         ISSUE
IRAQ, FAILED STATES,
AND THE LAW OF
OCCUPATION
By PhillipJames Walker
he U.S.-led invasion of Iraq produced a host of thorny
international law problems. So far, the world has
focused mainly on the legality of the war-how
American unilateralism affects the idea of collective
security and limitations on force as an instrument of
policy An overlooked issue, however, relates to the scope
of authority that an occupying power has to remake a soci-
ety and government under its control. Iraq presents an
,interesting case of the reconstruction of a failed state in
the new millennium.
The scope of authority of the occupying power is a
vexing question in the Iraq case because it neatly fits no
single category. Iraq's coalition provisional authority
(CPA) is not a traditional military occupation authority It
aspires to a complete overhaul of Iraqi institutions and
national life, but it is not a truly international effort with a
clear mandate to rebuild a post-conflict situation-along
the lines of Kosovo or East Timor. It is somewhere in
between, and that is the problem.
The failed state phenomenon has become the domi-
nant international problem in the 21st century, implicat-
ing within it issues such as mass migration of populations
and illegal immigration to the developed north, severe
environmental degradation, the eruption of brutal ethno-
religious conflicts, and the proliferation of weapons of
mass destruction. One need only read about the absence
of control over nuclear weapons materials in some former
Soviet states to realize that collapse of public order has
horrifying consequences for international security
continued on page 8

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