First published: Dec 1999The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia set a precedent for unilateral military action by the United States and its allies outside of any framework of international law – making clear that such wars would not be subject to vetoes by China or Russia within the United Nations Security Council. This was not an ‘accident’ necessitated by the urgency for humanitarian intervention, as NATO claimed. The bombing was meticulously planned many months in advance. The destruction of the post-World War Two international political order was rather a central goal of the bombing and the way in which it was launched.
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