Lecture Notes























Foreign Policy Adviser

Can the UN protect small countries from military aggression?

Imagine that you are the president of a small country that has been attacked by the United States. You know your forces are far too weak to defend your country for long. Desperate, you call a meeting with your chief foreign adviser. “These damned Americans!” you complain. “Someone should stop them.”

Your foreign adviser shrugs helplessly. “Yes, Madam President, but there is very little we can do.”

“Can’t we go to the UN?” you ask. “It’s the job of the Security Council to keep the peace, isn’t it? Why can’t we go to the Security Council and ask them to defend us? “

“Yes, Madam President. Keeping the peace is indeed the job of the UN Security Council. Nonetheless, I would not advise going to the Security Council in this instance. You’d only be wasting your time.”


Check Your Understanding

  1. Imagine that you are the foreign policy adviser in the story. Explain to the president of your tiny country why going to the Security Council would be a waste of time.
  2. Would going to the General Assembly also be a waste of time? Explain your answer.