enter image description here

Suppose, two countries 'X' and 'Y' were part of a larger country 'A'. They got independence from A or just got separated, say, in 2001. Both are members of the UN.

X and Y have a disputed area between them called 'P' which is under Y's control.

Then, after 10 years, in 2011, X suddenly attacks Y in an effort to occupy P.

Is it illegal for X to wage an war on Y? Why or why not?

  • Disputed territory and war are troublesome areas in international law, and international standards break down there. Generally the only solutions are war or diplomacy. And after a war, the gained territory is not generally recognized by the international community.
    – Tiger Guy
    Jun 18, 2020 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


It is not legal

Under the UN charter, only wars of self-defence are lawful. It is not lawful for X to attack Y. It is lawful for Y to defend itself which may include the occupation of X’s territory if dictated by military necessity.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .