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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?

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  • 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 '20 at 16:19
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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.

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