Essay on How Does National Security Trump on the Human Rights?

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George Washington University
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National security is an important aspect in any country around the world. As countries work on promoting national security, many human rights are violated. Activists always stay forward criticizing any movement made by the government. However, it is critical to understand the cases where the government has to act to save more lives and thus interfere with quite some human rights. The paper analyses how the national security trumps on the human rights, focusing on the case of Afghanistan.

The national security of a country is its number one priority. Governments work on all ways to ensure that citizens are safe within the country. It is thus essential to understand how national security contributes to human rights violations and the ways forward towards reducing the effect of such decisions (Baldwin, 2004). To ensure that the society does not suffer from human rights challenges, it will be important to put the focus on ways in which the violations can be limited.


Human rights are considered as an important aspect in the livelihood of individuals all over the world. The United Nations set its rules regarding human rights to match the society needs and also to protect every individual from extreme cases such as murder. In the cases of war, soldiers tend to forget about human rights and thus work on torturing captives. Any cases where an individual is tortured, it violates their human right. Every person should be granted the right to trial and fair judgment. However, in the cases of war, it becomes impossible to uphold every right of a person involved in the war. It is always a matter of life and death.

Case of Human Rights Violation in Afghanistan

A case of human rights violation was experienced in Afghanistan when the British and U.S. forces detained innocent Afghan citizens and soldiers. The move is considered as a violation of human rights since the innocent civilians could not be a threat to national security. Security issues are sorted between soldiers and the extremist groups. The move by the UK and US forces was considered unlawful and thus required a correction mechanism. For example, an Afghan farmer was arrested and detained for four days legally by the UK forces. However, the prisoner was transferred and held at under the UK authority for 106 more days which is a violation of the international law.

The rights of every individual regardless of their origin, nature and race have the right to be treated equally. The forces worked on promoting illegal practices in a bid to promote national security. The effort put by the forces cannot be considered as a measure of their responsibility in the market. The UK and US forces created a political raw due to the cases of human rights violation. It has been criticized by many people around the world since the two countries should play a critical role in creating awareness about human rights and its connection to national security (Laurienti, 2007).

National security is an important aspect as stated above. The military will do what it takes to ensure that they promote national security. On the other hand, the military act on orders provided by a higher authority. It means that anything that occurred in Afghanistan was authorized by the major generals. The measure would not work on promoting national security since it ends up marginalizing the marginalized groups. National security will thus be achieved further once the government has worked on creating better strategies on dealing with terrorists across the world.

The move by the UK and the US forces has been mostly based on the need to need to have the other parties punished for their wrongs. It is important for the governments to revisit to understand the parties involved and also to know the persons that did. Action should be taken against individuals who still promote such behaviors during sex. It is thus important to come up with a way in which the exact position will be considered an extra action. The images have worked on changing the description and totally a versions woofer. To understand how we operate, it will be easier to watch a movie that both parties would easily on YouTube towards a movie or song.

Understanding the behavior of the two countries with regards to the actions taken while they were at war in Afghanistan shows laxity in adherence to the rules set by the governments and the United Nations. It is quite important for the military to follow every rule set so that every soldier can be considered as law abiding. Violation of human rights does not match promoting national security. The violations that occurred in Afghanistan were thus done willingly, and the soldiers need to be held accountable any cases of loss of lives. The US and UK forces have been keen to point out to the tactics as self-defense mechanisms (Donati, 2017).

It is important for the military to maintain national security for their countries. However, all this should be conducted in a respectful manner and also in a manner which there is adherence to the strict rule of law. It is thus important to create a balance between the national security and the human rights. Understanding the balance will help further understand the importance of human rights and also come up with ways to protect them. In the next chapter, the paper looks at how the government of the United States and the United Kingdom can create a balance between national security and human rights while in a mission to improve on national security for their countries.

Creating a balance between National Security and Human Rights

Creating a balance between national security and the human rights is important in numerous ways. First, it becomes easier for soldiers to understand that the life of every individual is important regardless of the crimes that they have committed. Due to such knowledge, the soldiers can avoid cases where there are civilian casualties. In most military powers, soldiers focus on destroying the enemy regardless of the multiple casualties that can result from the move (Wali, Gould, & Fitzgerald, 2009). As a consequence, the operation ends up in deaths of young and innocent children and adults. The death of civilians in an enemy territory is mostly considered as collateral damage, but it is wrong as the individuals have been denied the right to live.

Secondly, the governments have the responsibility to protect their citizens from terrorist acts or any other acts of war. The human rights are universal and have been in existence for many years. It is important for the governments to protect human rights whenever they undertake an operation. For example, if the United States is in a war with Iraq, the government of the United States should take the responsibility to protect civilians in the war-prone zones (Wald, 2010). The government should work on protecting every civilian individual by providing them with a right to life and a right to protection from terrorist activities. The move will show that the United States values the human life and does not promote atrocities against human lives. Such an image is important to all other countries looking at the US as a superpower.

The actions that the soldiers make during a war are likely to practice even while among the public. The United States military power can exercise human rights promotion or degradation of individual human rights. It is thus very important to have the military forces aware of the importance of protecting individual rights as they are protected by the United States Constitution and also by the United Nations statute (Joyner, 2004). The forces thus should act to promote discipline among their members. Such discipline can be promoted by only ensuring that every member of the forces is held accountable for a decision made on a battlefield. Such restrictions will help reduce fatalities from innocent civilians.

The war in Afghanistan led to numerous fatalities of innocent women, men, and children. As a consequence, the terrorist groups took it personally as they considered the Americans as people who kill their women and children who are innocent. Promoting protection of human rights will thus help such cases where the extremist groups continuously accuse governments of killing the innocent (Kalesnykas, 2012). Such moves will help reduce on cases of revenge on an individual country. National security can thus be promoted alongside the individual human rights which appear to be delicate.

Lastly, creating a balance between the human rights and national security will help prove the view of all military power. It will be easier to view the military as a disciplined force and one that is concerned about the cases of mishandling civilians. Any case where there is a violation, the military should take it as their responsibility to ensure that the citizens are protected, and there is the maintenance of law and order. Every human life is important, and thus the military should take to task the duty of protecting every life.


Protection of every individual's right regardless of their citizenship or gender is an important aspect. It is thus recommended that the military create a way to ensure that every person can learn about protection of human rights. Every military power should be able to keep the individual rights protected. It will be easier for the rights to be protected and thus create a better image among the public. Creating a good reputation concerning the powers and the actions the military take in every warfare will help build a reputation about their positivity in military power.

The military is created to promote national security and thus protect human lives. At no point does the military code of ethics mentions the killing of innocent people. Every individual is protected by the law, and it is the duty of every officer to ensure that this protection is upheld. The protection of individual rights is an obligation held by every individual undertaking a particular activity. The military should compose different rules that will govern the protection of individual rights and also develop ways in which every person will receive equal treatment when it comes to advocating for peace and security.

The duty to uphold every human right during a national security operation should be left to the governments (Marks, 2009). The governments should be able to develop a plan in which they can teach their teams on how to protect individual rights and also spearhead campaigns for their soldiers informing them of the harsh disciplinary actions that will be taken for cases of human rights violations. Once such measures are put forward, it becomes easier to have an accountable military force and also develop a way to protect the individual rights.


Protection of human rights should be an obligation that every person holds it personally. It will be necessary for the military powers to protect civilian rights by the human rights. The case in Afghanistan shows how the governments are not dedicated to the protection of individual rights and also promoting peace. It is important for every person to hold accountable in Afghanistan in a bid to campaign for the rights of every person. The United States and UK military that took part in the Afghanistan operations should thus remain answerable and pay for the damages that occurred in the country. Every person who was captured and detailed illegally should be fully reimbursed and such actions condemned to avoid future recurrences.


Baldwin Jr., F. N. (2004). The rule of law, human rights and proportionality as components of the war against terrorism: Is the us judiciary in self-imposed exile?. Journal Of Money Laundering Control, 7(3), 218-253.

Donati, J. (2017, January 13). U.S. Forces acted in self-defense in afghan batt...

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