In most enlightened legal systems the unilateral resort to armed force is justified, excused, or met with sanctions of diminished severity only when it is the sole means available to resist some imminent threat of violence. Obliged to coexist, sometimes even to adopt one another's techniques and appearances, law and force nonetheless represent rival cultures. Recognition of this fact with respect to international relations helps place in proper perspective recent attempts to dislodge Article 2(4) from its intended moorings or, indeed, to eliminate altogether the obligation it embodies.
Article 2(4) in Historical Context,
Yale J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjil/vol10/iss2/4