This post will pretty brief since the point I want to make is pretty simple, but it informs a significant portion of what I think and is worth putting in black and white.
The very public, stated goal of the United Nations is to stop and/or prevent armed conflict.
The preamble of the United Nations charter reads “We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war...” In fairness, the preamble also says, somewhat ambiguously “...And for these ends...to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest,”
My point is that it seems a dubious proposition to look to the United Nations for approval of almost any use of force, almost regardless of the circumstances. It’s like asking a bank for permission to kite a check – it’s just not in their nature to see the world through that lens.
Despite how this might sound, I’m not dinging the UN here, only trying to recognize its essence. For better or for worse, there doesn’t seem to be much sense is asking the UN if I can go kick somebody in the shins. By doing so, I have a lot to loose (politically and strategically) and very little to gain. Even when the body resolves that a situation way warrant the use of force, like it did in Iraq a few years back, there is no intestinal fortitude to follow through. They have displayed more willingness to see wring their hands over shed blood, i.e. Sudan, Bosnia, or Rwanda, then to dirty their hands by getting involved.