Assault had a long history in the English common law, and a jury trial was available, as it now still is in American law.
Assault is often associated with battery, which means, for example, that one individual illegally hits another individual.
There is an international concept that is akin to assault, which indicates that nations can also commit a form of assault, which is illegal under the United Nations Charter:
The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has told the BBC the US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter.(BBC, 2004). Others have pointed out that a resolution requesting the invasion of Iraq had been withdrawn:
The invasion of a single nation by another nation or group of nations is only legal under the UN Charter if such an invasion has been sanctioned by the vote of the UN Security Council. This did not happen in the case of the recent Iraq invasion, since the United States and Great Britain, led by the U.S. Secretary of State Powell, withdrew on March 17, 2003 their resolution to stage such an invasion from consideration by the UN Security Council when they realized that the majority of its members would vote against it.(Dissident Voice, 2004). When we were growing up and going to public schools, individuals who committed assault were considered to be bullies.
Nations who follow such practices are seen as rogue nations, and those who fight in such illegal wars are veterans of illegal wars.
But those veterans who are speaking up about it are purifying the news. Somebody has to not be Blind Willie McTell: