The Syria War, says Aaron David Miller, the distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, is "Not Obama’s Fault.” Instead, the war is primarily the work of Bashar Al-Assad, the president of Syria, who chose to kill his way out of a crisis rather than hold free elections. Arab countries, regional powers such as Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and international powers such as Russia and Iran, also bear much of the blame.
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As the Russian-backed Aleppo offensive proceeds, State Department official Brett McGurk testified today that Aleppo is on the verge of “a humanitarian catastrophe.” In the face of that catastrophe, allied complaints about U.S.
Editor’s Note: Afghanistan was once the poster child for the war on terrorism but, almost 15 years after the fall of the Taliban, many Americans see it as yet another failed intervention in the greater Middle East. However, Stephen Watts and Sean Mann of RAND argue that the glass is half full. The United States and its allies have achieved several notable successes and can, for a modest investment, preserve some of the gains made in Afghanistan and keep the door open for even greater long-term success there.
The newest installment in the Transatlantic Dialogue series (see here) has gone live at EJIL:Talk!. It is from Sarah Cleveland, and it explains the Project on Harmonizing Standards for Armed Conflict. A taste:
The next installment in the series of posts derived from this summer's Transatlantic Dialogue on International Law and Armed Conflict is now live at the ICRC's Intercross blog. It is from Ken Watkin, and it concerns the overlap of IHL and IHRL. A taste:
In the wake of Thursday’s statements by Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey and Friday’s comments by Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, it sounds like the U.S. Government is at least considering whether to conduct air strikes against ISIS in Syria. A decision to do so clearly is not a done deal.
Over on CNN’s Global Public Square, I’ve written about recent events in Libya – including the evacuation of American and many foreign diplomats – and what they mean for the Responsibility to Protect. The piece begins: The 2011 international coalition intervention in Libya was supposed to be a step forward for the Responsibility to Protect doctrine – the notion that if a state fails to protect its citizens from mass atrocities, it becomes the international community's responsibility to do so.
The question on everyone's lips is whether the United States will use force – most likely air strikes -- in Iraq to help suppress the threat posed by ISIS. Jack, Wells, and Bobby discussed here, here, and here the domestic legal basis for that use of force.
Russian forces have seized control of Crimea and reportedly are digging trenches in the land bridge that connects Crimea with the rest of Ukraine. Is this a flagrant violation of international law regulating the use of force, or does Russia have some credible justification for what it’s done? Bottom Line Up Front (as DOD would say): It appears to be an unjustifiable armed attack on Ukraine, which means that under international law, Ukraine may use force in self-defense against Russia. Here’s the analysis, broken down into steps.
First, Article 2(4) of the U.N.
I agree with Jack's analysis of the UK statement.
I would add that the British legal position is not new. The British relied on the doctrine of humanitarian intervention for their participation in the NATO bombings of Kosovo in 1999 (when the Clinton Administration asserted no legal basis) and to police the No Fly Zones in Iraq during the 1990s (while the Clinton Administration relied on the pre-existing UNSCRs 678, 687, and 688). The three conditions set out in the new British statement are virtually identical to the condit