Jus ad Bellum/UN Charter/Sovereignty

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Latest in Jus ad Bellum/UN Charter/Sovereignty

Targeted Killing: Drones

A British Anwar al-Awlaki Scenario? UK Targets British ISIL Member, in Syria, on an Imminent/Continuous Threat Theory

The novelty is not British involvement in the use of lethal force against an ISIL target, a British citizen.  The novelty, instead, was the location of the attack (Syria) and the resulting invocation of what looks very much like the US government's imminent/continuous-threat self-defense theory.


Will the UK Begin Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria?

Prime Minister David Cameron is looking to do more in Syria against ISIS.  Today his Minister of Defence, Michael Fallon, made the case before Parliament that the UK should participate in coalition airstrikes against ISIS inside Syria.  The UK government’s renewed interest in undertaking airstrikes in Syria is driven largely by the attack last week on tourists in Tunisia, in which 29 or 30 of the 38 killed were Brits.  (Officials are investigating links between the attacker and ISIS.)  Cameron’s government also seems motivated by the idea that limiting uses of force to Iraqi soil makes little strategic sense when ISIS itself treats the Iraqi/Syria border as irrelevant. But what does this still-developing situation say about the UK's justification, under international law, regarding the use of force? 

AUMF: Scope and Reach

The Attack on Belmokhtar and the Scope of the AUMF

It appears that the United States conducted an airstrike in Libya yesterday, targeting and killing Mokhtar Belmokhtar--a notorious Algerian terrorist who was once a member of GIA and GSPC, continued as a key leader for GSPC after it affiliated with al Qaeda and became AQIM, and most recently broke with AQIM by going independent with

Tallinn 2.0 and a Chinese View on the Tallinn Process

This past week, the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence put on its annual Cyber Conflict conference in Tallinn, Estonia. The conference boasted a number of experienced cyber-hands, including Adm. Mike Rodgers, DefCon founder Jeff Moss, and law of armed conflict expert Mike Schmitt. One of the most interesting sessions, which included a presentation by Mike, focused on aspects of the Tallinn Manual versions 1.0 and 2.0. Version 1.0, produced by an independent group of experts, came out in 2013.

International Law: LOAC

Drone Strike Errors and the Hostage Tragedy: Mapping the Issues in the Newly-Catalyzed Debate?

The use of lethal force (whether via armed drone, manned aircraft, cruise missile, helicopter assault, etc.) has been a cornerstone of U.S. counterterrorism policy for many years, both in places where we have ground combat deployments and places where we do not. Throughout this period, the legality, efficacy, wisdom, and morality of this practice has been the subject of intense scrutiny and debate. Nonetheless, the kinetic option has proven remarkably durable over time (especially as compared to its sibling, the use of non-criminal detention).

International Law

International Legal Justification for the Yemen Intervention: Blink and Miss It

There has been surprisingly little discussion about the international legal justification for the airstrikes in Yemen that are being led by the Saudis. Other than a Just Security post that tackles some of the legal issues, the media and those using force have spent almost no time discussing whether the Saudi-led coalition's intervention raises legal questions. That in itself is notable.

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