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“On Target”: Precision & Balance in the Contemporary Law of Targeting

“On Target”: Precision & Balance in the Contemporary Law of Targeting

Schmitt and Widmar explore the law of targeting within international humanitarian law (IHL) and its application to international and non-international armed conflict. The article examines the “five elements” of a target operation, including the target, the weapon used, the execution of the attack, possible collateral damage and incidental injury, and location of the strike. The […]

Of Guns & Grotius

Of Guns & Grotius

Kellman discusses the breakthroughs in the development of explosive weapons since the 13th century. He then analyzes the evolution of theories on the international law of war as expounded by Grotius, Gentili, and Vatel. He argues that these scholars should have instead developed an international law of peace; he hypothesizes what the foundation of law […]

Addressing the Guantanamo “Legacy Problem”: Bringing Law-of-War Prolonged Military Detention & Criminal Prosecution into Closer Alignment

Addressing the Guantanamo “Legacy Problem”: Bringing Law-of-War Prolonged Military Detention & Criminal Prosecution into Closer Alignment

Abrams seeks to move the discussion on Guantanamo detainees forward by bringing law-of-war detention and criminal prosecution into closer alignment. The article analyzes the Obama Administration’s current approach of dealing with terrorists captured abroad and its preference for conducting criminal prosecutions whenever feasible. Abrams proposes several changes to the current system, including a decision-making framework […]

Legitimacy Versus Legality Redux: Arming the Syrian Rebels

Legitimacy Versus Legality Redux: Arming the Syrian Rebels

The provision of lethal aid to the Syrian rebels appears questionable from a purely legal perspective. It would arguably amount to a use of force. Neither of the traditional legal justi?cations for the use of force—self-defense and authorization by the Security Council—applies in this case. While humanitarian intervention arguably offers a (weak) basis for the […]

Can the President and Congress Establish a Legislative Veto Mechanism for Jointly Drawing Down a Long and Controversial War?

Can the President and Congress Establish a Legislative Veto Mechanism for Jointly Drawing Down a Long and Controversial War?

To find a joint way to draw down the American troops in the war zone, Congress and the President may seek congressional mechanisms to resolve their differences with interactive processes. Then, constitutional issues arise as to whether a congressional mechanism may use a legislative veto – authorization for a drawdown with a reservation of power for a vote by the two Houses of Congress – so as to let the President draw down troop levels while reserving congressional power to stop that draw down. These issues illuminate war powers in the abstract; the issues also apply concretely to the main war of the 2010s, namely, the long war in Afghanistan.