Category Archives: International Law

Lessons for the Next Twenty Years: What We’ve Learned in the Two Decades Since 9/11

LESSONS FOR THE NEXT TWENTY YEARS: WHAT WE’VE LEARNED IN THE TWO DECADES SINCE 9/11

A Note from Editor-in-Chief William C. Banks

By any measure the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 brought an immediate laser focus to the phenomenon of international terrorism.

Though hardly new to the United States and the world in 2001, the 9/11 attacks instantaneously elevated countering international terrorism to the dominant national security imperative at home and abroad.

Questions were legion: Should we have known the attacks were coming? What could we have done to prevent them? What lessons learned will help forestall the next attack? What are the best options for countering international terrorism?

Twenty years later many lessons have been learned, even as we continue to struggle with the ever changing dynamics of global terrorism. JNSLP is honored to publish this Special Edition, “Lessons Learned for the Next Twenty Years: What We’ve Learned in the Two Decades Since 9/11.”

Why Isn’t Outer Space a Global Commons?

The United States does not view outer space as a global commons, according to Executive Order (EO) 13914 issued by President Donald Trump on April 6, 2020. This policy declaration will be welcomed by some, lamented by others, and surely many more will simply find it confusing—an intriguing range of reactions for a seemingly simple term to generate.

John S. Goehring’s article examines the role that notions of the global commons play in U.S. policy on the recovery and use of space resources. It argues the term “global commons” has more than one legitimate meaning, and, in failing to account for this complexity, the EO complicates, rather than simplifies, productive discourse not only about the space domain but also about other domains.

Fighting in the Unknown: Lawful Measures to Neutralize Subterranean Threats

Subterranean operations have been an aspect of warfare since the beginning of recorded history. No longer just the complex tunnel networks facing U.S. forces during the Vietnam conflict, in today’s modern society, infrastructure to support megacities such as subway systems and sewers provide a third dimension for military planners to consider in conflicts.

The need to neutralize such threats is highlighted by Michael Meier as he explores the lawful measures that can be taken to conduct these operations. Meier’s contribution to this understudied subject first sets the stage by reviewing the subterranean domain, then looks at applicable law for subterranean operations, and then finally applies the law to the various methods for neutralizing and destroying tunnels and other subterranean systems.

This overarching summation of the ways to neutralize subterranean threats highlights the extent to which the legal issues in particular require careful consideration by commanders and legal advisors.