Category Archives: Laws of War

Military Justice: A Very Short Introduction (Book Review)

Eugene Fidell’s recently published book Military Justice: A Very Short Introduction fills an existing gap in academic military justice literature by providing readers with a condensed book focused solely on military justice. Fidell leverages his years of experience as both a practitioner and a scholar to bring us this “pint sized” book that covers topics ranging from the basics of military command to detention and military justice reform. Nevitt’s review of this “quick and easy military justice primer” makes it clear that readers from the newest law student to the most experience JAG could benefit from reading Fidell’s work.

Military Justice: A Very Short Introduction (Book Review)

Just War and Conduct in War: An Airman’s Reflection

The business that we are all somehow associated with—of contemplating war, preparing for war, deterring war, initiating war, prosecuting war, providing relief in war, ending war, recovering from war—is consequential. Getting as right as possible the intricate dance of decisions that define the initiation, conduct, and conclusion of warfare is incredibly important for societies. It also has varying degrees of impact on individuals, from merely defining the outlines of individual service members’ daily lives to shattering or ending the mental and physical existence of combatants and innocents.

 

Understanding Cyber Collateral Damage

In this article, Sasha Romanosky and Zachary Goldman address the problem of how to define “collateral damage” in the cyber realm. Arguing that unintended effects on data alone can constitute collateral damage, Romanosky and Goldman propose ways for the US military and law enforcement to conceptualize and estimate collateral damage in the context of cyber operations.

Understanding Cyber Collateral Damage

Proxy War Ethics

In this article, Anthony Pfaff discusses what ethical norms should govern proxy war and the relationships that sustain them; the way the existence of a benefactor-proxy relationship complicates the application of traditional jus ad bellum criteria; and the additional moral problems caused by the way proxy wars shift risk away from benefactors. He concludes by suggesting a set of norms that should guide proxy relationships.

Assessing US Justifications for Using Force in Response to Syria’s Chemical Attacks: An International Law Perspective

Michael Schmitt and Christopher Ford unpack the Trump Administration’s legal justifications for the April 2017 United States attack on a Syrian airfield in response to its use of chemical weapons against civilians. Schmitt and Ford discuss three possible legal bases for the use of force: self-defense, response to an internationally wrongful act, and humanitarian intervention. The authors conclude that the US’s actions run afoul of limitations in each relevant body of law, and of note, they discuss how this attack is consequential for the validity of humanitarian intervention on another state’s territory without approval from the UN Security Council. They conclude by suggesting that the international community is likely to consider the nature of suffering, in addition to the quantum of suffering, as bearing on the right of States to mount future humanitarian operations.