Gabriella Blum

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Gabriella Blum is the Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Harvard Law School.

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International Law

Silence and the Use of Force in International Law

Editor's Note: This piece is crossposted on Lawfare and EJIL:Talk!

States frequently take actions and make statements that implicate international law. But because they do not—and, indeed, could not—express a view on each such act or statement by all other states at all times, silence seems to be the norm, rather than the exception, in international relations.

International Law

International Law’s Irrelevance to President Trump’s ‘Winning in Afghanistan’ Strategy

President Trump’s remarks on his administration’s “winning in Afghanistan” strategy were thin on details. In particular, Trump said little to resolve the nearly 16-year debate about the United States’ proper goals in Afghanistan.

Artificial Intelligence

The Pentagon’s New Algorithmic-Warfare Team

In April 2017, the Pentagon created an “Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team,” pending a transfer of $70 million from Congress. The premise of this initiative is that maintaining a qualitative edge in war will increasingly require harnessing algorithmic systems that underpin artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

International Law: LOAC

Indefinite War

We just entered the second year of a purported “era of persistent conflict” forecasted to extend to 2028. In that context, does it really matter if we can tell that a particular war has definitively concluded? Who gets to decide, and who should decide, how to calibrate a legal test to authoritatively determine the end of armed conflict?

International Law

Medical Care in Armed Conflict: IHL and State Responses to Terrorism

In armed conflicts involving terrorists, should we consider medical care a form of illegitimate support to the terrorists? Should a state be allowed to punish those who provide impartial care to wounded and sick fighters—including terrorists—who are hors de combat (out of the battle) and to wounded and sick civilians in terrorist-controlled territories? Should a state be allowed to prevent such providers from traveling to conflict zones in the first place? Should organized armed groups defined as terrorists—under U.N.