Naz Modirzadeh

Nmodirzadehguest's picture

Naz K. Modirzadeh is the founding Director of the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (PILAC).

Subscribe to this Lawfare contributor via RSS.

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.

Drones

Reframing the Debate: A Response to Ryan Goodman’s Memo to the Human Rights Community

Ryan Goodman recently wrote a post in Just Security titled “Why the Laws of War Apply to Drone Strikes Outside ‘Areas of Active Hostilities’ (A Memo to the Human Rights Community).” Its main point is that to be taken seriously, human rights organizations and activists should stop characterizing military attacks in territories outside areas of active hostilities as unlawful and, instead, should focus on interpretations and implementation of the law of armed co

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?

If It’s Broke, Don’t Make it Worse: A Critique of the U.N. Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism

Preventing violent extremism — who could be against that? Especially when it is held up as the antidote to fourteen years of disease purportedly rooted in counterterrorism: war, targeted killing, torture, massive detention, overbroad sanctions, and other security excesses? Where could the fault be in a “practical and comprehensive” policy package that is simultaneously global and local?

International Law

Attacks on Medical Facilities in Yemen: Should Medical Humanitarians Stay?

Imagine you are the head of an international medical humanitarian organization with extensive operations in Yemen. Your organization provides life-saving care to civilians and wounded fighters hors de combat alike. There is no doubt that there is tremendous need for medical assistance. But there have also been numerous attacks on civilians and medical establishments in the region. Would you increase, maintain, or decrease your operations there? What role should the disposition of the parties to the conflict toward IHL play in your decision?