Shane Reeves

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Shane R. Reeves is a Colonel in the United States Army. He is an Associate Professor and the Deputy Head of the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York ( The views expressed here are his personal views and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, the United States Army, the United States Military Academy, or any other department or agency of the United States Government. The analysis presented here stems from his academic research of publicly available sources, not from protected operational information.

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International Law

Is There an International Legal Basis for the ‘Bloody Nose’ Strategy?

The recent bilateral talks between North and South Korea in the town of Pyeongchang seem to have de-escalated tensions on the peninsula. The North has agreed to participate in the upcoming Winter Olympics, and the two nations have resumed military-to-military communication. In fact, the two countries’ athletes will walk together—under one flag representing a unified Korea—in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.

International Law: LOAC

The UNHRC Commission of Inquiry on Syria Misapplies the Law of Armed Conflict

On September 6, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Syria issued its latest report in anticipation of the current Human Rights Council session. The COI criticizes the Syrian regime and the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for their failure to document violations of international law. Additionally, the report offers significant evidence indicating that the Assad regime deliberately used chemical weapons against civilians.