Strategic messages that incorporate credible threats under jus ad bellum are often the best option to enhance deterrence signaling.
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The better approach for the U.S. is to use the lexicon of jus ad bellum in public messaging.
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.
On Feb. 14, a suicide bombing in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir killed more than 40 members of Indian paramilitary forces—the deadliest terrorist attack in Kashmir’s history.
Jhesus-Maria, King of England, and you, Duke of Bedford, who call yourself regent of the Kingdom of France, you, Guillaume de la Poule, count of Suffort, Jean, sire of Talbot, and you, Thomas, sire of Scales, who call yourselves lieutenants of the Duke of Bedford, acknowledge the summons of the King of Heaven. Render to the Maid here sent by God the King of Heaven, the keys of all the good towns which you have taken and violated in France. She is here come by God’s will to reclaim the blood royal.
Emory University School of Law's Laurie R. Blank (who heads Emory's International Humanitarian Law Clinic) is a leading and prolific scholar and practitioner in the field of the law of armed conflict (and occasional Lawfare contributor).
The Oxford Handbook of the Use of Force in International Law (edited by the highly distinguished Cambridge University international law scholar Marc Weller) labors under two handicaps before ever reaching the book's content.
A few days ago, Paul McCleary at Foreign Policy reported on U.S. airstrikes against al Shabaab, undertaken in defense of AMISOM forces. McCleary asked, “Is there a new U.S. airstrike policy in East Africa?” My question is, “Is there a new legal theory supporting U.S.