This month, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will assess the first phase of its Explainable AI program—a multi-year, multi-million dollar effort to enable artificial intelligence (AI) systems to justify their decisions.
Latest in Law of Armed Conflict
“No plan survives first contact with the enemy.” This axiom informs compliance with the law of armed conflict (LOAC) in combined arms maneuver: combat operations involving ground forces employing a range of capabilities to achieve an overarching “commander’s intent.” Ground maneuver combat is decentralized and dynamic, especially when dealing with an agile and adaptable enemy. LOAC’s application will often turn on factors such as available capabilities, the enemy’s strength and tactics, time for deliberation, and the speed of maneuver.
Israel’s Military Advocate General Terminates ‘Black Friday’ and Other Investigations: Initial Observations
Since 2014, the IDF has been conducting investigations into incidents that took place in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge (July-August 2014) and raised concerns about Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) compliance with Israeli law and international law of armed conflict. In the course of the investigation, the office of the Military Advocate General (MAG)—Israel’s chief military legal officer—has reviewed some 360 incidents, referring 24 of them for criminal investigation. These have led so far to the conviction of three soldiers for the crime of looting.
Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law June Issue Offers Insights into Legal Complexities in Modern Warfare
The Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law recently published a special issue on the law of armed conflict (LOAC). The publication is the culmination of a conference that brought together more than 100 practitioners and academics from over 20 countries and institutions. The articles published are authored by experts in the field and offer a unique insight on how high-ranking practitioners and academics approach complex issues.
A Question of Time: Israel’s State Comptroller Finds Flaws in the IDF’s ‘Protective Edge’ Investigations
In July 2014, a deadly series of events began when Hamas operatives kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. After waves of arrests of Hamas leaders by Israeli security agencies in response and Hamas’s subsequent launching of 40 rockets from Gaza into Israel, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) began Operation Protective Edge: an air campaign that soon expanded into a limited ground invasion of Gaza primarily aimed at locating and destroying cross-border “terror tunnels”designed by Hamas.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle entered Israeli airspace close to the Syrian border. Israel shot down the UAV and responded by attacking the command vehicle, deep inside Syrian territory, that was operating the drone. Syrian anti-aircraft missiles shot down one of the Israeli airplanes that participated in the strike over Israeli territory. In response, Israel bombed a dozen Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria.
Assessing the ACLU Habeas Petition on Behalf of the Unnamed U.S. Citizen Held as an Enemy Combatant in Iraq
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a John Doe habeas petition on behalf of the still-not-identified American citizen the U.S. military is holding as an enemy combatant in Iraq (for background, see here). The case is Doe v. Mattis, No. 17-cv-02069, and it was filed in federal district court in D.C. Here is my preliminary assessment.
Editor's note: This piece is the second installment in a mutli-blog series building on the Fifth Annual Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict, as explained in detail here.
The Fifth Annual Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict: A Joint Blog Post Series
This past summer, the Strauss Center at UT was proud to co-host the Fifth Annual Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict, in partnership with the Oxford Institute for Eth
For Lawfare readers interested in law and regulation of autonomous weapon systems (AWS), we’re pleased to note our new essay, recently posted to SSRN, “Debating Autonomous Weapon Systems, Their Ethics, and Their Regulation Under International Law.” It appears as a chapter in a just-published volume, The Oxford Handbook of Law, Regulation, and Technology, edited by Rog