My colleague and friend John Fabian Witt penned the best confrontation with my historical argument in "Humane," and it deserves a reaction.
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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.
Are we about to see a significant shift in U.S. government policy relating to the use of targeted lethal force for counterterrorism purposes?
Maybe, according to an important article by Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt in the New York Times. Here’s what you need to know:
Within the U.S. military, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has issued an instruction (CJCSI 3121.01B) regarding “Standing Rules of Engagement”. The focus of this instruction is contained in the following paragraph titled “Inherent Right of Self-Defense.”