The failed assassinaton plot against the former U.S. national security adviser has demonstrated the need for plans to deter future attempts on the lives of senior officials while avoiding a spiral of retaliation with Iran.
Latest in Qassem Soleimani
The memo provides the legal rationale behind the controversial January 2, 2020, drone strike that killed Major General Qassem Soleimani of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and several leaders of the militia Kata’ib Hezbollah while in Baghdad, Iraq.
The managed escalation in response to the targeting of Qassem Soleimani avoided an all-out war—just as it was intended to do.
The U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions on July 6 submitted a report claiming the January done strike in Iraq that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani constituted a violation of international law.
Speaking at Brigham Young University, Defense Department General Counsel Paul Nye offered the most-detailed defense we have yet seen of the Soleimani airstrike, addressing both international and domestic law as well as the underlying facts.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on Feb. 28 at 8:30 a.m. on the Trump administration's policies on Iran, Iraq and the use of force. The committee will hear testimony from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The hearing will be the first opportunity for lawmakers to press Pompeo on the Trump administration’s legal justification for the strike against Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani.
You can watch a livestream of the hearing here and below.
The United States could start by clarifying its objectives.
The United States claims to have “exercised its inherent right of self-defense” in accordance with Article 51 of the U.N. Charter in conducting a drone strike in Iraq targeting Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani.
Both sides are sending mixed messages, which can be disastrous for deterrence.