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.
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.
On Friday, the Lawfare Podcast hosted a conversation on the wide-ranging policy implications of the U.S. strike that killed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ leader Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, deputy commander of Iraq’s quasi-official Popular Mobilization Forces and leader of the Iraqi militia and PMF Keta’ib Hezbollah.
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.
A recent post on the New York Times’s At War blog begins with this hypothetical scenario:
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.
Daniel Bethlehem says that my claim that the Obama administration has embraced the Bush doctrine of preemption for anticipatory self-defense “misses an essential element.” The essential element I missed was that the 2002 National Security Strategy that first announced the preemption doctrine “invented new language and, in doing so, suggested that the United States was moving away, with deliberate thought and careful