A number of friends and colleagues have asked me recently for recommended readings on the law of armed conflict and Gaza. I’ve decided, therefore, to post some of my suggestions and some explanation as to why I chose them. I hope to update this compilation as I improve it and perhaps as more is written. I note upfront that these are simply my personal recommendations.
Latest in International Law: LOAC: Proportionality
Laurie Blank (Emory University Law School professor, director of its law of armed conflict clinic and, of course, well known to many Lawfare readers as a prominent scholar of LOAC) has an opinion column up at TheHill.com--a primer on the meaning of proportionality in the conduct of hostilities in the law of armed conflict, what it is and what it isn't.
The Stimson Center released today the report of its Task Force on US Drone Policy. The ten-member task force, of which I was a member, was chaired by General John Abizaid and Rosa Brooks. The report makes eight recommendations for overhauling US drone strategy; improving oversight, accountability, transparency and clarifying the international legal framework applicable to lethal drones; and improving export controls for drone technology.
The other day both Bobby here and Ryan Goodman at Just Security here picked up on news reports that DOD may be willing to provide additional military cooperation (including logistics and direct fire capabilities) to the Yemeni government.
As information continues to emerge regarding the Baraawe raid, it is becoming increasingly clear that the operation was of a piece with, rather than a departure from, existing US policy. According to NPR's Gregory Warner, Kenyan government officials have said that the raid targeted Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir, a Kenyan citizen of Somali descent better known as "Ikrima." Ikrima, we are told, has long functioned as a pivot of sorts linking al Shabaab to Kenya,
The following guest post is from Professor Geoffrey Corn (South Texas College of Law), in response to a post in which I raised the possibility that, in light of the non-battlefield targeting standards articulated by the President in his NDU address and other considerations, it is no longer obvious that the armed-conflict model is serving a function beyond the battlefield (excepting the legacy GTMO detention cases), in the sense that the same authorities could be invoked on self-defense grounds. Geoff writes in to express
Bobby’s post from Friday argued that “the current shadow war approach to counterterrorism doesn’t really require an armed-conflict predicate–or an AUMF, for that matter.” Bobby’s point is that most if not all of the USG’s current uses of force outside Afghanistan could in theory continue even if the armed conflict against al Qaeda ended. This is because, as Bobby says, the administration’s “imminent threat” constraint outside hot battlefields – which has allowed quite a lot of lethal force to be used in many nations – “is at
This post draws on material from my current book project, the concluding chapter of which considers the legal architecture of counterterrorism in a "postwar" setting...and advances the argument that we already have largely crossed into that world.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
May 23, 2013
Fact Sheet: U.S. Policy Standards and Procedures for the Use of Force in Counterterrorism Operations Outside the United States and Areas of Active Hostilities
[Update - I've clarified some points below, at the bottom, in response to reader feedback]