We just entered the second year of a purported “era of persistent conflict” forecasted to extend to 2028. In that context, does it really matter if we can tell that a particular war has definitively concluded? Who gets to decide, and who should decide, how to calibrate a legal test to authoritatively determine the end of armed conflict?
Latest in International Law: LOAC
For seventy-three days last summer, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and a Kurdish/Arab militia known as the “Syrian Democratic Force” (SDF) fought over Manbij, Syria. The fierce urban battle left thousands of fighters dead and caused significant damage to Manbij, a city with a population of nearly 100,000.
The Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare is the most comprehensive and thoughtful work to date on the applicability of existing international law to cyber warfare.
It is increasingly common to hear the term “hybrid warfare” used to describe the complexities of the modern battlefield. When Russia uses a “combination of instruments, some military and some non-military, choreographed to surprise, confuse, and wear down” Ukraine, it is termed hybrid warfare. The term also refers to conflicts which are both international and non-international in character, such as the ongoing conflict in Syria.
A review of Kenneth Watkin's Fighting at the Legal Boundaries: Controlling the Use of Force in Contemporary Conflict (Oxford University Press, 2016).
Joint Series on International Law and Armed Conflict: VanLandingham on Procedural Regulation of Detention
[The post below is the latest installment of the joint blog series arising from the 2016 Transatlantic Dialogue on International Law and Armed Conflict.
Joint Series on International Law and Armed Conflict: Hakimi on Fair Trial Guarantees in Armed Conflict
[I am happy to report that Lawfare once again is partnering with InterCross and EJILTalk! to present posts stemming from a summer roundtable at Oxford concerning international law and armed conflict.
Since August 24th, Turkey has conducted a military operation—known as Euphrates Shield—in northern Syria. The objective of Euphrates Shield is to clear the border area between the towns of Jarablus and al-Rai of jihadists while simultaneously stopping Kurdish militia expansion. Using a powerful combination of air power, mechanized units, and Special Forces, the Turkish government, by their own admission, has accomplished their objective.
Last Friday, the Department of Defense released an update to the 2015 Law of War Manual. According to Charlie Savage of the New York Times, the changes mainly center on the section related to the treatment of journalists in conflict.
The DOD airstrike that may have killed Taliban leader Mullah Mansour is interesting, from a legal perspective, at many levels.