Strategic messages that incorporate credible threats under jus ad bellum are often the best option to enhance deterrence signaling.
Latest in International Law: Self-Defense
The better approach for the U.S. is to use the lexicon of jus ad bellum in public messaging.
The president announced on June 21 that he had called off a potential U.S. military strike on Iran in response to Iran’s shootdown of a U.S. Navy remotely piloted vehicle (RPV). The strike, according to the president, could have incurred casualties of as high as 150 people—information that has sparked discussion over the proportionality of such a response under international law. Before jumping to this debate, however, there is another issue that needs to be considered first: the question of necessity.
As most Lawfare readers know, the United States accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers on June 13 in the Gulf of Oman and crippling the ships with explosions that were presumably caused by naval mines. One tanker was flagged to Japan and the other to Norway.
Sen. Tim Kaine has released a letter he sent to the Pentagon on Oct. 2 requesting further clarification on the Department of Defense's legal understanding of collective self-defense under international law. Specifically, Sen.
On Wednesday, the North Atlantic Council released the following communique on behalf of the heads of state of NATO member-countries. The full document is below.
On April 6, for the third weekend in a row, Palestinians residents of Gaza confronted the Israeli Defense Forces near the fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel. According to Palestinian sources, overall more than 30 Palestinians have died and hundreds have been wounded, since the beginning of the clashes.
Israel has experienced, quite literally, a blast from the past. For the first time, Israel officially acknowledged operation “Outside the Box”—the September 2007 strike that destroyed the Al-Kibar nuclear reactor, located in the Dier Al-Zour region in Syria. The construction of the reactor, in cooperation with North Korea, was approaching completion at the time of the strike.
One Piece at a Time: The ‘Accumulation of Events’ Doctrine and the ‘Bloody Nose’ Debate on North Korea
Over the past few weeks, experts have engaged in a debate over the legality of pursuing a “bloody nose” strike on North Korea, an option reportedly being considered by the Trump administration (at least until recently). This debate has been propelled forward by an article published in Lawfare by Shane Reeves and Robert Lawless where they describe the “bloody nose” strike strategy as follows:
British Prime Minister Theresa May made the remarkable statement Monday that, absent a credible response from the Russian government, the United Kingdom will conclude that the use of a nerve agent against a former Russian informant, Sergei Skripal, was “an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom.” News reports have proliferated, but some of them are inaccur