U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday that it was “highly likely” that the Russian government was behind the poisoning and attempted murder of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal on British soil using a Russian-developed nerve agent from the “Novichok” neurotoxin family.
Latest in International Law: Self-Defense
On Tuesday, U.S. forces shot down an armed Iranian drone in southern Syria, a few days after a similarly justified strike on a Syrian aircraft that dropped a bomb near a U.S. training outpost. Combined with the U.S. decision to ramp up support to Syrian Kurds seeking to retake Raqqa, these actions could be interpreted as initial steps on the road to war with Syria.
As readers of Lawfare know, a growing number of States believe that use of force in self-defense against a non-state actor on the territory of a third State, without the consent of that third State, may be lawful under international law if the non-state actor has undertaken an armed attack against the State and the third State is itself unwilling or unable to address the threat posed by the non-state actor.
Marty Lederman says in response to my posts that the big difference between the Bush and Obama preemption doctrines was that the Bush Administration “argued that international law permits the United States to engage in a ‘first use’ strike, in a nonconsenting state, against a state or nonstate actor that has not already engaged in an
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