Intervention

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Omphalos

Is Syria Obama’s Fault?

The Syria War, says Aaron David Miller, the distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, is "Not Obama’s Fault.” Instead, the war is primarily the work of Bashar Al-Assad, the president of Syria, who chose to kill his way out of a crisis rather than hold free elections. Arab countries, regional powers such as Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and international powers such as Russia and Iran, also bear much of the blame.

Foreign Policy Essay

Afghanistan After the Drawdown

Editor’s Note: Afghanistan was once the poster child for the war on terrorism but, almost 15 years after the fall of the Taliban, many Americans see it as yet another failed intervention in the greater Middle East. However, Stephen Watts and Sean Mann of RAND argue that the glass is half full. The United States and its allies have achieved several notable successes and can, for a modest investment, preserve some of the gains made in Afghanistan and keep the door open for even greater long-term success there.

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International Law

Transatlantic Dialogue on Int'l Law and Armed Conflict: Ken Watkin on the IHL/IHRL Interface

The next installment in the series of posts derived from this summer's Transatlantic Dialogue on International Law and Armed Conflict is now live at the ICRC's Intercross blog. It is from Ken Watkin, and it concerns the overlap of IHL and IHRL. A taste:

International Law

U.S. Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria? Possible International Legal Theories

In the wake of Thursday’s statements by Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey and Friday’s comments by Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, it sounds like the U.S. Government is at least considering whether to conduct air strikes against ISIS in Syria. A decision to do so clearly is not a done deal.

International Law: LOAC

Russian Forces in Ukraine: A Sketch of the International Law Issues

Russian forces have seized control of Crimea and reportedly are digging trenches in the land bridge that connects Crimea with the rest of Ukraine. Is this a flagrant violation of international law regulating the use of force, or does Russia have some credible justification for what it’s done? Bottom Line Up Front (as DOD would say): It appears to be an unjustifiable armed attack on Ukraine, which means that under international law, Ukraine may use force in self-defense against Russia. Here’s the analysis, broken down into steps.

First, Article 2(4) of the U.N.

Jus ad Bellum/UN Charter/Sovereignty

The UK Legal Position on Humanitarian Intervention in Syria: Kosovo Redux

I agree with Jack's analysis of the UK statement.

I would add that the British legal position is not new.   The British relied on the doctrine of humanitarian intervention for their participation in the NATO bombings of Kosovo in 1999 (when the Clinton Administration asserted no legal basis) and to police the No Fly Zones in Iraq during the 1990s (while the Clinton Administration relied on the pre-existing UNSCRs 678, 687, and 688).   The three conditions set out in the new British statement are virtually identical to the condit

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