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International Law

Kosovo, Syria: When it Comes to Military Force, What's the Proper Relationship Between Law and Political Judgment?

The potential use of military force in Syria and its past use in Kosovo -- despite the likely "illegality" under international law and the U.N. Charter -- raise important general questions about the modern, post-WWII attempt to establish "rule of law" constraints on the inter-state use of force. Jack and Ashley have noted the widespread view, then and now, that the Kosovo bombings were "technically" illegal under international law, but nonetheless right. Absent Security Council approval, the same might be true regarding Syria.


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