The United States claims to have “exercised its inherent right of self-defense” in accordance with Article 51 of the U.N. Charter in conducting a drone strike in Iraq targeting Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani.
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Both sides are sending mixed messages, which can be disastrous for deterrence.
While the United States prohibits assassination as a matter of national policy, not every killing violates this ban. And even if the killing did not have an international legal basis, it may not necessarily constitute an assassination under the U.S. government’s definition of the term.
A new Lawfare Institute e-book, "Context and Consequences of the Soleimani Strike: A Lawfare Compilation," is now available on Kindle.
The Canadian Supreme Court rules that a son of Russian spies is a Canadian citizen, and the killing of Qassem Soleimani—and the deaths of Canadian citizens aboard a jet downed by Iran—throws the country’s policy toward Iran and Iraq into question.
The War Powers Resolution provides expedited procedures for a very specific type of legislation. This limits how Congress can use them in regard to Iran.
Qassim Soleimani's death has prompted questions about Iran’s ability to retaliate against the U.S. outside the Middle East. Iran and Hezbollah have spent the past several decades establishing international bases of operations—particularly in Latin America and Western Africa.
The U.S. and its allies would do well to prepare for heightened cyber activity from Iran. But they would do better to prepare for military force more.
In the wake of Qassem Soleimani’s death, the global threat posed by Iran and its proxies to Americans creates a somewhat novel challenge for the Diplomatic Security Service, the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of State.