Latest in Jus ad Bellum/UN Charter/Sovereignty


Tallinn 2.0 and a Chinese View on the Tallinn Process

This past week, the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence put on its annual Cyber Conflict conference in Tallinn, Estonia. The conference boasted a number of experienced cyber-hands, including Adm. Mike Rodgers, DefCon founder Jeff Moss, and law of armed conflict expert Mike Schmitt. One of the most interesting sessions, which included a presentation by Mike, focused on aspects of the Tallinn Manual versions 1.0 and 2.0. Version 1.0, produced by an independent group of experts, came out in 2013.

Targeted Killing

Drone Strike Errors and the Hostage Tragedy: Mapping the Issues in the Newly-Catalyzed Debate?

The use of lethal force (whether via armed drone, manned aircraft, cruise missile, helicopter assault, etc.) has been a cornerstone of U.S. counterterrorism policy for many years, both in places where we have ground combat deployments and places where we do not. Throughout this period, the legality, efficacy, wisdom, and morality of this practice has been the subject of intense scrutiny and debate. Nonetheless, the kinetic option has proven remarkably durable over time (especially as compared to its sibling, the use of non-criminal detention).

International Law

International Legal Justification for the Yemen Intervention: Blink and Miss It

There has been surprisingly little discussion about the international legal justification for the airstrikes in Yemen that are being led by the Saudis. Other than a Just Security post that tackles some of the legal issues, the media and those using force have spent almost no time discussing whether the Saudi-led coalition's intervention raises legal questions. That in itself is notable.

International Law

Is Jordan Attacking ISIS on a New Legal Theory?

In the past few days, in the wake of ISIS's horrific burning of a Jordanian air force pilot, Jordan has adopted a highly combative tone toward the group.  It has matched this rhetoric with action: Its air force carried out dozens of strikes against ISIS targets on Thursday.  This is a significant increase from the number and pace of strikes that Jordan previously had undertaken as part of the coalition using force against ISIS in Syria.
Interrogation: CIA Program

Findings, Conclusions and Areas of Dispute Between the SSCI Report, the Minority, and the CIA: Part Five

Here is the fifth and final installment in our running, side-by-side comparison of the twenty findings and conclusions of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's Study on the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program---along  with responses by the Committee Minority and the CIA.

Summaries of Study findings seventeen through twenty can be found below.

Islamic State

The UK’s Article 51 Letter on Use of Force in Syria

Several weeks ago, the United Kingdom submitted an Article 51 letter to the Security Council providing notice that the UK was taking measures against ISIS “in support of the collective self-defence of Iraq as part of international efforts led by the United States.”  The letter further stated that the UK “fully supports these international efforts, whose purpose is to end the continuing attack on Iraq, to protect Iraqi citizens, and to enable Iraqi forces to regain control of Iraq’s borders by striking ISIL sites and military strongholds in Syria, as necessary and proportionate measures.”



A “Buffer Zone” Inside Syria, and Its Complications

The United States and Turkey seem to be having increasingly detailed discussions about establishing a no-fly zone (or “buffer zone”) inside the northern Syrian border adjacent to Turkey. The press reports that Turkey is conditioning the U.S. use of Turkey’s Incirlik air base for armed flights on the U.S. willingness to establish such a zone. The Administration has been coy about its plans, but the topic surely is the subject of internal U.S.

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