Tensions with North Korea have reinvigorated long-standing debates over when and how the United States should use military force. Legal experts have offered sometimes conflicting views on how domestic and international law limit potential military action against the Kim Jong Un regime—but expert legal opinion is only a small part of the overall policy debate surrounding the use of force.
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That’s the remarkable claim purveyed this morning in a New York Times editorial. Here is the relevant passage:
President Donald Trump has ordered significant military strikes against assets of the Assad regime in Syria.
On Monday evening, a bipartisan coalition of senators led by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R.-Tenn.) and Sen.
I think the question of whether the U.N. Charter is law is misleading or meaningless or both, for reasons that I hope this post will make apparent. But now that I have your attention, I want to sketch a few thoughts about the varied reactions to the airstrikes in Syria by the United States, Great Britain, and France.
In their post earlier today, Jack Goldsmith and Oona Hathaway argue that the Trump administration had no apparent domestic or international legal authority for last night’s air strikes against Syria. I had similarly questioned the legal basis, especially the international law basis, for the U.S. air strikes against Syria in April 2017. I would offer these additional thoughts now:
On Friday night, the United States, United Kingdom, and France launched a coordinated attack in Syria, reportedly aimed at sites related to Syria’s chemical weapons program.
Below is a transcript of President Trump's remarks announcing airstrikes in Syria this evening. The government has also released an assessment of the use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, also included below.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release April 13, 2018
The U.S. government seems on a set path toward intervening in Syria with military force (probably air strikes of some sort) in response to the recent a chemical weapons attack allegedly sponsored by the Syrian government. We think a few brief points are worth keeping in mind.
Last week, one of us co-authored a summary of a new report on the legal and policy frameworks for the use of force and other national security operations required by Section 1264 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2018