International Law

UK Parliament Votes Down British Military Action in Syria

By Wells Bennett
Thursday, August 29, 2013, 8:03 PM

Such is the gist of this evening's Washington Post report.  As for what the news means far any British military involvement, the article quotes a statement from David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister:

“It is clear to me that the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action,” Cameron said after losing the vote. “I get that, and the government will act accordingly.”

The development makes for interesting legal context, given Britain's stance towards the applicable international law. Recall that the United States's closest ally has taken the position, on this and and one other occasion, that international law allows for humanitarian intervention, in very limited and exceptional circumstances, notwithstanding the lack of authorization from the U.N. Security Council or a valid claim of self-defense under the U.N. Charter.

So how, if at all, has the British situation affected the United States's plans?  According to this New York Times piece, the President stands ready to move forward with a limited operation in Syria---though he had not made any final decisions.