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Executive & Military

Sexual Torture, Rape, and Gender-Based Violence in the Senate Torture Report

The ramifications and significance of the Senate Torture Report continue to spin out in various fora. While I have noted that the use of certain torture methods used at Guantanamo meet the legal definition of rape under contemporary international law standards, there has been little sustained attention to the depth and breath of sexual harms experienced by detainees at the detention facility.…   continue »

Associated Forces and Co-belligerency

While Congress is expected to adopt a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), debate continues on the scope of a new AUMF, including how to describe the entities against which force would be authorized.…   continue »

Just Security at the Future of War Conference

The New America Foundation and Arizona State University will be hosting their first annual Future of War Conference in Washington, DC on Tuesday, Feb. 24, and Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Be sure to come to Just Security to watch Harold Koh’s discussion on “Striking a Balance: Authorizing the Future Use of Military Force” on Tuesday at 11:30am EST.…   continue »

General Martins on the Shrinking Military Commissions

Marty’s important post from last night includes a link to yesterday’s statement by General Mark Martins, Chief Prosecutor of the Guantánamo military commissions, in anticipation of this week’s trial proceedings in the al-Nashiri case. Among other things, General Martins’ statement included the following paragraph, which appears to be a response to this post of mine from last Wednesday about the Court of Military Commission Review’s decision to throw out the guilty plea of David Hicks in light of the en banc D.C.…   continue »

An “Islamic State” of Mind

This post is the latest installment of our “Monday Reflections” feature, in which a different Just Security editor examines the big stories from the previous week or looks ahead to key developments on the horizon.

Week after week we have been subjected to spectacles of barbarism at the hands of the so-called Islamic State (or ISIS or ISIL).…   continue »

On Rereading the Torture Report – SSCI Focus Gave Too Many Perpetrators a Pass

I have an opinion piece in today’s New York Times Sunday Review provocatively titled (by the NYT editors), “Did the Torture Report Give the CIA a Bum Rap?” Why now, and why this intervention, some might ask?  Like many others, I commented on and wrote about the Torture Report when it was initially released in December, but the demands of the 24-hour news cycle meant that I – and I’m certain, everyone else who commented in that first week – did so without having had time to read the report and its responses in full. …   continue »

Six Questions Congress Should Ask the Administration about its ISIL AUMF

[Cross-posted at Lawfare]

With congressional hearings on the Obama Administration’s proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for the Islamic State on the horizon, we propose six questions that Members of Congress should ask Administration witnesses:

1. What, exactly, is our strategic military objective?  continue »

Washington’s New Drone Sales Policy Could Export US-Style Drone War

This week, the United States released a new policy for the export of US-made drones. The policy conditions any drone sale on a pledge by the foreign buyer government that it will observe international law when deploying US drones. Bringing essential international legal restrictions directly into the export regime could be a positive step forward for the promotion of lawful weapon use internationally.…   continue »