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International and Foreign

UN Disarmament Board: New proposals to improve drone strike transparency and accountability

A new report of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters (full text) contains a number of recommendations related to both autonomous weapons and current uses of armed drones. These recommendations include that the Secretary-General commission a new study to propose improvements in the transparency of and accountability for drone strikes.…   continue »

What the UK Government’s Remarks Say about US Mission in Iraq

In a burst of information, British Prime Minister David Cameron and his Defense Secretary Michael Fallon have begun to describe in more detail the British military mission in Iraq alongside US forces. Some of these statements are not congruent with the way in which the Obama administration might wish to frame ongoing and future military operations.…   continue »

The Weapons Piece of the Proportionality Analysis in Gaza

Significant commentary (here and here) continues to be generated about proportionality and the legality of the use of force, including addressing the jus ad bellum (justification or reasons for war) underpinning Operation Protective Edge. Critical questions are now making their way into the mainstream media asking about the relationship between weapons deployment in Gaza and applying proportionality tests to the actions of all the military actors involved.  …   continue »

Spying Among Friends: The Troubled Waters of the CIA and BND

The rapid erosion of US-German relations continues to prompt much attention and consternation on both sides of the Atlantic. The new era urged by presidential candidate Barack Obama in Berlin in 2008— one based on “allies who will listen to one another, learn from one another and, most of all, trust each other”— has conspicuously failed to materialize.…   continue »

More focus on jus ad bellum in Gaza

More than 1900 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, hundreds of thousands are displaced and the material destructions are formidable. There have been several claims that Israel has violated international law. But the focus is only on violations of international humanitarian law (jus in bello), not on breaches of restrictions following from the right of self-defence (jus ad bellum).…   continue »