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International and Foreign

President Obama to Preside over Flawed UN Security Council Resolution on Foreign Fighters

On Wednesday, President Obama will take the unusual step of chairing a session of the U.N. Security Council, which will consider a U.S.-sponsored draft resolution on foreign fighters. The resolution takes as its basis that “foreign terrorist fighters increase the intensity, duration and intractability of conflicts, and also pose a serious threat to their States of origin, the States they transit and the States to which they travel.” Its goal is to crack down on individuals – particularly from Western countries – who travel to the Middle East to fight for terrorist groups like ISIS.…   continue »

Human rights groups petition UN on drone strikes

At the UN Human Rights Council this week, a coalition of human rights groups is calling on all governments to take steps to monitor and promote transparency and legal compliance with regard to targeted killings.

The human rights groups want states to:

  • publicly disclose their targeted killing standards; and
  • ensure that their use or facilitation of targeted killings complies with international law; and
  • enable meaningful oversight and remedies; and
  • ensure effective investigations, tracking and response to civilian harm.
  •   continue »

ECHR: UK Did Not Violate Hassan’s Human Rights

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights today found that the British government did not violate the human rights of Iraqi Ba’ath Party member Tarek Hassan when he was taken prisoner by British troops during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and later found dead with signs of torture.…   continue »

A Response to Jonathan Horowitz – Why Unwilling or Unable is Measured by a State’s Capacity to Act as Well as its Willingness to do so

Jonathan Horowitz responded to my earlier post and made two points about the “unable or unwilling” standard that I believe merit some clarification.

Jonathan begins by agreeing with Ryan Goodman’s view that Syria’s willingness to cooperate with US actions against ISIS on Syrian territory should preclude or at least forestall US actions against ISIS in Syria.…   continue »

When Institutions Fail: A Thought Experiment

[Editors' NoteThe following post is the second installment of a new feature, "Monday Reflections," in which a different Just Security editor will take a longer view each Monday through a look back at the big stories from the previous week and/or a look ahead to key developments on the horizon.]

Is it ever appropriate for the United States to take unilateral military action to defend its vital national security interests when those public institutions that are designed to authorize the use of force are not working?…   continue »

ISIS/ISIL remains associated with Al-Qaida because the UN Security Council says so?

There is considerable disagreement whether President Obama has acted unconstitutionally or unlawfully when proceeding to military action against ISIL/ISIS without new Congressional authorization but instead legitimizing the airstrikes with the old 9/11 AUMF authorization related to Al-Qaida.

For purposes of the debate under US law, it should not go unnoticed that the United Nations Security Council applies its own “theory” concerning ISIL’s association with Al-Qaida.…   continue »

Does the Unwilling/Unable Test Hang on Territorial Control?: A Response to Michael Lewis

Professor Yoram Dinstein has characterized war as something that would “appear every once in a while, leave death and devastation in its wake, and temporarily pass away to return at a later date.” While that’s truer for some countries than others, when it comes to the United States, President Obama’s speech last Wednesday made it clear that he’s determined to prove the wise professor wrong.…   continue »