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International and Foreign

A Legal and Operational Assessment of Israel’s Targeting Practices

Over the course of 50 days in the summer of 2014, the Israeli Defense Forces conducted a high-intensity air and ground campaign against Hamas in the Gaza strip. Sparked by the murder of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas militants, this short but violent conflict resulted in over 2,100 killed on the Palestinian side, as well as widespread destruction and damage to civilian infrastructure.…   continue »

Three Quick Thoughts on the Drone Strike in Pakistan That Killed Two Innocent Civilians

Below are my initial thoughts on today’s tragic news that a January 2015 US “targeted killing” drone strike in Pakistan killed two innocent civilians held as hostages by al-Qaeda:

(1) Why the sudden transparency about the American and Italian civilian victims but not the many non-Western civilians killed in US operations?  continue »

U.S. Policy on the ICC Crime of Aggression Announced

At the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law earlier this month, Professor Michael J. Matheson of George Washington University Law School chaired a fascinating panel on the Kampala Amendments to the Statute of the International Criminal Court on the crime of aggression, which could be activated as early as 2017 at the current rate of ratifications. …   continue »

Rethinking How We Wage the Forever War

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.

14-years into what’s becoming a forever war, we shouldn’t expect to stop fighting it anytime soon, the Pentagon’s top lawyer effectively said during a speech just over a week ago.…   continue »

Killing a Cleric: Many More Questions Than Answers

Yesterday, Ryan wrote about the killing, presumably by US drone, of Ibrahim al-Rubaysan, an alleged leading cleric of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Ryan presumes that the US is indeed “at war” with AQAP, and therefore, that the law of armed conflict determines whether or not al-Rubaysan was properly targeted.…   continue »

Actual text (!) of the Corker/Cardin Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015

Perhaps you’ve read a few–even a few dozen–stories describing the negotiated compromise legislation that passed unanimously out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, which the President will sign.  Odds are, however, that virtually none of those stories, online or in print, contains the language of the agreement, or even a link to it so that you might assess it for yourself.  …   continue »

Defeating ISIS in Iraq: We Cannot Fight Evil With Evil

News of the “liberation” of Tikrit, the city nearby the birthplace of Saddam Hussein, from occupation by ISIS militants two weeks ago was a welcome advance in the war to destroy the extremist group. In three disturbing paragraphs near the end of a New York Times article, however, readers learned that the Iraqi armed forces and Shia militias took no ISIS prisoners in the fight for Tikrit:  “… everywhere we captured them we killed them because they were the enemy,” explained one militia commander.…   continue »