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 »
International and Foreign
Some commentators have suggested that the newly disclosed special forces operation to rescue James Foley may have lacked congressional authorization, thereby further underscoring the growing concerns over unilateral executive war powers as applied to ISIS–the target of the Foley operation:
No Congressional authorization for U.S.
According to a trophy video initially posted on YouTube but since removed, U.S. Journalist Jim Foley was beheaded by ISIS yesterday, further attesting to the group’s depravity. The FBI has concluded that the video seems to be authentic. Foley had disappeared in Syria in November 2012 while covering the war.… continue »
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 »
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 »
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 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 »
Mohammed Al-Adahi, a Yemeni national who has been detained at Guantanamo for more than 12 years and was approved for conditional release in 2010, has been described by his lawyers as a “very, very sick man.” He suffers from coronary artery disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic ailments.… continue »
I agree with Professor Adil Haque’s description of the ICRC’s bifurcated position on voluntary human shields. I have accordingly added a note in my original post which now refers to his Letter to the Editor and this reply.
It might also be valuable for readers to have a more elaborate account of the ICRC’s bifurcation.… continue »
[Editor’s Note: Ryan Goodman responds to Professor Haque’s letter to the editor in a subsequent post.]
In his recent post, Ryan Goodman writes that the ICRC adopts the view that all voluntary human shields (as Goodman defines them) are direct participants in hostilities and thus valid military targets, citing page 56 of the DPH Guidance. … continue »