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International and Foreign

The Backroom: An Inside Account of UN Sec-General’s Statement on US War in Syria


President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Image credit: White House/Pete Souza

Several posts at Just Security have focused on international legal questions raised by US military operations in Syria. A key issue is the legality of the position that the United States can use force in another country that is “unwilling or unable” to quell a terrorist threat against the United States or its allies.…   continue »

Jihad, Counter-Terrorism and Mothers

Women have had a limited presence in counter-terrorism discourses. When women come into view during conversations about terrorism they typically do so as the wives, daughters, sisters, and sometimes mothers of terrorist actors, or as the archetypal victims of senseless terrorist acts whose effects on the most vulnerable (women themselves) underscore the unacceptability of terrorism.…   continue »

European Court: U.S. Troops Can Apply for Asylum to Avoid Participating in War Crimes, But …


A US Army soldier loads rockets onto an AH-64 Apache helicopter in Europe. Credit: US Army.

On Thursday, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a decision holding that American military personnel can, in principle, obtain asylum in the EU if they are at risk of prosecution or punishment for refusing to perform military service that might involve the commission of war crimes.…   continue »

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 »

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 »

Europe’s Newest Attempts at Anti-Terror Regulation Could Shake the Foundations of the EU

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A British border force boat on patrol. Credit: Vicky Brock via Wikimedia Commons

In the aftermath of the Copenhagen shootings this weekend, the results of a summit of 28 European Union leaders in Brussels last week takes on increased salience and is likely to further EU-wide counterterrorism measures that may forever alter the foundations upon which the European experiment was created.…   continue »

The Fine Line Between Collective Self-Defense and Intervention by Invitation: Reflections on the Use of Force against ‘IS’ in Syria

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Bashar and Asma al-Assad. Image credit: Ricardo Stuckert/ABr via Wikimedia Commons.

[Editor’s Note from Ryan GoodmanWith the U.S. Congress turning its attention to an AUMF for ISIL, I invited Professor Claus Kreß, leading international law expert on the use of force to contribute to Just Security.  continue »