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Tag Archive: Afghanistan

The Int’l Criminal Court’s Case against the United States in Afghanistan: How it happened and what the future holds

What happens when a global criminal court takes on the world’s dominant military power? That was the question earlier this month when the International Criminal Court’s Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda took a decisive step toward direct confrontation with the U.S government.

The Prosecutor’s brief announcement that she would seek permission to launch a formal investigation into the situation in Afghanistan followed a series of annual reports making clear that this investigation will cover not just the Taliban and Afghan security forces, but also U.S.…   continue »

Recap of Recent Pieces on Just Security (Oct. 28-Nov. 3)

Cybersecurity and Cyber Conflict

NYC Terror Attack, Legal Responses, and Counter-Terrorism Policy

Russia Investigation, Manafort-Gates Indictment, and Papadopoulous

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Recap of Recent Pieces on Just Security (Oct. 14-20)

ISIS, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen

Russia Investigation

Guantanamo Military Commissions and Legal Ethics

International Human Rights Mobilization

Cybersecurity, Digital Privacy, and Encryption

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Pluses and Minuses of the Imminence Standard in Counterterrorism Strikes

Last month, I wrote on the revisions that the Trump Administration reportedly plans to make to President Obama’s drone policy.  The piece set off a robust conversation with human rights and humanitarian law experts, primarily around U.S. obligations under international human rights law and the implications of the Trump Administration preparing to end the Obama-era requirement that strikes outside of hot warzones like Iraq and Syria be taken only against terrorists who pose a “continuing, imminent threat to U.S.…   continue »

The Newly Relaxed Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan and Civilian Casualties

Military Times reported Monday that Secretary of Defense Mattis,

appearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday alongside Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford told a pair of congressional hearings that the White House gave him a free hand to reconsider the rules of engagement and alter them to speed the battle against the Taliban if need be.

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Erik Prince’s ‘New Band of Flying Tigers’ is a Sequel We Don’t Need

It shouldn’t be too surprising that in his recent New York Times op-ed calling for an infusion of private contractors into Afghanistan, Erik Prince sidestepped any discussion of Blackwater’s history in Iraq. The company had such a poor record that Prince has changed its name numerous times in the years since: he now is the CEO of the Frontier Services Group.…   continue »

Trump’s War–More Risk Than Reward for US Military Involvement in Afghanistan

Under the headline, “Former Special Forces Officer: If We Withdraw From Afghanistan, ISIS Will Move In,” Fox News identified a problem, but not the proper scale of that problem nor the appropriate solution.  What’s more, the implicit policy recommendation that comes with that framing of the issue is to support the president’s plan to send more US troops to the region.…   continue »

State Dept. Office of Global Criminal Justice on the Chopping Block–Time to save it


Word out of Washington is that the Trump Administration has started to restructure the State Department and particularly the Under-Secretariat for Civilian Security, Democracy & Human Rights.  “J” (as it is called around Foggy Bottom) encompasses a number of Bureaus and Offices, including the Bureau of Counter-Terrorism and Countering Violent Extremism (CT/CVE), the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), and the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP).…   continue »

Pentagon Admits Major Investigation Flaw: They Rarely Talk to Air Strike Witnesses or Victims


In a transcript of a Pentagon Press Briefing, released this week by Airwars, Central Command’s Deputy Director for Operations made a striking admission about U.S. investigations into civilian casualties in Syria:

Q:  Okay.  So, you didn’t talk to anybody on the ground and nobody visited the site. 

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