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Tag Archive: Humanitarian Intervention

Oxford Guidance on Humanitarian Relief Operations: Comments on Arbitrarily Withholding Consent and the Status of the Guidance

[Just Security and EJIL Talk! are co-hosting an online forum on the Oxford Guidance on the Law Relating to Humanitarian Relief Operations in Situations of Armed Conflict, which was commissioned by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on the request of the UN Secretary-General.…   continue »

Letter to the Editor: Not So Fast on Calling it an “Armed Conflict” Between the US and Syria

In Tuesday’s provocative entry, “Is the United States Already in an ‘International Armed Conflict’ with Syria?,” Ryan Goodman states not only that the US is engaged in armed conflict in Syria – a claim about which there can be little doubt – but also, that the armed conflict may well be international (between the US and Syria) rather than merely non-international (between US and one or more non-State armed groups).…   continue »

A Humanitarian Exception to the Principle of Non-Intervention?: Measures Below the Use of Armed Force to Save Aleppo

Do the atrocities in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria permit the United States and other states to engage in intrusive actions against the Assad regime that would not ordinarily be permitted by international law? That question has been asked and debated at Just Security with regard to the legality of “humanitarian intervention” as a potential exception to the international prohibition on the use of force in another state’s territory.…   continue »

Another Legal View of the Dissent Channel Cable on Syria

Since Vietnam, East Pakistan, and the Balkans, it has been a time-honored tradition that State Department officials who disagree with official policy may challenge it through the “Dissent Channel.” In the case of the recent, much-publicized dissent channel cable signed by 51 US diplomats, long-simmering frustration within the Department is expressed in a short, thoughtful policy cable, urging action more forceful than the status quo, to create greater leverage for diplomacy in Syria.…   continue »

Would airstrikes against Assad be lawful and effective?: Reactions to the State “dissent cable”

Editor’s note: This post also appears on Lawfare.

As you have probably read, 51 career foreign service officers in the State Department have written an internal memorandum recommending “a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons” by the United States against the Assad regime, in order to coerce Assad to comply with the February 2016 Terms for a Cessation of Hostilities — the cease-fire arrangement negotiated principally by the United States and Russia — and to “end the daily mass killing of civilians and egregious violations of human rights.”

The deep frustration on the part of these diplomats is entirely understandable, and justified.…   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 »

President Authorizes Airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq—But how limited is it?

On Thursday night, President Obama announced that he has authorized airstrikes “if necessary” for “two missions” in Iraq (full text of the President’s statement).

Mission 1: Kurdish capital of Erbil

Objective: “to protect our American personnel” in Erbil, including diplomats and civilians at the US consulate and American military members advising Iraqi forces.…   continue »