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Tag Archive: Humanitarian Intervention

When Moral Compulsion is Characterized as a Crime of Aggression


As a number of my colleagues have been debating the lawfulness of the United States striking a Syrian airbase with 59 Tomahawk missiles in response to a purported chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime, I have asked similar questions but also focused on whether the Trump Administration may have been less concerned with international law than what the Administration views as America’s moral obligations. …   continue »

The Use of Force in Response to Syrian Chemical Attacks: Emergence of a New Norm?

The April 6 cruise missile strikes against Syria in response to its chemical weapon attacks on Khan Sheikhoun have generated considerable commentary on Just Security and elsewhere.  In this article, we offer our thoughts on the jus ad bellum framework (the international legal rules that regulate the resort to force) in assessing the U.S.…   continue »

Humanitarian Military Options for Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack: “Illegal but Not Unprecedented”


Without Security Council authorization, any U.S. military force to respond to Assad’s chemical weapons attack would be a violation of international law, but …

Policymakers would be well advised to know the relatively long list of cases in which states have engaged in humanitarian intervention without Security Council approval, and not paid the same political costs that would come with predatory uses of force.…   continue »

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 »