Essays On War In International Law

Essays On War In International Law-78
To what degree does the development of offensive and defensive cyber capabilities by many militaries and nonstate actors around the globe challenge the principles of just war doctrine and the laws of armed conflict? At the 2005 United Nations World Summit, the heads of states accepted a collective responsibility to respond effectively if any government failed to protect its own people from the horrors of genocide, ethnic cleansing, large-scale war crimes, or other crimes against humanity.Two essays focus on an older military technology that has produced what are still the most destructive weapons known to mankind: nuclear weapons. Jennifer Welsh examines the current standing and future trajectory of the responsibility to protect doctrine, which has been severely challenged by such events as the collapse of the Libyan state into chaos after the 2011 NATO-led military intervention, on humanitarian grounds, against the Gaddafi government, and the Syrian civil war, which began soon thereafter.

To what degree does the development of offensive and defensive cyber capabilities by many militaries and nonstate actors around the globe challenge the principles of just war doctrine and the laws of armed conflict? At the 2005 United Nations World Summit, the heads of states accepted a collective responsibility to respond effectively if any government failed to protect its own people from the horrors of genocide, ethnic cleansing, large-scale war crimes, or other crimes against humanity.Two essays focus on an older military technology that has produced what are still the most destructive weapons known to mankind: nuclear weapons. Jennifer Welsh examines the current standing and future trajectory of the responsibility to protect doctrine, which has been severely challenged by such events as the collapse of the Libyan state into chaos after the 2011 NATO-led military intervention, on humanitarian grounds, against the Gaddafi government, and the Syrian civil war, which began soon thereafter.

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Other technologies could better provide early warning of conflict and promote more effective peacekeeping, but pose new questions on ethical norms of the use of military force and intervention.

This essay surveys this landscape and introduces the principles of just war and the international law of war, upon which the issue’s contributors draw to discuss new and emerging dilemmas in the evolving warfare of the twenty-first century. SAGAN, a Fellow of the American Academy since 2008, is the Caroline S. Munro Professor of Political Science, the Mimi and Peter Haas University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, and Senior Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University.

Technological innovations, the growth of terrorism by nonstate actors, and new legal and ethical approaches are changing the nature of modern warfare.

Cutting-edge technologies—drones, cyber weapons, autonomous weapons—could reduce collateral damage, but their ease of use could also breed more conflict by lowering the political costs of engagement.

Several technological innovations and political developments are changing the nature of warfare today in ways that pose complex challenges to the traditional standards that we use, under the influence of international law and just war doctrine, to judge governments’ and individuals’ actions in war.

New technologies–including the use of drones, precision-guided weapons, cyber weapons, and autonomous robots–have led both to optimism about the possibility of reducing collateral damage in war and to concerns about whether some states find it too easy to use force today.

Professional military lawyers play an increasingly important role in reviewing targeting policies and rules of engagement, at least in the United States, to ensure that military plans and operations are compliant with the laws of armed conflict.

War crimes tribunals have grown in use, but raise new questions about whether they encourage ruthless leaders to fight to the finish rather than accept resignation and exile.

Incentives to improve national security and win conflicts have often led to the development and use of new and more destructive technologies of war.

And yet, especially since World War II, very strong incentives have also existed to prohibit aggression and promote self-defense, to encourage legal and moral constraints on violence in war to protect noncombatants, and to punish soldiers and political leaders whose actions are judged to be war crimes.

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