Articles of War is a curated digital publication that features expert analysis on the law of armed conflict and related topics.
Located in the Lieber Institute for Law & Warfare at West Point, we publish military, academic, policy, and humanitarian perspectives on the regulation of armed conflict.
Our articles generally
- highlight new developments in policy and law,
- analyze emerging legal issues
- place current events in a legal context, and
- emphasize military operational perspectives on the law of war
Articles of War seeks to examine and reflect the careful balance between military operations and humanitarian interests that is central to the law of war.
Readers of Articles of War come from many different backgrounds and have various levels of experience with the law of armed conflict. They include people with in-depth expertise on our topics, as well as smart, curious readers who wish to learn more on these matters. What unites our community of authors and readers is an interest in law of armed conflict issues and high standards for accuracy and scholarship. In an age where anyone can write anything and be listened to, we take great care to ensure a publication that offers clear, rigorous, relevant, and reliable portrayals of the law. We also hope to offer our readers analysis on current challenges in the legal domain that simultaneously reflects and challenges current debate on the law of armed conflict.
Submitting an Article
- All submissions should be sent in a word document form to: articlesofwar [at] westpoint [dot] edu
- For unsolicited submissions, please send us your proposed draft along with a bio or CV.
- Length. Articles should be approximately 800 to 2,000 words (please discuss with editors if your article may be outside this range)
- Bio. Please provide a short bio (max 100 words) and photo.
- All submissions will be reviewed, and if accepted, they will be edited. See below for more information.
- We strongly encourage you to read the other information on this page before submitting an article.
- A submission should fall within the scope of the publication’s subject matter and be in a style suited to the publication’s audience. It should be rigorous, engaging, legally correct, and offer a considered analysis on a given topic.
- The editorial team reserves the right to reject a submission if it falls outside of the publication’s editorial line.
- Active duty authors should pay particular attention to service guidelines.
Review & Editing Process
- Review. All submissions are reviewed for quality and clarity and should be in line with our editorial policy. This review is conducted by both in-house experts and external subject matter experts, depending on the article.
- Editing. Once an article is accepted, it is subject to editing. Expect content clarification, language and/or structural edits from our editorial team and reviewers. These changes are meant to enhance the article, increase its readability and make it consistent with our editorial guidelines. Our goal is to publish articles of high-quality content which are clear and engaging to read.
- Once edited, we will send back your article for you to review. We ask that you leave any changes you make in tracked changes. In other words, please do not send us a clean copy back, as it will only delay the process.
- Due to the timely nature of Articles of War articles, our editorial team will likely ask you to approve edits quickly.
Our Writing Tips for Experts
To maximize the effectiveness of your article, we recommend taking the following points into consideration while writing:
- Title. Immediately identify what your article is about in the title. Your title determines whether someone will read your post. It appears in email subject-headings, google searches and social media shares. Readers should get an idea of what your article is about with a quick scan. Your title should be short, clear and concise—40–80 characters long, and no more than 110 characters total.
- First Paragraph. What is your point? Why should someone read your article? Grab the reader’s attention right away by concisely articulating the main point. This is your opportunity to explain to a very busy audience why it’s worth their time to read your article. Essentially, you start with your conclusion, your BLUF – Bottom Line Up Front.
- Format. This is not an academic article. Write with short paragraphs, use sub-headings that describe their ensuing content and avoid long sentences. You want the post to be as clear as possible for your audience, while still maintaining depth.
- Article body. Write clearly and concisely while supporting your argument with evidence, depth, and nuance. Contextualize your points, so those readers with less background can follow your arguments. Avoid the passive voice where possible.
- Hyperlinks / Footnotes. When stating facts or mentioning other thinkers, cite the source. Please use hyperlinks whenever possible and limited footnotes only if necessary.
- Jargon and acronyms. Avoid both jargon and acronyms to the degree possible.
*These guidelines have been inspired by advice given in the submission sections of War on the Rocks and Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
- The views expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the United States Military Academy, Department of the Army, or Department of Defense.
- Articles of War is a forum for professionals to share opinions and cultivate ideas. Articles of War does not screen articles to fit a particular editorial agenda, nor endorse or advocate material that is published.