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Laws of Yesterday’s Wars Symposium – Ottoman Laws of War

Laws of Yesterday’s Wars Symposium – Ottoman Laws of War

Editor’s note: The following post highlights a chapter that appears in Samuel White’s third edited volume of Laws of Yesterday’s Wars published with Brill. For a general introduction to the series, see Dr Samuel White and Professor Sean Watts’s introductory post. The...

Who Speaks for Humanity?

Who Speaks for Humanity?

In a previous post on Articles of War, I argued that it was wrong to assess rules for the conduct of war without giving some consideration to the type of war involved, even if that meant blurring the distinction between jus ad bellum and jus in bello. But some...

Farewell to LTC Christopher Malis

Farewell to LTC Christopher Malis

This week Articles of War and the Lieber Institute for Law and Warfare bid farewell to Lieutenant Colonel Chris Malis. For two years, Chris served as an Executive Editor at Articles of War where he was instrumental in our administrative operations. Chris quickly...

Houthi Attacks on Merchant Vessels in the Red Sea

Houthi Attacks on Merchant Vessels in the Red Sea

The Red Sea has seen a rise in attacks on merchant ships since 19 October 2023. Although the number of ships having been attacked differs depending on the sources used, the number has by now at the very least exceeded 50 (see here and here). Beyond injuries to crew,...

Reconceptualizing Norm Conflict in International Law

Reconceptualizing Norm Conflict in International Law

Editor’s Note: This post is drawn from the author’s article-length work, “Reconceptualizing Norm Conflict in International Law,” recently published in The Asian Journal of International Law. Representative of the traditional approach to defining “norm conflict” under...

Arming U.S. Navy Hospital Ships?

Arming U.S. Navy Hospital Ships?

Is it time to rethink how U.S. Navy hospital ships are armed? Recent naval warfare in the Red and Black Seas highlights the potential vulnerability of surface ships to remote attacks by missiles and drones. These ships could include military hospital ships, which are...

Caltrop: An Ancient Weapon in Modern Warfare

Caltrop: An Ancient Weapon in Modern Warfare

Recent reports indicate that Ukraine has modified drones to deliver and disperse a weapon of ancient design in its fight against Russia. The weapon, known as a caltrop, is a spiked device that can be strewn in large numbers, sometimes connected by a chain, across a...

Cyber Attack War Crimes and Ntaganda

Cyber Attack War Crimes and Ntaganda

Editor’s note: This post is based on a portion of the author’s work, “Addressing Unlawful Cyber Operations in Armed Conflict Through Human Rights Bodies Instead of the International Criminal Court,” published at 57 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 359 (2024)....

The Battle of Peleliu

The Battle of Peleliu

Due to the generosity of donors, the United States Military Academy Department of Law offers cadets the opportunity to learn about war crimes by traveling to historical crime scenes via summer Academic Individual Advanced Developments (AIADs). The Far East War Crimes...

Palestine’s Quest for Full United Nations Membership

Palestine’s Quest for Full United Nations Membership

Amidst the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, the United States vetoed Palestine’s latest bid for full acceptance as a member State of the United Nations (UN). In the view of the United States, the only way for a stable future between Israel and Palestine...

Rules of Engagement in Large Scale Combat Operations

Rules of Engagement in Large Scale Combat Operations

As the focus of U.S. military doctrine and contingency planning shifts from counterinsurgency (COIN) campaigns toward large-scale combat operations (LSCO), Judge Advocates must anticipate changing operational law issues. In this environment, developments regarding the...

Hors De Combat: Clarifying the U.S. Law of War Manual

Hors De Combat: Clarifying the U.S. Law of War Manual

The U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School instructs on international protections for the wounded and sick, one of the many aspects of the Geneva Conventions emphasized to both seasoned and new military lawyers. One focus of instruction is to...

Joining in Wars

Joining in Wars

Editor’s note: This post draws on the author’s paper with Miles Jackson and Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne, “Identifying co-parties to armed conflict in international law: How states, international organizations and armed groups become parties to war” (2024) Chatham House...

Why We Fight Matters to How We Fight

Why We Fight Matters to How We Fight

We have all been taught that jus in bello (the law regarding the conduct of war) is a distinct set of rules from jus ad bellum (law regarding resort to force). It is a convenient distinction for many purposes. It is particularly convenient for military lawyers, who...

“On the Brink”: The Geneva Conventions at 75

“On the Brink”: The Geneva Conventions at 75

Editor’s note: The views expressed in this post are those of the author and not necessarily those of the ICRC, HLS PILAC, or other workshop participants. From March 12-13, 2024, Harvard Law School’s Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (PILAC), the...

Invisible Soldiers

Invisible Soldiers

Images of drone strikes, hypersonic missiles, and directed energy weapons have cultivated imagination of how war might be fought in the future. Meanwhile, on-board cameras and satellites have made modern battlefields more transparent and accessible to the public....

AWS Legal Review Series – A Functional Approach

AWS Legal Review Series – A Functional Approach

This post appears as part of a series on the legal review of autonomous weapon systems. An introductory post by Professors Rain Liivoja and Sean Watts provides an overview of the series. Autonomous weapon systems (AWS) are no longer confined to works of fiction. The...

AWS Legal Review Series – Introduction

AWS Legal Review Series – Introduction

In recent years, discussions about the legal compliance of various novel military uses of technology have shone a spotlight on something that used to be the obscure province of military lawyers: the legal reviews of new weapons, means and methods of warfare. Also...

Russian Nuclear Weapons in Space

Russian Nuclear Weapons in Space

Recent news reports indicate that U.S. authorities fear Russia “wants to put,” a nuclear weapon into space, with U.S. intelligence describing this as a “serious security threat.” The suggested possible purpose of the weapons would be to target Western satellites in...

Dear Yoram, In Memoriam

Dear Yoram, In Memoriam

Editors’ note: This post honors Professor Yoram Dinstein, who passed away on Saturday February 10, 2024. Over the coming weeks, Articles of War will feature a series of posts to recognize Professor Dinstein’s work and the significant contribution his scholarship has...

Yoram Dinstein (1936-2024)

Yoram Dinstein (1936-2024)

Editors’ note: This post honors Professor Yoram Dinstein, who passed away on Saturday February 10, 2024. Over the coming weeks, Articles of War will feature a series of posts to recognize Professor Dinstein’s work and the significant contribution his scholarship has...

Military Objectives by Location

Military Objectives by Location

Editors’ Note: This post is derived from a presentation given at the 2023 Israel Defense Forces Military Advocate General’s 4th International Conference on the Law of Armed Conflict. The rules relating to the targeting of military objectives by location are found in...