National Defense Authorization Act

Mehdi Hasan of the Guardian needs to read Adam Serwer at Mother Jones regarding the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Bad News for Egypt

This is not very promising for Egypt: Egyptian military advisor Abdel Moneim Kato said that the Geneva Conventions give the Egyptian military the right to shoot protesters and that the armed forces has tolerated the “intolerable acts from the protesters.”

Purpose of this blog

The purpose of this blog to understanding the morality and politics underlying the law of armed conflict. In particular, I am interested in the impact the conceptual shift away from a sovereignty-oriented approach to a people-centered approach has had on the law’s humanitarian goals. Prior to the 20th century, the overwhelming concern of the law of armed conflict was with the rights of belligerents and ensuring reciprocity between states at war. Though the rules of conduct during war (the jus in bello) had made several advances during this time, these laws would break down under the strain of the politically motivated mass army and total war leading many in the aftermath of the two World Wars to see war as a human tragedy rather than a legitimate tool of national policy. After the Second World War, as intra-state conflict became more prevalent and though international law still favoured states over insurgents, one type of insurgency did gain legal recognition: the struggle for national liberation. While some see this as a proper extension of the law of armed conflict others, such as myself, interpret it as ideology creeping into what ought to be straightforward matters of law thus preventing the law of armed conflict from accomplishing its humanitarian task.