Foreign Policy Blogs

Law and Security Strategy

Triumphalism in Wake of Court’s South China Sea Ruling is Futile

Triumphalism in Wake of Court’s South China Sea Ruling is Futile

The Permanent Court of Arbitration’s verdict will have little weight in Beijing’s strategic considerations in the South China Sea.

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Iran-U.S. Confrontation in the Persian Gulf: An International Law Perspective

Iran-U.S. Confrontation in the Persian Gulf: An International Law Perspective

On January 12, 2016, 10 U.S. sailors were detained by Iran’s Navy and later released. Can Iran’s behavior in its territorial waters be considered justifiable or in accordance with international law?

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Should ISIS Fighters be Allowed to Return Home?

Should ISIS Fighters be Allowed to Return Home?

Since preventing terrorist acts is extremely difficult—why take any chances by allowing fighters to return?

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Prolonged Radio Silence

Apologies for the lack of blogging.  Other projects are taking up my time and energy, so radio silence is likely to continue for an indefinite period of time.  In the meantime, there is plenty else going on in the FPA-o-sphere to keep you entertained and informed.  So for the time …

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What Is NATO Doing In Libya Anyway?

Glenn Greenwald lays out the “Libya’s About Oil” angle:
Is there anything more obvious — as the world’s oil supplies rapidly diminish — than the fact that our prime objective is to remove Gaddafi and install a regime that is a far more reliable servant to Western oil …

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The Arab Spring Visits India

Last weekend, the Arab Spring came to India.  Swami Ramdev, yoga guru and television celebrity, staged a massive hunger strike designed to protest government corruption.  The event, which involved thousands of his followers, was ended by a police raid.
This isn’t something new for India though.  Thousands of people in …

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How Well Is Afghanistan Going?

Two of my FPA blogger colleagues offer differing assessments of the war in Afghanistan.  In the optimistic camp is Gail Harris of the FPA U.S. Defense blog. She participated in several Bloggers Roundtables sponsored by the U.S. Defense Department and blogged about it in three parts (here, here, …

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The Barbary Pirates Return Again

Since September 11, every now and then someone will bring up the Barbary Wars as a precedent to the United States’ post-9/11 military actions.  (See this Washington Post piece from October 2001 and this National Review piece from 2005.)  This time the phenomenon emerges with Marion Smith who, …

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On Friedman's Nonviolent Protest Proposal

As Peter Mellgard of the FPA Current Conflicts blog noted last week, Thomas Friedman recently offered a perhaps seemingly novel proposal to the Palestinians.  His proposal?  A massive nonviolent protest movement advocating a two-state solution.  Friedman writes:
If Palestinians peacefully march to Jerusalem by the thousands every Friday with …

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My Interview With Tim Gallimore, Former Spokesman for the ICTR Prosecutor

Last month I attended a panel discussion called “Post Genocide Rwanda: Inventing Structures of Hope” at Brown University’s Arts in One World conference.  One speaker in particular, Tim Gallimore, had much to say that I wanted to share with my Law and Security Strategy readers.  So I interviewed him.  …

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The Speech

There is, of course, much commentary already on Obama’s Middle East speech.  Here are some assorted thoughts from me.
First, Obama stated unequivocal support for democracy, asserting that U.S. policy is to “support a set of universal rights” that includes “the right to choose your own leaders—whether you live in …

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Koh At Opinio Juris

It was an exciting day yesterday at Opinio Juris, as State Department Legal Adviser, Harold Koh, in a blog post, laid out the U.S. Government’s official legal justification for killing bin Laden.
Was it really that exciting though?  Koh reiterated the rationale he gave in a speech last year to …

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Let Terrorists Win? Or Make The Whole World A Battlefield?

The legal debates about the killing of Osama bin Laden continue.  My previous posts on the subject (here and here, for example) have focused mostly on the jus ad bellum dimension (the UN Charter’s Article 51 and the inherent right of self-defense).  But recent discussions at Opinio Juris …

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Make It A Hundred?

Earlier this week Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, pledged to seek a political consensus in Iraq on keeping U.S. troops in the country beyond 2011.  According to the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) currently in place, the United States is obligated to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by …

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Sovereignty Theatrics?

Juan Cole writes:
Those who are unnecessarily worrying that Obama’s raid was lawless or set a precedent can rest easy; the only precedent is not military, but rather for back-room deals among governments who then put on public Kabuki plays.
His statement was responding to the Guardian article from earlier …

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