Rules of Engagement: International Law and Obama’s War on Terrorism
The United States yesterday intensified its airstrike campaign in Iraq against the Islamic State, widening the theater of war to the southwest of Baghdad, where IS forces were said to be holed up.
Since Aug. 8, at least 162 U.S. airstrikes have been conducted in Iraq, according to reports—most of them in the north and west, near the Kurdish capital of Irbil, the dams of Mosul and Haditha, and the Sinjar mountain region.
When President Obama declared war against the IS on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the al-Qaeda-linked Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States—the war that is now intensified in Iraq--questions arose about the legality of his action based on U.S. constitutional law. But was he also flouting international law on why and when even how countries may go to war?
Our guest, Michael Newton, a professor of law at Vanderbilt University and an expert on terrorism and counterterrorism, transnational justice and conduct-of-hostilities issues, discusses the president’s action in the context of international law. He has published more than 80 books, articles and book chapters in his areas of specialty, and currently serves as senior editor of the Terrorism International Case Law Reporter.