U.S. Intervention

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A “cessation of hostilities” in Syria? (with link to text of February12, 2016 Munich communique)

The ghost of Kofi Annan lives on, in the form of the U.N. negotiations under the aegis of Stefan de Mistura and the Security Council’s resolution in December, 2015 laying out the latest version of…

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Syria: Aleppo and the shame of the world

For background, see (1) Roger Cohen, “America’s Syrian Shame,” The New York Times, February 8, 2016. (2) David E. Sanger, “Russian Intervention in Syrian War Has Sharply Reduced U.S. Options, New York Times, February 10,…


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2016: Fateful time for a conversation about international law

Does any of this matter? Do we care any more about whether one country invades another by military force? Does it matter how we respond? It has been 30 years, more or less, since there…


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REPRISE: Veterans’ Day, 2011: “Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?”

First published, November 11, 2011 My uncle died in a field in northern France with a German bullet in his head. To him, and all the other veterans of America’s wars, I am immensely grateful…


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The last international lawyer, or so it seemed

It was a curious time, when the world fell apart and no one noticed. Ideas and institutions that men had died to defend no longer seemed important. The experience of two world wars in the…


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David Petraeus offers clear policy suggestions on Syria and Iraq in testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee (video and transcript)

“U.S. Policy in the Middle East, C-Span, September 22, 2015. Former CIA Director and General David Petraeus (Ret.) testified at a hearing on U.S. policy toward the Middle East and combating ISIS* in the region. He…


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Who is Putin? Proof of Russian military aggression in the Ukraine

A stellar team from a leading German newspaper, Die Welt, have now assembled a powerful narrative of Russian aggression in the eastern Ukraine or Donbas region including the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk. While other…


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Kerry and Obama’s strategy on Syria: Work through the Russians and thow a “Hail Mary” pass on negotiations

See MICHAEL R. GORDON and ERIC SCHMITT, “Russian Buildup in Syria Raises Questions on Role,” New York Times, September 19, 2015. Stefan Braun, Berlin, und Nicolas Richter, Washington, “Syrien-Konflikt: Kerry und Steinmeier hoffen auf Putin;…


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Crumbling world order: Power politics and international law—the way forward

See Stefan Kornelius, “Putins Machtspiele; Ruhe in der Ukraine, Druck in Syrien. Russlands Präsident sendet rätselhafte Signale. Sucht er einen Weg aus der Isolation? Oder einen neuen Schauplatz, um Stärke zu zeigen?” Suddeutscher Zeitung, 9….


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REPRISE–Syria: Russia and Iran complicit under International Law in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity

Late News—- See MICHAEL R. GORDON and ERIC SCHMITT, “U.S. Moves to Block Russian Military Buildup in Syria,” New York Times, September 8, 2015. Vladimir Putin is now engaged in extremely dangerous brinksmanship in Syria,…