Podcast: “Legal Issues Confronting the Military National Security Law Community”

I was privileged to serve on the Legal Issues Confronting the Military National Security Law Community panel at the ABA 28th Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law CLE Conference in early November. An audio-only copy of that panel presentation is now available (here) and I invite you to take a listen.

You’ll find the always-interesting Prof Ken Anderson talking about autonomous weapons. He also makes some intriguing comments about how some states – China among them – may perceive themselves as not being part of the evolution of the customary law of armed conflict since 1990, and thus there may not be completely “shared assumptions” about such things as “acceptable targeting” where there may be collateral damage or civilian casualties are involved,

The panel included Brigadier General Susan K. Escallie presenting an argument justifying why the Army changed its characterization of its “International & Operations Law” division to a “National Security Law” organization. Although BG Escallie seemed to pitch this as a broadening of scope, I found it puzzling – in the 21st Century – to retrench from an international focus to a national one. .

Ms. Nicole Hogg, the Legal Advisor to the U.S. and Canadian Regional Delegation to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had some remarks about the differences and similarities between the U.S. and the ICRC views as to conflict classification, particularly vis-à-vis the definition of a non-international armed conflict. “Conflict classification” is a critical concept as it will dictate the applicable legal regime, and that impacts targeting, detention, and more.

I spoke about potential legal justifications for the coalitions strikes as a result of chemical weapons attacks in Syria 2018, as well as some other issues

Anyway, I think there is much more you may find of interest, so I hope you listen! Again, the audio is available here.

As we like to say at Lawfire®, check the facts, assess the arguments, and decide for yourself!




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