12 Aug Welcome to the Blogosphere, Articles of War!
Our friends at West Point have just launched an ambitious new blog, Articles of War. The “Authors” page lists seven contributors, all of whom are well-known in IHL, military law, and cognate-discipline circles: Col. Joshua F. Berry, Prof. Geoff Corn, Prof. Ashley Deeks, Lt. Gen. Charles N. Pede, Col. Shane Reeves, Prof. Michael N. Schmitt, and Prof. Sean Watts. The Managing Editor is Dr. Sasha Radin, my friend from our mutual Melbourne Law School days.
Here is the blog’s self-description:
Articles of War is a curated digital publication that offers a platform for timely analysis, debate and commentary around legal challenges arising from the contemporary battlefield.
We aim to identify practical issues, provide clarity on the law, and bring operational perspectives into the U.S. and international discussions around the law of armed conflict.
Through this operational focus and open dialogue among leading scholars and practitioners we strive to create greater understanding to ensure that the law of armed conflict retains its relevance in contemporary times and to empower global combat leaders and government advisors with relevant information and discussion. Our unique access to both military practitioners, a global network academics and government experts allows us to provide distinct and practical perspectives.
As the name suggests, Articles of War describes our mission as a platform for debate and commentary on contemporary issues in the law of armed conflict.
However, Articles of War also alludes to the set of regulations adopted by the Continental Congress in 1775 to govern the conduct of the Army and subsequent iterations of those regulations governing U.S. forces more broadly.
In addition, Articles of War draws inspiration from the Lieber Code, the first modern codification of the law of armed conflict. Published in 1863 as “General Order No. 100: Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field,” the Lieber Code—as it came to be known—was written predominantly by Francis Lieber and promulgated by Abraham Lincoln to guide Union soldiers during the American Civil War. The code sets out rules on how soldiers should behave during war.
The Lieber Code eventually served as a model for similar manuals in other States, and it is widely considered to be an influential precursor to subsequent international conventions on the law of war—in particular, the 1874 International Declaration Concerning the Laws and Customs of War and the 1899 and 1907 Hague Regulations on Land Warfare. The Lieber Code is still referred to today in the foreword of the Department of Defense Law of War Manual.
Just as Francis Lieber sought to determine the law applicable to warfare in his time, so too does Articles of War. By presenting the considered perspectives of scholars and practitioners, we hope to elucidate the current state of the law and highlight areas of current debate.
Articles of War already has four posts up, on Lieber’s legacy (Pede/Berry), the decision-making effects of autonomy in US military operations (Deeks), targeting non-state mixed groups (Schmitt), and civilian casualty aversion (Corn).
You can sign up for the Articles of War mailing list here, follow the blog on Twitter here, and connect with the Lieber Institute on LinkedIn here. You should also check out the Lieber Institute’s slick new website here.
Welcome to the blogosphere, Articles of War!