Middle East

The blogosphere is all atwitter with news that the CIA has been using Viagra to bribe Afghan chieftains into revealing information about the Taliban.  I was going to point out that, however successful the erections-for-info exchange might be, it is worth wondering to what extent the practice facilitates rape, marital and otherwise.  But it appears Cara at Feministe has beaten...

Medecins Sans Frontieres has published their list and report of the top-ten humanitarian disasters of 2008.  Africa suffers its disproportionate share: Massive forced civilian displacements, violence, and unmet medical needs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, and Pakistan, along with neglected medical emergencies in Myanmar and Zimbabwe, are some of the worst humanitarian and medical emergencies in the world,...

Two interesting articles today about countries that want the ICC to get involved in their internal problems.  First, the Indian government apparently wants the Court to prosecute Pakistanis who are responsible for masterminding terrorist attacks, including the recent attack in Mumbai: "[h]ighly placed government sources have told TIMES NOW that decks are being cleared by New Delhi to get the...

Richard Falk, an eminent professor of international law and politics at Princeton, was expelled from Israel yesterday while he acting as the UN Human Rights Council's special rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian territories.  Falk was expelled by Israel because Israel believed his investigation, and indeed the UN Human Rights Council itself, is irredeemably biased against Israel.  This is probably...

Thanks to Matt for his very thoughtful comments. I agree with almost all of them, so will take this opportunity to amplify on some of the issues he raises. First, Matt “wonder[s] whether administrative detention is so underdeveloped, or so expansive a concept, that it doesn’t make sense to think of it as a single model at all.” I agree with...

I thank YJIL and Opinio Juris for the opportunity to comment on Monica Hakimi’s article, “International Standards for Detaining Terrorism Suspects: Moving Beyond the Armed Conflict-Criminal Divide.” Monica’s important paper will contribute to a raging debate likely to grow more intense as President-elect Obama moves to shut down Guantanamo and put U.S. detention policy on sounder legal footing. ...

Thanks to Opinio Juris for hosting this symposium. I read the blog regularly so know to expect a lively and interesting discussion.   My article addresses the international legal rules for detaining “non-battlefield terrorism suspects”—i.e., suspected terrorists not captured on a conventional battlefield or in the theater of combat. Despite the extensive literature on the rules that govern the “war on terror,”...

As was widely reported, the United States and Iraqi negotiators (finally!) concluded negotiations last week by signing the text of a U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).  Both sides now need to go through their respective domestic approval processes before exchanging the necessary notifications to bring the SOFA into force.  In Iraq, that process includes parliamentary approval, which is not a slam dunk if...

Amidst all the global celebration regarding the election of Barack Obama there is stark news that Moscow is emerging as a serious resurgent threat to the United States. Within hours of Obama's election Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the redeployment of missiles on the Polish border. A few United States papers are covering the story, but this report...

People often complain here in the U.S. about how the nature of presidential campaigns make it hard for complex and sophisticated ideas to get out (and this is a gross understatement).  And the media is often blamed.  But the candidates are often just as much as fault. Case in point, Senator Obama's silence on what he thinks of the deadly U.S....

The last few weeks have seen a flurry of news stories on Iraqi political resistance to the "final" text of a U.S.-Iraqi status of forces agreement ("SOFA").  Last week, the main storyline was that the Iraqi Parliament had better accept the agreed text or else, while the Iraqi Parliament gave every indication they would delay any decision till after U.S. and Iraqi elections.  This week the new...