Foreign Relations Law

John McCain on Guantanamo Bay, during a question-and-answer session with Walter Isaacson: it may be one of the nicest places in the world to live in. Hyperbole or not, shouldn't comments like that disqualify someone from being president? ADDENDUM: This is a pretty good one, too, concerning Russia's invasion of Georgia: My friends, we have reached a crisis, the first probably serious crisis internationally...

Following is a statement that Secretary of State Rice made today in Tbilisi regarding the sirtuation in Georgia, the cease-fire agreement, and next steps. I have also included an excerpt from her Q&A with reporters and highlighted throughout a few parts that I thought were particularly interesting. SECRETARY RICE: Thank you, Mr. President.  Mr. President, as President Bush noted in his statement a couple...

Our friend John Boonstra at UN Dispatch calls attention to a little-used provision of the UN Charter that requires members of the Security Council to abstain from voting on substantive matters when they are a party to a dispute.  Here is the text of Article 27(3): Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative...

The New York Times has posted online the (possibly fraying) cease-fire agreement concerning the conflict in Georgia. At the time of its signing, President Sarkozy had said something to the effect that this is not a document for a lasting peace, but rather just to stop the shooting.  Looking at the text, I can see why he wanted to make that clear. ...

According to Interfax, Russia is considering referring the situation in South Ossetia to the ICC. It quotes Russia's Prosecutor General, Yury Chaika, as saying that he "doesn't think setting up a special [international] court is necessary. Complaints and applications from our citizens which will be referred to the International Criminal Court would suffice."  That's an interesting statement, given that Russia...

As the fighting winds down or escalates (depending on whom you believe), the legal battle that Ken discussed yesterday seems to be gearing up and getting more complex, with the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, and the European Court of Human Rights now all being mentioned in news stories. The AP is reporting the following: The Georgian security council...

My thanks to Chris for posting on the Georgian conflict as it has unfolded.  I've been watching, unsure what exactly to say about policy.  I'm still unsure.  I mean, it's easy to agree with both the Obama and McCain campaign reactions (I paraphrase) ...

This is a follow-up to my previous post concerning the legal issues of the conflict in Georgia with some more about the current military and diplomatic situations (and the resultant legal concerns). The fighting is moving beyond South Ossetia and into other parts of Georgia, such as the port city of Poti. According to the New York Times: Mr. Bush referred particularly to...

Russia's intervention in Georgia is the latest, and most obvious, example of the peculiar role that Russia plays in the various so-called frozen conflicts in former republics of the USSR.  As international security expert Dov Lynch has put it, Russia can be thought of as a “mediator-cum-supporter-cum-combatant.”  Why has Russia undertaken such a foreign policy in Georgia and what, if anything,...

The frozen conflict over the Georgian separatist region South Ossetia has become a shooting war. On the first day of the Olympics, no less. According to CNN: "All day today, they've been bombing Georgia from numerous warplanes and specifically targeting (the) civilian population, and we have scores of wounded and dead among (the) civilian population all around the country," President Mikhail...