Middle East

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...

This just gets more and more interesting.  Lt. Col. Vandeveld has said he will testify for the defense -- but only if he is given immunity from prosecution: Defense attorneys asked the judge to give Vandeveld immunity. "The suggestion he may have something criminal to hide is intriguing and suggests there is something very, very important this commission needs to get...

I wish I could say I was surprised: Long before Mr. Hussein was hanged on Dec. 30, 2006, with supporters of Iraq’s new Shiite-led government taunting him as the noose was tightened around his neck, a pattern of intervention by powerful Iraqi officials had been established. The court’s first chief judge was dismissed under government pressure for giving Mr. Hussein too...

Spiegel Online has posted a fascinating interview with Rafi Eitan, a former Mossad agent who is now a minister in the Israeli cabinet.  According to Eitan, Mengele was also in Buenos Aires when Eichmann was captured -- and would have shared Eichmann's fate but for the Mossad's lack of boots on the ground: SPIEGEL: Josef Mengele fled Germany for South America...

Opinio Juris is pleased to welcome Daniel Seidemann as a guest blogger this week to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the future of Jerusalem. Daniel is the founder and legal advisor for Ir Amim, a non-profit, non-partisan association dedicated to an equitable, stable and sustainable Jerusalem. Ir Amim (“City of Nations” or “City of Peoples”) was founded in...

Let me begin the discussion by addressing one of the most important issues addressed in Farer's book: combating terrorism consistent with the Charter. Farer presents the issue of the permissible options for the United States if it discovers that terrorist organizations or individuals are active in country X and planning an attack on American targets. If the...