Foreign Relations Law

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...

Salim Hamdan has been sentenced to 66 months in prison, far short of the 30 years-to-life sentence the prosecution requested.  Good news for Hamdan? Probably not, as Colonel Morris Davis -- the third chief prosecutor of the military commissions, who resigned because of political interference by the Pentagon -- pointed out in the comments to my ex post facto post: The...

The sole virtue of being the last among bloggers to weigh in on yesterday’s Hamdan verdict is having a chance to read what everyone else is saying. The New York Times, the ACLU, Human Rights First and others are pretty scathing in their criticism: don’t be fooled by the patina of fairness evinced by the split verdict, this system...

Well, the Hamdan verdict is in: guilty on five counts of material support to a terrorist organization, but significantly for cases to come - not guilty on the far broader charge of conspiracy. The Times’ story is here. Sentencing to follow this afternoon. This is hardly the end of the story. There will certainly be appeals. But...

My apologies for implying that Ben is a neoconservative, but I think that the title of my last post -- "Damning International Tribunals With Faint Praise" -- is accurate. Stray or not, Ben's comment praises the international tribunals for (ostensibly) not offering defendants the same kinds of protections that defendants enjoy in U.S. civilian courts.  The belief that the Rome...

I had planned to lurk on the sidelines until the discussion of Ben's fascinating book moved to the "need" for a new interrogation statute -- I, for one, am more than happy to have "interrogation laws that operate only at the highest altitude (nothing cruel or inhumane, nothing that causes severe pain or suffering) but never come down to earth,"...

Peter makes two points, one with which I largely agree, the other with which I disagree. Agreement first: I have no doubt that the structures we create to fight terrorism have to be reconcilable not only with the American constitutional tradition but with international law as well. While I am skeptical that a meeting of the minds between American and European...

I will join the chorus of praise for this terrific book. But I want to add briefly to Peter’s critique of Ben’s premise that the current threat from transnational terrorism has us in a “long war,” by looking at what this means for broader foreign policy – one that encompasses, but it is not driven by, domestic legal policy. The book correctly,...