EJIL: Talk! Commentary on ICC Decision Not to Investigate the Situation in Afghanistan

A two-part blog commentary by Dapo Akande and Talita de Souza Dias scrutinises the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber’s recent decision to reject the Prosecutor’s request for authorisation to conduct an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan. The authors summarise some of the existing criticisms of this development, and contribute to the ongoing discussion by examining two particular […]

‘The Longest War Needs Fresh Thinking’

In a Wall Street Journal opinion article on 17 April, Jonathan Burks (former Chief of Staff to Paul Ryan) called for US Congress to gather a commission to write a comprehensive history of the War on Terror, as the first step in a comprehensive review of US counterterrorism strategy: “With nearly 60,000 casualties across all theaters of […]

‘Has the Australian Government Met its Defence Funding Commitments?’

This ASPI analysis examines the four federal budgets since the 2016 defence white paper, and investigates whether the funding that the government has provided in those budgets has aligned with the white paper commitment. The author concludes that it has, but observes: “Of course, how much funding Defence gets is a different issue from whether that […]

‘The Hidden Costs of Strategy by Special Operations’

This War on the Rocks analysis discusses America’s traditional reliance on special forces as a foreign policy “easy button”, which is claimed to be divorced from the hard work needed to make lasting progress towards overarching strategic objectives. The author concludes: More importantly, overreliance on their abilities will prevent them from properly preparing for great power […]

‘Indo-Pacific Terrorism: What to Expect for the Foreseeable Future’

A timely post on the Small Wars Journal by J. “Lumpy” Lumbaca considers whether and how extremist terrorism will continue to persist in the Indo-Pacific during 2019 and beyond. The author nominates the following key trends as part of this prediction: Continued Islamic State influence on Indo-Pacific terrorists;  Increased use of the internet by terrorists;  Increased […]

UNAMA: detainee torture by Afghan forces remains ‘disturbingly high’

In a report released on 17 April last week, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) observed that while reports of Afghan security forces torturing prisoners have declined over the past two years, they continue to take place at ‘disturbingly high’ levels. The full UNAMA report is available here, and is summarised by War […]

Sanremo Essay Competition: cyber warfare and AI in warfare

On the occasion of the 42nd Round Table on Current Issues of IHL, the International Institute of IHL and the ICRC have announced the second ‘Sanremo New Voices in IHL’ essay competition. The winner will be invited to present at the Round Table in Italy on 4-6 September 2019 and publish their essay in the […]

New ASPI Report: ’18 Years and Counting ‘

This new report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute provides a general overview and update on what successive Australian governments have done since 9/11 to counter terrorism’s threats to international, regional and domestic peace and security. The report was launched on 10 April and is available here.

Australian Red Cross Pacific Handbooks on IHL

The Australian Red Cross has designed a series of country-specific IHL handbooks for parliamentarians, designed to increase understanding of IHL, and encourage government officials to promote respect for IHL. “Pacific Islanders are no longer just Islanders in and of the Pacific Ocean, but Pacific Islanders in the Global Ocean […] There is no doubt there […]

New Book by Marco Sassòli

The new book is called International Humanitarian Law: Rules, Controversies, and Solutions to Problems Arising in Warfare. Part of the Edward Elgar ‘Principles of International Law’ series, Professor Sassòli’s book is practically oriented, and examines when IHL applies; its substantive rules; the maintenance of respect for IHL; and the IAC/NIAC distinction. The Director of the APCML, […]