Accession Number:

ADA415820

Title:

Maintaining the Legal High Ground: The Legal Implications of Using Armed Force to Combat Terrorists

Descriptive Note:

Strategic research project

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2003-04-07

Pagination or Media Count:

50.0

Abstract:

President Bush has consistently articulated his administrations policy to seize the initiative and utilize all elements of national power, including armed force, to combat terrorists and the nations that harbor them. The dialogue on the legality of striking Iraq as a threat to this countrys vital interests as a result of its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction resounds in the media. However, there is significantly less discussion on the lawfulness of striking the terrorist groups which, in effect, declared war against the U.S. and viciously attacked it on September 11, 2001. This paper will demonstrate that although international law does not formally address the acceptability of attacking terrorists or nations which harbor them with armed force, there is sufficient legal justification to conduct these military operations in the global war on terrorism. A survey of treaty, customary international and selected case law will demonstrate the legal space in which the U.S. can aggressively fight its terrorist enemies.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE