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The War in Afghanistan: A Legal Analysis

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On October 7, 2001 the United States commenced Operation Enduring Freedom, striking terrorist training camps and infrastructure in Afghanistan to dismantle the threat posed by AI Qaeda and its supporters. Over the ensuing seven years, the United States, NATO allies and coalition partners saw the evolution of the Afghan conflict reveal not only an entirely new paradigm of warfare, but a test of the very structure and ability of international law to regulate armed conflicts in the new millennium. Since its founding in 1884, the US Naval War College has pioneered the study and teaching of the law impacting military operations. For three days in June 2008 the College convened a unique colloquium of experts to take another leap forward in the development and understanding of international law. The workshop, The War in Afghanistan-A Legal Analysis, drew together fifty of the worlds most distinguished academics and elite practitioners of international law to provide a comprehensive debate and explication of the conflict. Panelists and participants engaged in thorough discussions germane to both the Afghan war and future military operations involving the legal basis for the conflict, the law governing the conduct of hostilities and the emerging legal framework to transition from hostilities to a stable peace. This edition of then a val War Colleges internationally acclaimed International Law Studies Blue Book series captures the insights and lessons shared by the workshop participants. Employing the Naval War Colleges Decision Support Center resources, panelists were able to access participant notes from their presentations, augmenting and strengthening their own written work. The fruits of these discussions are contained in the eminent scholarship found in this volume.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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