Saturday, January 9, 2016

Irregular Armed Conflict and the Laws of War

Readers in Atlanta for the annual meeting of the American Historical Association might consider attending Session 268, Irregular Armed Conflict and the Development of the Laws of War, 1863-1977, tomorrow (that is, Sunday) from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM in Room A601, of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atrium Level.  Timothy Louis Schroer, University of West Georgia, chairs the session.  The papers are “The Long Shadow of General Order 100: US Military Practice in the Boxer Rebellion and the Philippine War,” by Andrei Mamolea, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies; “The Red Cross and Irregular Warfare, 1863–1949,” by Kimberly Lowe, Lesley University, and “Inventing Proportionality,” by Brian Cuddy, Cornell University.  Laurie Blank, Emory University School of Law, will comment.
The legal controversies that accompany contemporary war—from drones and detainees to intervention and interrogation—are often linked to the idea that the laws of war have struggled to keep up with changing modes of warfare in our global age. No longer confined to a site of battle, war today is everywhere and nowhere. Such irregular forms of warfare—generally waged by and against nonstate actors—are often assumed, almost by definition, to have been external or tangential to the historical development of a legal infrastructure designed to regulate inter-state war. This panel turns the table on that assumption and places irregular warfare at the heart of the development of the laws of war since the mid-nineteenth century.  More