When the Law Becomes a Weapon of War

by George I. Seffers, The Lawfare Project

Terrorists, their supporters and other adversarial groups and individuals are finding new and creative ways to use the law against their enemies. The tactics create hesitation on the battlefield, cast doubt on the legality of military operations and ultimately can change the way nations fight. Recent cases, though, indicate the courts may be catching on.

While experts disagree on the definition of lawfare, it essentially means the use or abuse of the legal system as a substitute for traditional military means to achieve an operational objective. Some tactics are well worn and essentially amount to a propaganda campaign to try a matter in the court of public opinion. “Claiming that a Taliban gathering was a wedding or that there are a great number of civilian casualties in an airstrike, those kinds of things are almost knee-jerk initial reactions by the enemy to put us off balance and get us to investigate ourselves,” says Col. Richard Jackson, USA (Ret.), special assistant to the U.S. Army judge advocate general for Law of War Matters.  Read the entire story.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s