Secretary of State John Kerry, Our Newest “General” Leading Cambodia 2.0


Congratulations to John Kerry, who now has the job he has always wanted.

I do hope some enterprising journalist asks him about this, a key legal justification for the forever wherever war he is now a critical leader of.

The department has not found any authority for the proposition that when one of the parties to an armed conflict plans and executes operations from a base in a new nation, an operation to engage the enemy in that location cannot be part of the original armed conflict and thus subject to the laws of war governing that conflict, unless the hostilities become sufficiently intense and protracted in the new location. That does not appear to be the rule of the historical practice, for instasnce, even in a traditional international conflict. See John R. Stevenson, Legal Advisor, Department of State, United States Military Action in Cambodia: Questions of International Law, Adress before the Hammerskjold Forum of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (May 28, 1970), in 3 The Vietnam War and International Law: The Widening Context 23 28-30 (Richard A Falk, ed 1972) (arguing that in an international armed conflict, if a netural state has been unable for any reason to prevent violations of its neutrality by the troops of one belligerent using its territory as a base of operations, the other belligerent has historically  been justified in attacking those enemy forces in that state). [my emphasis]

I fear the projectiles he and his team will be throwing this time around will be far more lethal than the medals he once threw.

Update: Thanks to pushingrope for suggesting that this YouTube is more appropriate than old pictures of the Winter Soldiers.

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5 Responses to Secretary of State John Kerry, Our Newest “General” Leading Cambodia 2.0

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
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emptywheel Turns out if you recruit cyber agents promising they'll be able to do things that'd be illegal if anyone else did em, they do illegal things
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emptywheel @AllThingsHLS Joking. Look forward to what you end up focusing on.
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bmaz @emptywheel Whadda ya want from an NSC lawyer!
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