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  • Author: Alejandro Chehtman
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Drones constitute an incremental advance in weapons systems. They are able to significantly reduce overall, as well as collateral, damage. These features seem to have important implications for the permissibility of resorting to military force. In short, drones would seem to expand the right to resort to military force compared to alternative weapons systems by making resorting to force proportionate in a wider set of circumstances. This line of reasoning has significant relevance in many contemporary conflicts. This article challenges this conclusion. It argues that resorting to military force through drones in contemporary asymmetrical conflicts would usually be disproportionate. The reason for this is twofold. First, under conditions of radical asymmetry, drones may not be discriminatory enough, and, thereby, collateral damage would still be disproportionate. Second, their perceived advantages in terms of greater discrimination are counteracted by the lesser chance of success in achieving the just cause for war. As a result, resorting to military force through drones in contemporary asymmetrical conflicts would generally be disproportionate not because of the harm they would expectedly cause but, rather, because of the limited harm they are ultimately able to prevent. On the basis of normative argument and empirical data, this article ultimately shows that we need to revise our understanding of proportionality not only at the level of moral argument but also in international law.
  • Topic: International Law, War, Military Affairs, Weapons , Drones
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Europe
  • Author: Ioannis Salavrakos
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The intellectual aspiration of the paper is to cast light on one of the most neglected conflicts in history, that of the Greek-Turkish war of 1919-1922. The paper analyses the Greek defeat pointing out that it was the outcome of the following factors: 1) economic factors, 2) tactical errors at the war theatre, 3) inability to have the support of Great Powers. The paper also highlights the Turkish strengths as opposed to Greek weaknesses
  • Topic: Diplomacy, War, Economy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Greece, Asia, Mediterranean
  • Author: Stefano Costalli, Andrea Ruggeri
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Ideas shape human behavior in many circumstances, including those involving political violence. Yet they have usually been underplayed in studies of the causes of armed mobilization. Likewise, emotions have been overlooked in most analyses of intrastate conflict. A mixed-methods analysis of Italian resistance during the Fascist regime and the Nazi occupation (1943–45) provides the opportunity to theorize and analyze empirical evidence on the role of indignation and radical ideologies in the process of armed mobilization. These nonmaterial factors play a crucial role in the chain that leads to armed collective action. Indignation is a push factor that moves individuals away from accepting the status quo. Radical ideologies act as pull factors that provide a new set of strategies against the incumbent. More specifically, detachment caused by an emotional event disconnects the individual from acceptance of the current state of social relations, and individuals move away from the status quo. Ideologies communicated by political entrepreneurs help to rationalize the emotional shift and elaborate alternative worldviews (disenchantment), as well as possibilities for action. Finally, a radical ideological framework emphasizes normative values and the conduct of action through the “anchoring” mechanism, which can be understood as a pull factor attracting individuals to a new status.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, War, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Andrew Mark Spencer
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Two key facts about late medieval England: The kingdom had no standing army and was at war for most of the period between 1294 and 1485. Given these circumstances, it might seem ambitious to identify a role for the military of the time in a non-war environment. Nonetheless, this peacetime role existed, and created a state of preparedness that was crucial to success when the kingdom went to war. Under ‘bastard feudalism’ the leaders of the army, trained in war and incubated in a thoroughly military ethos and culture, through their efforts in domestic governance, provided the stability at home and the financial and material resources which were as vital to the victories of the Hundred Years’ War as the much better known and remembered archers of Crecy and Agincourt. This article will provide background into medieval military and landed society before tracing how the governmental role of this group increased alongside ‘bastard feudalism’ in response to the crown’s need to find the resources for war. It will then show how ‘bastard feudalism’ worked for king, nobles and gentry in tandem and how this, in turn, created experienced administrators who were able to support the war effort. ‘Feudalism’ is a term synonymous with the Middle Ages. The feudal pyramid, with the king at the apex, his nobles and knights beneath, and peasants on the bottom, will be familiar to readers from their school days. ‘Bastard feudalism’, on the other hand, is less well-known and usually has currency only in academic journals. Both are highly controversial terms among medievalists and some even deny the existence of one or the other, or both. Most historians, however, would accept that, in England at least, there was a gradual transition from feudalism—where the principal means by which the king or nobleman rewarded his followers was through a permanent grant of land—to ‘bastard feudalism’—where rewards were primarily paid in cash payments. Where historians do not agree, however, is on the timing, causes and results of such a change...
  • Topic: War, History, Governance, Feudalism, Middle Ages
  • Political Geography: Europe, England
  • Author: Yishai Beer
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The exercise of brute force by militaries, though common, reflects professional incompetency. A well-trained military has an inherent interest in enhancing its operational effectiveness and constraining unnecessary brutality. The law of armed conflict, however, generally ignores the constraining effect of the necessity principle, originally intended to allow only the minimally necessary use of force on the battlefield. Consequently, the prevailing law places the burden of restricting the exercise of brute military force upon humanitarian considerations (and the specific norms derived from them). Humanity alone, however, cannot deliver the goods and substantially reduce war’s hazards. This article challenges the current dichotomy between the two pillars – mistakenly assumed to be polar opposites – of the law of armed conflict: necessity and humanity. It calls for the transformation of the military’s self-imposed professional constraining standards into a revised legal standard of necessity. Though the necessity principle justifies the mere use of lethal force, it should not only facilitate wielding the military sword but also function simultaneously as a shield, protecting combatants and non-combatants alike from excessive brutality. The suggested transformation would bind and restrain the prospective exercisers of excessive force, political and military alike, and restrict the potential damage that might be caused both intentionally (to combatants) and collaterally (to non-combatants). The combined effect of the current changes in war’s pattern and the law of armed conflict, in the military and social thinking of recent decades, and the new strategies available due to the development of new military technologies have all created a new war environment – one that may be ready to leverage the constraining potential of military professionalism into a binding legal standard and norms.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Law, Treaties and Agreements, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Lewis E. Lehrman
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: To evaluate the history of the Federal Reserve System, we cannot help but wonder, whither the Fed? and to consider wherefore its reform—even what and how to do it. But first let us remember whence we came one century ago.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Harold James
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A spectre is haunting the world: 1914. The approaching centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is a reminder of how the instability produced by changes in the relative balance of power in an integrated or globalized world may produce cataclysmic events. Jean-Claude Juncker, the veteran Prime Minister of Luxem-bourg and chair of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, started 2013 by warning journalists that they should take note of the parallels with 1913, the last year of European peace. He was referring explicitly to new national animosities fanned by the European economic crisis, with a growing polarization between North and South. Historically, the aftermath and the consequences of such cataclysms have been extreme. George Kennan strikingly termed the 1914–18 conflict 'the great seminal catastrophe of this century'. Without it, fascism, communism, the Great Depression and the Second World War are all almost impossible to imagine.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Communism, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Margaret MacMillan
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A century ago this autumn the first battle of the Marne ended Germany's attempt to crush France and its ally Britain quickly. In that one battle alone the French lost 80,000 dead and the Germans approximately the same. By comparison, 47,000 Americans died in the whole of the Vietnam War and 4,800 coalition troops in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. In August and September 1914 Europe, the most powerful and prosperous part of the world, had begun the process of destroying itself. A minor crisis in its troubled backyard of the Balkans had escalated with terrifying speed to create an all-out war between the powers. 1 'Again and ever I thank God for the Atlantic Ocean,' wrote Walter Page, the American ambassador in London; and in Washington his president, Woodrow Wilson, agreed.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, Iraq, America, Europe, Washington, France, London, Vietnam, Germany, Balkans, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Todd H. Hall, Jia Ian Chong
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A century has passed since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo set in motion a chain of events that would eventually convulse Europe in war. Possibly no conflict has been the focus of more scholarly attention. The questions of how and why European states came to abandon peaceful coexistence for four years of armed hostilities—ending tens of millions of lives and several imperial dynasties—have captivated historians and international relations scholars alike.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, East Asia
  • Author: Jack Snyder
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: One reason why Europe went to war in 1914 is that all of the continental great powers judged it a favorable moment for a fight, and all were pessimistic about postponing the fight until later. On its face, this explanation constitutes a paradox. Still, each power had a superficially plausible reason for thinking this was true.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, War
  • Political Geography: Europe