As commentators grapple with the political question of whether a reckless and irresponsible tone is disqualifying for high office, we might also ask whether a cerebral and serious tone compensates for policies that blur legal frameworks and masquerade novel theories as matters of routine interagency review.
Major Charlie Kels is a judge advocate in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and senior attorney for the American Medical Association. His views do not reflect those of the Air Force, Department of Defense, or AMA.
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News outlets are reporting that the U.S. Air Force is contracting out the operation of Reaper drones used in targeted killing. How does the Law of Armed Conflict account for these civilians directly participating in hostilities?
Naz Modirzadeh’s fascinating series of Lawfare posts (here, here, and here) discussing her article, Folk International Law, provides an excellent primer on the potential consequences and confusion that result from amalgamating distinct legal doctrines, regardless of whether such creative tinkering is couched under the rubric of “