Weekly IHL Update

Option 1Monday, January 19,  2015

In the News

Existing state borders become tenuous during armed conflict, as the events of this past week demonstrate. Spillover seems to be occurring with many of the existing conflicts…

Islamic State (IS) may be responsible for an attack on a café in Lebanon, recruiting new members and fighting Taliban in southern Afghanistan, and kidnapping twenty-one people in Libya. The popularity of Islamic State, however, remains in question; while a Pakistan Taliban splinter group appears to pledge allegiance to IS the attacks in Lebanon suggest Lebanese Sunnis may be turning their back on IS.

While Boko Haram may not have quite the international reach of Islamic State, the conflict continues to cross into Cameroon, with the military recently engaging Boko Haram in a five-hour gun battle. Nigeria’s ability to effectively confront and contain Boko Haram appears weak, and internationalization of the conflict with the militant organization raises many concerns.

Concerns about spillover are not limited to physical borders. Last week thousands of cyber attacks hit French websites and social media accounts of US Central Command and a US news agency were hacked.  In response to these attacks, states are now developing new cyber defense strategies leading the US and UK to stage a first series of joint cyber war games. But debate continues on the manner in which IHL may apply to cyber attacks.

Also of note, China is developing a drone program and reports suggest Assad may be attempting to develop nuclear weapons.

Around the Web

War Crimes. U.S. ambassador at large for war crimes Stephen Rapp, may be stepping down from his role as the top war crimes diplomat.

Future Warfare. In its most recent war-art challenge the Art of Future Warfare requested submissions of fictional news accounts from a future global conflict. The winning story, “Coffee, Wi-Fi, and the Moon,” is definitely worth reading but continue to check on the Art of Future Warfare as they share some of the other notable contest entries.

Norms of Armed Conflict. Notes from a recent conference on asymmetric warfare question adherence to the laws of armed conflict when the strategy of non-state groups violate these norms. While the entire post is engaging, comments on the rise of suicide bombings are particularly intriguing.

On the Blog

American Sniper. You have probably seen the trailer for American Sniper, or even caught the movie when it was released nationally on Friday. Check out our review of the book (yes, it’s a book too!) for some thought-provoking questions before or after you see the film in theaters.


*Inclusion in our “Weekly IHL Update” does not mean that the American Red Cross endorses or agrees with the views and opinions expressed.*

2 responses to “Weekly IHL Update

  1. Pingback: End of the Year Review | Humanity in War·

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