Tuesday Headlines

What Does International Law Say About Attacking ISIL?

Ernesto Sanchez examines the legality of the United States taking assertive action against ISIL in Syria and reaches the conclusion that such an endeavor would be legal.

He writes that Article 51 of the UN Charter states that “nothing shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs.”

“The prospect of ISIL attacks on the United States or its allies in general indeed falls under Article 51, because there is nothing in the article that states that self-defense is viable only against armed attacks made by states,” he asserts.

But, he adds, the decision to strike must consider other factors besides whether it is legal or not.

“Nothing in international law stands in the way of expanding the fight against ISIL to Syria. But Assad’s message in opposing unilateral air strikes remains clear—if you want me to crack down on ISIL, the so-called “international community” must leave me alone. That is the real dilemma the Obama administration faces as it considers action against ISIL in Syria,” cautions Sanchez.

Japan Seeking Return To Security Council
With China posing a greater threat to its territorial interests in the region, Japan has been pursuing a bolder military stance. And, now that includes seeking a permanent place on the UN Security Council, reports The Diplomat.

With the withdrawal of Bangladesh, a spot has opened up for Japan, which would like use its position “to advocate for reform and to “lead in efforts to change the United Nations into a desirable form for the 21st century,” according to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Whether they will succeed could be determined by, ironically, China.

“Yet China alone will probably be enough to derail these prospects for Japan, as it has no interest in seeing Tokyo on equal footing with Beijing in the world’s most powerful diplomatic forum.”

Time For A New Alliance Of The Americas?
Ernesto Talvi calls for renewed cooperation, beginning with trade, between North and South America.

Foreign Funding Of Think Tanks
John Judis uses his column in The New Republic to make the case that foreign funding of American think tanks is undermining the democratic system.

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