The New Warfare : Rethinking Rules for an Unruly World book cover
1st Edition

The New Warfare
Rethinking Rules for an Unruly World

ISBN 9781138191891
Published March 7, 2016 by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

This book looks at the evolving relationship between war and international law, examining the complex practical and legal dilemmas posed by the changing nature of war in the contemporary world, whether the traditional rules governing the onset and conduct of hostilities apply anymore, and how they might be adapted to new realities. War, always messy, has become even messier today, with the blurring of interstate, intrastate, and extrastate violence. How can the United States and other countries be expected to fight honourably and observe the existing norms when they often are up against an adversary who recognizes no such obligations? Indeed, how do we even know whether an "armed conflict" is underway when modern wars tend to lack neat beginnings and endings and seem geographically indeterminate, as well? What is the legality of anticipatory self-defense, humanitarian intervention, targeted killings, drones, detention of captured prisoners without POW status, and other controversial practices? These questions are explored through a review of the United Nations Charter, Geneva Conventions, and other regimes and how they have operated in recent conflicts. Through a series of case studies, including the U.S. war on terror and the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, Kosovo, and Congo, the author illustrates the challenges we face today in the ongoing effort to reduce war and, when it occurs, to make it more humane.

Table of Contents

PART 1: INTRODUCTION: FRAMING THE PUZZLE  1. The Changing Nature of War: Do We Need New Rules for an Old Problem?  PART 2: THE LAWS OF WAR: WHAT ARE THE RULES?  2. On Starting A War: The United Nations Charter and Other Jus Ad Bellum Rules  3. On Conducting A War: The Geneva Conventions and Other Jus In Bello Rules  4. On Concluding A War: The Absence of Jus Post Bellum Rules  PART 3: THE LAWS OF WAR: ARE THEY STILL RELEVANT?  5. Applying Jus Ad Bellum Rules to the New Warfare: Cases  6. Applying Jus In Bello Rules to the New Warfare: Cases  7. Applying Jus Post Bellum Rules to the New Warfare: Cases  PART 4: CONCLUSION: THE FUTURE OF WAR, PEACE, AND LAW  8. Adapting to the New Face of Violence

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J. Martin Rochester is the Curators Distinguished Teaching Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.


"The most important application of just war theory since 9/11. Rochester asks all the difficult questions – an essential book for our time."

– John Vasquez, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"Backed by a treasure trove of research, this is an important and up-to-date study of the deterioration of international rules that govern the use of force. It should be read and pondered by international lawyers, international relations theorists, and policymakers who think about how war can be restricted by law."

– Michael J. Glennon, Boston University Law School

"This important new work suggests that the 'new face of violence' challenges international legal norms as much as it does international peace and security. To his credit, J. Martin Rochester eschews daydreaming of a better world in favor of practical reforms that incentivize compliance and further the United Nations’ concern to 'save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.'"

– Robert P. Barnidge, Jr., Webster University