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NEWPORT, R.I. - The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) International Law Department (ILD) collaborated with Boston University School of Law and the American Society of International Law's Francis Lieber Society to sponsor a conference on Oct. 14.
 
Held at Boston University, the conference theme was "Ten Years In: Appraising the International Law of the 'Long War' in Afghanistan and Pakistan."
"Ten Years In: Appraising the International Law of the 'Long War' in Afghanistan and Pakistan" 
The conference brought together military lawyers and human rights practitioners to examine current controversies in the law of armed conflict arising out U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Panel discussions among participants addressed counterinsurgency doctrine, rules of engagement, the concept of "direct participation by civilians in hostilities," targeted killings, and cross-border operations.
 
NWC's ILD Chairman Professor Mike Schmitt spoke on drone operations and the laws of war. Army Col. Rick Rousseau, ILD deputy chair, discussed the development and application of tactical directives in the Afghan theatre.
 
According to a "Lawfare" blog posting by Roger Williams University Law Professor Peter Margulies, the conference featured good news and bad news. The good news was military lawyers and human rights practitioners had consensus on law regarding drone attacks and the benefit of transparency in the U.S.’s legal rationale. Panelists, though, raised more questions and concerns than found answers.  More of Margulies' reflections on the conference may be read at http://www.lawfareblog.com/2011/10/peter-margulies-on-boston-university-long-war-conference/.

The Boston University International Law Journal will publish selected portions of the proceedings.

From Naval War College Public Affairs
Posted by Cmdr. Carla McCarthy