NEWPORT, R.I. – U.S. Naval War College (NWC) Professor Michael Schmitt
recently published a new book titled Essays on Law and War at the Fault Lines
, a compilation of essays that examine the flaws and uncertainties of the laws of armed conflict.
Professor Schmitt was approached by the TMC Asser Instituut to compile a selected collection of his articles over the past 20 years. The Instituut was founded by the law faculties of several Dutch universities in 1965. Today, it is a leading academic inter-university institute promoting scholarly research and discussion of international law.
According to Schmitt, his choice of articles was deliberate.
“I chose topics in involving the application of law in the modern battlespace with which political decision-makers and warfighters struggle,” said Schmitt. “They are the topics which have not been well-resolved over the course of the past 20 years.”
In the book’s introduction, Schmitt notes the symbiotic relationship between law and war. As much as law affects how wars are fought on the battlefield, the battles fought also affect the laws governing combat. This book examines that relationship.
“Most of my research focused on how modern war has changed and how we can most appropriately apply dated treaties to forms of warfare that didn’t exist when they were adopted,” said Schmitt.
Schmitt is NWC’s Chair of the International Law Department. He retired from the Air Force after 20 years of service. Following his military career, Schmitt became the Professor and Dean of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany and most recently Chair of Public International Law at Durham University in the UK. In 2011, that university awarded him a Doctor of Letters degree in recognition of his research and publication of “high distinction, constituting a substantial and original contribution to scholarship in the field”, much of which is contained in this collection of essays.
By Alyssa Menard, NWC Public Affairs
Posted by Cmdr. Carla McCarthy
NOTE: the views expressed in “Essays on Law and War at the Fault Lines” are the authors’ own and do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Naval War College, the Department of the Navy or Department of Defense or any other organization of the U.S. government.