TITLE

The Law of War in the War on Terror

AUTHOR(S)
Roth, Kenneth
PUB. DATE
January 2004
SOURCE
Foreign Affairs;Jan/Feb2004, Vol. 83 Issue 1, p2
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The war on terrorism launched by United States President George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. has broad and meaningful implications on the established norms and concepts of the laws of war. The pronouncement by President Bush on September 29, 2001 made it clear that he means the war on terrorism literally and not metaphorically. By literalizing the war on terror, President Bush has broken down the distinction between what is permissible in times of peace and what can be condoned during a war. In peacetime, governments are bound by strict rules of law enforcement. Police can use lethal force only if necessary to meet an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. Once a suspect is detained, he or she must be charged and tried. These requirements are codified in international human rights law. In times of war, law-enforcement rules are supplemented by a more permissive set of rules as when a combatant is captured, he or she can be held in custody until the end of the conflict, without any trial. These two sets of rules have been well developed over the years, both by tradition and by detailed international conventions. The United States Department of Justice has cited Supreme Court rulings to defend the Bush administration's use of war rules in the war on terrorism. Balance should be carefully observed by the Bush administration to protect the civil and human rights of combatants in the war on terrorism.
ACCESSION #
11781717

 

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