The face of modern warfare is changing as more and more humanitarianorganizations, private military companies, and non-state groups entercomplex security environments such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Haiti.Although this shift has been overshadowed by ......more
The face of modern warfare is changing as more and more humanitarianorganizations, private military companies, and non-state groups entercomplex security environments such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Haiti.Although this shift has been overshadowed by the legal issues connectedto the War on Terror and intervention in countries such as Rwanda andDarfur, it has caused some to question the relevance of existinginternational humanitarian law.
To bridge the widening gap between the theory and practice of thelaw, Modern Warfare brings together both scholars andpractitioners who offer unique, and often divergent, perspectives onfour key challenges to the law's legitimacy: how to ensurecompliance among non-state armed groups; the proliferation of privatemilitary and security companies and their use by humanitarianorganizations; tensions between the idea of humanitarian space andcounterinsurgency doctrines; and the phenomenon of urban violence. Thecontributors do not simply consider settled legal standards -- theywiden the scope to include first principles, related bodies of law,humanitarian policy, and the latest studies on the prevention andmitigation of violence.
By bringing to light international humanitarian law'slimitations -- and potential -- in the context of modernwarfare's rapidly changing landscape, Modern Warfareopens a path to preventing further unnecessary suffering andviolence.
Benjamin Perrin is an assistant professor in theFaculty of Law at the University of British Columbia. He is currentlyserving as Special Advisor, Legal Affairs and Policy, in the PrimeMinister's Office in Ottawa.
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