The United States pursues a range of policy options in serving its national interests, from diplomacy to sanctions and other coercive measures to the use of military force. At various times, such measures have been undertaken unilaterally, or pursuant to Security Council authorization, or in accordance with obligations arising under international security agreements. In its first months in office, the Trump Administration has continued military operations conducted by previous administrations against ISIS and other non-state actors, and recently launched a unilateral missile strike against a Syrian government target in response to the use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.
This live online briefing, the eighth in the American Society of International Law's series on "International Law and the Trump Administration," will feature former senior U.S. officials from both Republican and Democratic administrations who were responsible for formulating policy and advising the Executive Branch on issues involving the use of force and the law of armed conflict. They will discuss the international legal principles that apply to the permissible use of force by nation states and the extent to which those principles serve as an effective constraint on aggression, and will examine the interplay between international law, domestic legislation, and Executive Branch policies that US officials consider in determining whether a given exercise of armed force is legally permissible.