The Pen and the Sword: Legal Justifications for the United States’ Engagement Against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Part I of this Comment will lay out the potential arguments the United States could make to justify its engagement against ISIS under international law, jus ad bellum. This Part will also present existing commentary on the strengths and weaknesses of the available legal justifications. Part II will lay out the legal justifications under US law and discuss their nexus to the United States’ international obligations. Finally, Part III will argue that the United States’ engagement is appropriately classified as an instance of collective self-defense under international law. This Part will discuss what new AUMF would be needed in order to be consistent with United States international law obligations.

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Fordham International Law Journal
Volume 39, Number 1

Suggested Citation
Olivia Gonzalez, The Pen and the Sword: Legal Justifications for the United States’ Engagement Against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), 39 Fordham Int’l L.J. 134 (2015)