MENU

Glenn Sulmasy Reviews "Legal and Ethical Lessons of NATO's Kosovo Campaign" - By Andru E. Wall

By Glenn M. Sulmasy
October 01, 2003
In August of 2001, a group of leading international law scholars gathered at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, to meet and discuss the many issues associated with the NATO campaign in Kosovo. Their charge was to discuss, argue, learn and write about the successes and mistakes of the campaign. More broadly, they analyzed the law of armed conflict (LOAC)1 in the era of modern warfare. Legal and Ethical Lessons of NATO’s Kosovo Campaign is a compilation of the debates and presentations made by this learned group. As Wall captures in the introduction of his book, the sad irony of the conference is that the scholars in attendance could never have predicted the tragedy of 9/11 was a mere month away. In a brief few hours on that Tuesday morning in September, modern warfare changed again. This conference’s issues became critically important
to decision-makers around the world. The War on Terror ushered in a whole new array of problems challenging established LOAC principles. It is with that chilling knowledge the book puts forth reasoned debates as to issues ranging from the jus ad bello and, most importantly in the current context, the jus in bello. Throughout, regardless of which side of the debate the attendees espoused, it is clear lawyers have become  an integral part of combat operations. The assembled scholars, including Dr. Nicholas Rostow of the United States mission to the United Nations, Sir Adam Roberts of Oxford, Dr. Leslie Green, and Prof. John Norton Moore, present a thoughtful and insightful discussion on the topic. This compilation by scholars, practitioners and warriors makes for a most enjoyable and learned discussion of the issues. The book is well reasoned and, as I will discuss, a must read for all policy makers.