Even Republics Must Sometimes Strike Back

Florida International University Law Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 87-118, 2011

George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 14-37

33 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2014

See all articles by Jeremy Rabkin

Jeremy Rabkin

George Mason University School of Law

Date Written: August 26, 2014

Abstract

Advocates for a literal view of the UN Charter hold that armed force can only be deployed with approval of the Security Council or in self-defense against an “armed attack.” They then tend to think that, in the latter case, force can only be deployed against the attackers. While it may seem logical, this approach is at odds with traditional understandings of what international law permits. It is at odds with more recent practice of states. And it is at odds with reasonable policy concerns, such as deterring future attacks and responding to limited, but repeated attacks. A more robust approach to self-defense can embrace a range of retaliatory measures without thereby disdaining humanitarian restraint.

Keywords: coercive force, humanitarian law, international law, national security, Protocol I, punitive war, retaliation, self-defense, United Nations Charter

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Rabkin, Jeremy, Even Republics Must Sometimes Strike Back (August 26, 2014). Florida International University Law Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 87-118, 2011, George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 14-37, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2487283

Jeremy Rabkin (Contact Author)

George Mason University School of Law ( email )

3301 Fairfax Dr
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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