New Battlefields/Old Laws

One of INSCT’s signature projects, New Battlefields/Old Laws (NBOL) began with a 2007 symposium to commemorate the 100th anniversary of The Hague Convention of 1907. The project has since grown into an ongoing series of interdisciplinary workshops and publications that reexamine the application of centuries-old customs and laws of armed conflict in the age of asymmetric warfare. 

Background

It has become increasingly clear that a re-examination of the policies and laws for the conduct of armed conflict is required. Toward that end, INSCT—working with the Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel—has assembled international teams of scholars and practitioners to address the considerable challenges for the future of humanitarian law.

Recent conflicts underscore the shortcomings of international law and policy in responding to asymmetric warfare. The tendencies of terrorists or insurgent groups to operate within civilian communities present significant and unanticipated strategic and tactical challenges for victimized states and citizens.

Neither The Hague Rules, the customary laws of war, nor the post-1949 law of armed conflict and accompanying international humanitarian law, account for non-state groups waging prolonged, “fourth generation” campaigns of terrorism that leave the defending state with little choice but to respond in ways that inflict heavy civilian casualties. The result is that the defending state is often criticized for violating norms that do not accommodate the conflict being waged. At the same time, the defending state lacks adequate guidance in shaping the parameters and details of its response.

NBOL 2017 (10th Anniversary Workshop): Crisis Management in Times of Transition

At this year’s World Summit on Counter-Terrorism—Sept. 11-14, 2017, in Herzliya, Israel—INSCT will convene its 10th New Battlefields/Old Laws (NBOL) workshop.

The battlefield has grown geographically broader in recent years, with conflicts spilling over national boundaries. At the same time, the distinction between peace and war has eroded. Terrorism, in particular, features in both peace and war under quite similar forms. Peace time crises – be they national security crises, health emergencies, natural disasters or financial crises – increasingly trigger issues not that different from those encountered in times of war. This workshop looks at the reasons for this change, the extent of crisis management by various actors, and the crises’ local and global repercussions. Questions of authority, legitimacy, and decision-making in times of governmental transitions will be examined as part of this year’s workshop.

  • Co-Chair: Prof. William C. Banks, Founding Director, Institute for National Security & Counter Terrorism (INSCT) and Professor of Law & Public Administration and International Affairs, Syracuse University & Member of the Professional Advisory Board, ICT, IDC Herzliya, United States of America
  • Co-Chair: Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak, Senior Researcher & Head, International Humanitarian Law Desk, ICT & Assistant Professor, Lauder School of Government, IDC Herzliya, Israel
  • Dr. Amnon Cavari, Assistant Professor, Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy & Strategy, IDC Herzliya, Israel
  • Dr. Katja Samuel, Co-Chair, Disaster Law, American Society of International Law, United Kingdom
  • Dr. Dana Wolf, Senior Researcher, ICT, IDC Herzliya, Israel

NBOL Scholarship: Critical Contributions to the Study of Asymmetric Warfare

New Battlefields/Old Laws: Critical Debates from the Hague Convention to Asymmetric Warfare
William C. Banks, editor (Columbia University Press, 2011)Recognizing that many of today’s conflicts are low-intensity, asymmetrical wars fought between disparate military forces, Banks’ collection analyzes nonstate armed groups and irregular forces (such as terrorists, insurgent groups, paramilitaries, child soldiers, civilians participating in hostilities, and private military firms) and their challenge to international humanitarian law. Contributions by: Robert P. Barnidge Jr., Geoffrey S. Corn, David M. Crane, Hilly Moodrick-Even Khen, Renée de Nevers, Daniel Reisner, Daphné Richemond-Barak, Gregory Rose, Eric Talbot Jensen, and Corri Zoli.
 Counterinsurgency Law Book Counterinsurgency Law: New Directions in Asymmetric Warfare
William C. Banks, editor (Oxford University Press, 2013)In Counterinsurgency Law, William C. Banks and several distinguished contributors explore, from an interdisciplinary legal and policy perspective, the multiple challenges that counterinsurgency operations pose to the rule of international, humanitarian, human rights, criminal, and domestic laws.Contributions by: Robert M. Chesney, Geoffrey S. Corn, Evan J. Criddle, Boaz Ganor, Christopher Jenks, Peter Margulies, Gregory S. McNeal, Daphné Richemond-Barak, Eric Talbot Jensen, and Corri Zoli.

Previous NBOL Workshops

NBOL 2016: Legal Triggers of War on New Battlefields

 In September 2016, INSCT’s signature research project once again convened at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism’s (ICT) World Summit on Counter-Terrorism (Sept. 11-13, 2016), which this year coincided with ICT’s 20th Anniversary.

To highlight two decades of dedicated efforts to confront international terrorism, this year’s ICT conference was called “Unpuzzling Terrorism.” It was devoted to discussions focusing on past, present, and future counterterrorism efforts to address a constantly shifting puzzle.

This year, NBOL was included in a series of ICT 2016 workshops devoted to the discussion of the broader context of terrorism and counterterrorism, examining emerging fields and new trends in the academic study of terrorism and its responses. Along with moderator, INSCT Director William C. Banks, NBOL participants discussed the “Legal Triggers of War on New Battlefields.”

Writes Banks: “The New Battlefields/Old Laws project originated during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. For a full decade, INSCT and ICT and its contributors have worked to develop fresh understandings of the legal, policy, and strategic challenges faced when nations are attacked by non-state terrorists and insurgents. The 2016 workshop focused on the questions, ‘What conditions permit a nation state to use force in response to attacks by non-state terrorists?’ In other words, ‘What are the triggers of war?’”

Joining this important conversation were:

  • Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak, Senior Researcher, ICT
  • Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yoram “Yaya” Yair, Former Commander, Lebanese Sector and Syrian Front, Israel Defense Forces (IDF)*
  • Laurie Blank, Director, International Humanitarian Law Clinic, Emory Law School
  • Col. (Res.) Adv. Daniel Reisner, Former Head, International Law Branch, IDF Legal Division
  • Nathan Sales, Associate Professor, SU College of Law

*Yair is the former Chairman of the IDF Committee that wrote the IDF Code of Ethics on: “Strategic and Operational Factors Influencing the Decision to go to War”

NBOL 2015: The Threat of Foreign Terrorist Fighters and UN Security Council Resolution 2178

ICT and INSCT cooperate each year in a project called New Battlefields/Old Laws. This year, the workshop (and a related simulation) explores the threat of Foreign Terrorist Fighters and the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2178.

Sept. 10, 2015 | Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel

Part I: Workshop Participants

  • Prof. William C. Banks, Director, INSCT
  • Prof. Peter Neumann, International Center for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence
  • Dr. David Scharia,Senior Legal Officer and Coordinator (Legal and Criminal Justice Group), Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), Security Council, UN
  • Nathan A. Sales, Associate Professor, SU College of Law
  • Gregory Rose, Faculty of Law, University of Wollongong
  • Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak, Senior Researcher and Head of the Terrorism and International Law Desk, ICT, and Assistant Professor, Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy, IDC

Part II (Simulation): The Threat of Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters to Europe

The Islamic State continues to fight in Syria and Iraq, launching incessant attacks against civilians and soldiers. Sporadic attacks attributed to ISIS (or its supporters) are also spreading throughout the globe.  In this simulation, a group of European foreign fighters is reportedly planning a large-scale attack in their state of origin.

Roles/Participants:

  • 

Prime Minister | Brian M. Jenkins, Senior Advisor to the President, RAND Corporation
  • Minister of Defense | Ambassador  Dimitar  Mihaylov,  Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to the State of Israel
  • Minister of Justice | Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak, Senior Researcher and Head of the Terrorism and International Law Desk, ICT, and Assistant Professor, Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy, IDC
  • Minister of Interior | Michèle Coninsx, President, EUROJUST
  • National Security Adviser | LTC Dr. Bryan Price, Director, Combating Terrorism Center (CTC), US Military Academy at West Point
  • Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces | LTC Edward Brady, US Army War College Fellow, ICT
  • Chief Prosecutor | Dr. David Scharia, Senior Legal Officer and Coordinator (Legal and Criminal Justice Group), Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), Security Council, UN
  • Head of the Prison Service | Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Orit Adato, Associate, ICT, IDC Herzliya and Former Commissioner of the Israeli Prison Service (IPS)
  • Head of De-Radicalization Programs | Prof. Rohan Gunaratna, Director, International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Banks_IDC_2015
INSCT Director William C. Banks speaks to IDC Radio during New Battlefields/Old Laws 2015 in Herzilya, Israel.
NBOL 2014: The Next Steps in Counterterrorism
NBOL_Radio_091014
A radio roundtable at NBOL 2014. (L to R) Nathan Sales, Jennifer Daskal, William C. Banks, Laurie Blank, and Daphne Richemond-Barak (at the console), Sept. 10, 2014.

The 2014 World Summit on Counter-Terrorism—hosted by INSCT Partner the Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel—once again convened a New Battlefields/Old Laws (NBOL) symposium, on Sept. 10, 2014. NBOL 2014’s theme was “The Next Steps in Counterterrorism: Adapting to an Evolving Threat and an Expanding Battlefield.” Offering incisive and timely analysis of a pressing security issue, the 2014 symposium created three inter-related products analyzing the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) in light of recent developments in asymmetric warfare, counterterrorism, and security in the Middle East.

Oxford Union Debate: “The Future of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.”

The motion debated was, “This House believes that the 2001 AUMF should be amended to authorize force against future terrorist threats.” Presiding over the debate was Laurie Blank of the Emory University School of Law. Speaking in favor of the motion was INSCT Faculty Member Professor Nathan Sales of the Syracuse University College of Law. Speaking against was Professor Jennifer Daskal of the American University Washington College of Law.

A Special Roundtable Hosted by Dr. Daphne Richemond-Barak

Dr. Daphne Richemond-Barak of the International Law Desk at ICT hosts a discussion on IDC Radio on the issue on “Adapting to an Evolving Threat and an Expanding Battlefield.” Special guests are INSCT Director Professor William C. Banks; Professor Laurie Blank, Clinical Professor of Law and Director, International Humanitarian Law Clinic at Emory Law School; Professor Jennifer Daskal,  American University Washington College of Law; and INSCT Faculty Member Nathan Sales.

Blog: “Debate on the Future of the 2001 AUMF”

… All that said, both Sales and Daskal agreed that the President should go to Congress to seek new authorization for his planned actions against ISIL. They just disagreed as to what such an authorization ought to look like. Meanwhile, many others have joined the debate on the blogosphere—raising multiple questions about the President’s legal justifications for the strikes … MORE

NBOL 2014 Schedule

The Next Steps in Counter-Terrorism: Adapting to an Evolving Threat and an Expanding Battlefield

9:30-9:45   Greetings & Introduction
William Banks, Syracuse University College of Law

9:45-11:00   Part I – An Evolving Threat
CHAIR: Daphné Richemond-Barak, Interdisciplinary Center, IDC Herzliya

The View from the United States
Matthew Levitt, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Laurie Blank, Emory University School of Law

The View from Israel
Ronen Cohen, Former Director of the terror desk of the Israeli Military Intelligence directorate, & Central Command and Intelligence Officer
Daphné Richemond-Barak, IDC Herzliya

11:15-12:15   Part II – An Expanding Battlefield
CHAIR: William Banks, Syracuse University College of Law

Contemporary Challenges of Localized Non-International Armed Conflicts
Geoffrey Corn, South Texas College of Law

The Parties v. Geography Debate
Michael Schmitt, U.S. Naval War College

12:30-14:00   Part III – Rethinking the Legal Framework
An Oxford-Union Debate on the Future of the Authorization for Use of Military Force

PRESIDENT: Laurie Blank, Emory University School of Law

MOTION: “This House believes that the 2001 AUMF should be repealed.”

Speaking in favor:
Jennifer Daskal, American University Washington College of Law

Speaking against:
Nathan Sales, Syracuse University College of Law

NBOL 2013: The Operationalization of the Law

Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Herzliya, Israel | Sept. 10, 2013

Sponsors: ICT, INSCT, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Read the Concept Paper
Participants
  • Co-Chair: Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak, Senior Researcher and Head of the Terrorism and International Law Desk, ICT
  • Co-Chair: Prof. William Banks, Founding Director, INSCT
  • Lt. Gen. Michael D. Barbero (Ret.), Former Director, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, US Army
  • Adv. Anton Camen, Head of Legal Department, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Israel and the Territories
  • Prof. Geoffrey S. Corn, Professor of Law and Presidential Research Professor, South Texas College of Law
  • Lt. Col. Chris De Cock, Head Operational Law Section, Belgian Armed Forces
  • Prof. Marco Sassòli, Professor and Director, the Department of Public International Law and International Organization, University of Geneva
  • Col. Richard M. Whitaker (Ret.), Judge Advocate, US Army
  • Rapporteur: Adv. Eitan Diamond, Legal Adviser, ICRC, Israel and the Occupied Territories
  • Rapporteur: Orly Stern, Ph.D. Candidate, London School of Economics
Agenda

9:30 – 9:35 a.m. Greetings & Introduction William C. Banks

9:35 a.m. – noon The Operationalization of the Law

Moderator: Geoffrey Corn

Based on a posed scenario, participants present their understanding of:

  1. The meaning of “unnecessary suffering,” attacking military belligerents when capture is a feasible alternative.
  2. How to assess what is “excessive” civilian harm during an otherwise lawful attack.
  3. What is the extent of the “precautions” obligation during complex targeting operations?

Noon – 2 p.m. Conclusions & Discussion 

NBOL 2012: Dialogue Between Operational & Legal Experts on Counterterrorism

Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Herzliya, Israel | Sept. 13, 2012

Chair : Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak

Schedule

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Typology of Terrorist Organizations and Implications for the Targeting of Political Leaders

  • Adm. Amihai Ayalon (Ret.), Chair, Liberal Democracies Facing Asymmetric Conflicts Project, Herzl Institute, University of Haifa; Former Head, Israel Security Agency
  • Adv. Elad Popovich, Executive Director, Liberal Democracies Facing Asymmetric Conflicts; Researcher, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism
  • Prof. Abraham Sofaer, George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy and National Security Affairs, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
  • Anton Camen, Head of the Legal Department, ICRC Delegation in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Responding to a Changing Threat LTC Liam Collins, Former Director, Combating Terrorism Center (CTC), US Military Academy at West Point

  • Maj. Gen. Avihai Mandelblit (Ret.), Senior Research Fellow, Institute for National Security Studies (INSS); Former Military Advocate General, Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
  • Michael L. Gross, Professor, Political Science, University of Haifa
  • Col. Pnina Sharvit Baruch (Ret.), Senior Research Fellow, INSS; Former, Advocate General, IDF Edward Flynn, Senior Human Rights Officer, UN Counterterrorism Committee Executive Directorate
NBOL 2011: The Scope of the 21st Century Battlefield--Forecasting the Legal & Policy Landscape

Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Herzliya, Israel | Sept. 13, 2011

INSCT hosted a workshop on September 13, 2011, as part of the World Summit on Counterterrorism: “Terrorism’s Global Impact” at the International Institute for Counterterrorism’s (ICT) 11th international conference in Herzliya, Israel.

Participants included:

  • William C. Banks, Director, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT), Board of Advisors Distinguished Professor, Syracuse University, College of Law and Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs.
  • Oren Gross, Irving Younger Professor of Law, Director, Institute for International Legal and Security Studies, University of Minnesota
  • Geoffrey S. Corn, Professor of Law, South Texas College of Law, Houston
  • Eric Talbot Jensen, Associate Professor of Law, Brigham Young University Law School
  • Daphne Richemond-Barak, Professor, Radzyner School of Law, IDC Herzliya
  • Corri Zoli, Assistant Research Professor, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT), College of Law/Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Syracuse University

Overview

The objective of this workshop is to explore the changing scope of the 21st century battlefield – from its geographic parameters to the means of waging battle and the identities and loyalties of the participants. Workshop panelists will focus on emergent, borderless battlefields, tensions between operational practice and traditional legal prescriptions, the changing status of belligerents, and new battlefield means and methods.

Ten years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks there is little doubt that the dynamics of conflict in the world are markedly changed from the post-World War/Cold War environment. In this workshop, our distinguished panelists will assess the scope of the emerging battlefields. From the role of organized crime groups in conflict settings, to technological innovations in the means of warfare, and evolving strategic and regulatory approaches to conflict management, our workshop will critique existing legal and policy prescriptions for regulating conflict, while we forecast how laws and policies may shape the emerging battlefield.

Video

Watch an interview with William C. Banks.

Document

Panelist Abstracts

NBOL 2010: Shaping a Legal Framework for Counterinsurgency

Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Herzliya, Israel | Sept. 14, 2010

INSCT hosted a workshop on Sept. 14, 2010, as part of the World Summit on Counterterrorism “Terrorism’s Global Impact” at the International Institute for Counterterrorism’s (ICT) 10th International Conference in Herzliya, Israel.

Participants included:

  • William C. Banks, Director, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT), Board of Advisors Distinguished Professor, Syracuse University, College of Law and Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs
  • Geoffrey S. Corn, Associate Professor of Law, South Texas College of Law, Houston
  • Evan Criddle, Assistant Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law
  • Eric Talbot Jensen, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Fordham University Law School
  • Daphne Richemond-Barak, Professor, Radzyner School of Law at the IDC, Herzliya
  • Gregory Rose, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Wollongong, Australia
  • Corri Zoli, Research Fellow, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT), Syracuse University.

Overview

As developed and practiced by several nations and their militaries, COIN incorporates forms of persuasive warfare, the so-called “hearts and minds” strategy, in addition to more traditional kill/capture elements. In addition to its blending and mixing of kinetic warfare and post-conflict reconstruction and institution building, COIN takes place in a variety of conflict situations.

Depending on the setting, COIN occurs where there is/is not an armed conflict of an international/non-international nature; where human rights law applies in the absence of or as an addition to IHL; in the face of customary or treaty-based principles of international law; and alongside domestic laws of the nation managing the COIN operation, which may or may not have incorporated international laws as part of the domestic law.

The objective of this workshop is to explore the legal and policy dynamics of COIN in relation to existing understandings of IHL and HRL.

Video

Watch William C. Banks’ address at the Plenary Session: “The United States a Decade after 9/11”

Documents

NBOL 2009: Converging Paradigms in Asymmetric Warfare

Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Herzliya, Israel | Sept. 9, 2009

INSCT hosted a workshop on Sept. 9, 2009, as part of the World Summit on Counter Terrorism “Terrorism’s Global Impact” at ICT’s 9th International Conference in Herzliya, Israel.

Participants included:

  • William C. Banks, Director, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT), Board of Advisors Distinguished Professor, Syracuse University, College of Law and Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs
  • Geoffrey S. Corn, Associate Professor of Law, South Texas College of Law, Houston
  • Eric Jenson, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Fordham University Law School
  • Abraham D. Sofaer, George P. Shultz Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University
  • Daphné Richemond-Barak, Professor, Radzyner School of Law at the IDC, Herzliya
  • Corri Zoli, Research Fellow, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, Syracuse University
  • Keli Perrin, Assistant Director, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, Adjunct Professor,Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.
NBOL 2008: State Conflicts with Non-State Actors--Reconceptualizing Duties and Liabilities

Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Herzliya, Israel | Sept. 10, 2008

Armed conflict often involves weaker, non-state combatants using strategies and tactics forbidden by international humanitarian law to offset their military disadvantage. Conducting a battle is complicated by the fact that the participants cannot readily be labeled in order to determine their status and treatment under the law.

In recognition that the traditional laws and norms of armed conflict no longer provide sufficient guides for combat, this workshop at ICT’s 8th International Conference in Herzliya, Israel, gathered together scholars and practitioners to further the debate about the next steps in adapting international humanitarian law to this form of asymmetric warfare.

NBOL 2007: Inaugural Event

Washington, DC | Oct. 8, 2007

This project’s inaugural event was held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C. with the following speakers:

  •  Robert Siegel, David Crane, Irwin Cotler, and Michael Scharf, who reviewed the evolving history of the laws of armed conflict and international humanitarian law.
  • Renee de Nevers, Greg Rose,  and Col. Daniel Reisner, who offered proposals from the New Battlefields, Old Laws research project that suggest how rules may be used to limit and govern asymmetric conflicts between states and non-state entities.
  • Tom E. Ricks and panelists Montgomery Meigs, Boaz Ganor, Mitchel Wallerstein, Ruth Wedgwood, and James Ross, who evaluated the prospects and challenges in implementing reforms considering a broad range of perspectives, nations, and legal and policy cultures.

Media Coverage

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