The world today is overwhelmed by wars between nations and within nations, wars that have dominated American politics for quite some time. Point of Attack calls for a new understanding of the grounds for war. In this book John Yoo argues that the new threats to international security come not from war between the great powers, but from the internal collapse of states, terrorist groups, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and destabilizing regional powers. In Point of Attack he rejects the widely-accepted framework built on the U.N. Charter and replaces it with a new system consisting of defensive, pre-emptive, or preventive measures to encourage wars that advance global welfare. Yoo concludes with an analysis of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, failed states, and the current challenges posed by Libya, Syria, North Korea, and Iran.
Since the formation of nation-states lawyers, philosophers, and theologians have sought to envisage the ideal political order. Their concepts, deeply entangled with ideas of theology, state formation, and human nature, form the bedrock of today's theoretical discourses on international law. This volume maps models of early international legal thought from Machiavelli to Hegel before international law became an academic discipline. The interplay of system and order serves as a leitmotiv throughout the book, helping to link historical models to contemporary discourse. Part I of the book covers a diverse collection of thinkers in order to scrutinize and contextualize their respective models of the international realm in light of general legal and political philosophy. Part II maps the historical development of international legal thought more generally by distilling common themes and ideas that have remained at the forefront of debate, such as the relationship between law and theology, the role of the individual versus that of the state, the influence of power and economic interests on the law, and the contingencies of time, space and technical opportunities. In the current political climate, where it is common to state that the importance of the nation-state is vanishing, the problems at issue in the classic theories do not seem so remote: is an international system without central power possible? How can a normative order come about if there is no central force to order relations between states? These essays show how uncovering the history of international law can offer ways in which to envisage its future.
Increasingly, international legal arrangements imagine future worlds or create space for experts to articulate how the future can be conceptualized and managed. With the increased specialization of international law, a series of functional regimes and sub-regimes has emerged, each with their own imageries, vocabularies, expert-knowledge, and rules to translate our hopes and fears for the future into action in the present. At issue in the development of these regimes are not just competing predictions of the future based on what we know about what has happened in the past and what we know is happening in the present. Rather, these regimes seek to deal with futures about which we know very little or nothing at all; futures that are inherently uncertain and even potentially catastrophic; futures for which we need to find ways to identify, conceptualise, manage, and regulate risks the existence of which we can possibly only speculate about. This book explores how the future is imagined, articulated, and managed across the various fields of international law, including the use of force, maritime security, international economic and environmental law, and human rights. It investigates how the future is construed in these various areas; how the costs of risk, risk regulation, risk assessment, and risk management are distributed in international law; the effect of uncertain futures on the subjects of international law; and the way in which international law operates when faced with catastrophic or existential risk.