Ius Gentium

University of Baltimore School of Law's Center for International and Comparative Law Fellows discuss international and comparative legal issues

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A New Yellow Turban Rebellion – Only With Umbrellas

Christian Noble

On October 14th, 2014, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong forced police to retreat from a tunnel previously blocked by additional protestors.[i]  As protestors reinforced their barricades, police returned to the tunnel within hours of being forced out and retook the thoroughfare.  It was during this retaking that protestors recorded Ken Tsang, a social worker and member of the Civic Party, on a fifty-one second cellphone video being led around a dark corner where police began kicking Tsang as he lay on the ground.[ii]  This blog will set forth the origin of Hong Kong including the current provision at issue, the Chinese government’s actions that led to the protests, and international repercussions, if any, of China and protestor actions.  What specifically brought about clashes between protesters and police?  It all began on December 19th, 1984 with the release of Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.


  • History

The Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong (The Joint Declaration) on December 19th, 1984.[iii]  In The Joint Declaration, the United Kingdom restored Hong Kong to the control of the PRC on July 1st, 1997.[iv]  The PRC would not absorb Hong Kong under socialist rule; the “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” (Hong Kong) would remain an autonomous region under the principle of “One Country, Two Systems.”[v]  Under this system, Hong Kong would retain the capitalist system it held under British rule while still considered under the purview of socialist China.[vi]

As a part of The Joint Declaration, the Seventh National People’s Congress of the PRC adopted The Basic Law on April 4th, 1990.[vii]  Imposing this law on Hong Kong, The Basic Law sets forth the general principles of the PRC regarding Hong Kong, including the protection of rights and freedoms, the political structure, and external affairs.[viii]  The Basic Law also details the method in which leaders of Hong Kong, specifically the Chief Executive, shall be chosen.  Article 45 of The Basic Law states: “The Chief Executive of [Hong Kong] shall be selected by election or through consultations held locally and be appointed by the Central People’s Government.”[ix]


Allowing such a high level of democracy is not characteristic of the PRC as evidenced by the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, but, per The Joint Declaration, Hong Kong would retain a relatively high degree of autonomy for the next fifty years.[x]  On July 1st, 1997, The Joint Declaration was officially in full effect and the transfer of Hong Kong from the British to the PRC was complete.  Simultaneously, The Basic Law took hold in Hong Kong establishing it as the supreme law.  No matter how autonomous, the PRC always retained a certain level of control over Hong Kong, and recently, the PRC has attempted to assert even more control.

  • Current Crisis

With an election for a new Chief Executive approaching in 2017, Hong Kong politicians began gearing up for election season.  On June 10th, 2014, Beijing published a White Paper reiterating the PRC’s “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong.[xi]  State owned newspaper People’s Daily declared, “Hong Kong can maintain prosperity and stability… only when the policy of ‘one-country, two systems’ is fully… implemented.”[xii]  Some Hong Kong residents saw the White Paper as an attempt by the PRC to pressure voters into backing candidates who support the PRC.[xiii]  Two months later on August 31st, the PRC legislature ruled against allowing open nominations in elections for Chief Executive of Hong Kong.[xiv]  This method of choosing the Chief Executive is in direct opposition to the method used in prior elections where an electoral college selects the Chief Executive.


Specifically, the PRC will have a 1,200-member nominating body select candidates who will then be presented to the voters of Hong Kong.[xv]  After the vote is taken, the Chief Executive-elect must still be appointed to the position by the PRC.[xvi]  Protestors saw this as an opportunity for the PRC to screen candidates for their loyalties to Beijing.[xvii] The PRC justified its recent ruling by stating that allowing Hong Kong to openly nominate candidates would create a “chaotic society.”[xviii]  State owned tabloid The Global Times warned, “[T]he central government will not allow chaos in Hong Kong and it has ‘a lot of resources and leverage’ to prevent such situation [sic] to take place.”[xix]

As a response to the actions of the PRC, pro-democracy protestors began to occupy significant areas of Hong Kong’s financial district.[xx]  Over time, the protests spread, encompassing uptown Hong Kong and across the harbor to Kowloon.[xxi]  Chief among their demands, protestors are fighting for the ability to freely elect their leaders and the resignation of Hong Kong’s current Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.[xxii]  After the protestor imposed deadline, Chief executive Chun-ying stated that he has no intention of stepping down.[xxiii]

Consistent with their message on the release of the white paper, the PRC is attempting to characterize the protestors as creating disorder among society.[xxiv]  China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, noted that “Beijing would not tolerate ‘illegal acts that violate public order.’”[xxv]  The protestors have yet to damage property or inflict injuries on Hong Kong police, but the Hong Kong police have responded with tear gas and violence in attempts to disperse the crowds.[xxvi]  As a result of the police crackdown, Amnesty International reports at least twenty protestors have been detained and sixty called in for questioning.[xxvii]

In addition to promoting “order,” the PRC engaged local groups in order to bolster support for the PRC position.[xxviii]  One local group is the Federation of Trade Unions which is used to churn out counter groups of anti-democracy protesters.[xxix]  The disruption of commercial life in Hong Kong is a common critique of the democracy protesters, especially during the large shopping holiday “National Day week.”[xxx]  Not all groups approached by the PRC have been receptive to joining against the pro-democracy protestors.  The Hong Kong judiciary has ignored calls to be “patriotic” and instead asserted their independence.[xxxi]  What initially appears as an internal issue between China and Hong Kong may have international repercussions.

  • International Repercussions

International influence existing and invited regarding the internal strife in Hong Kong is different depending on whose viewpoint is characterized.  Senior officials in the PRC noted that “Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs,” and “[a]ll countries should respect China’s sovereignty.”[xxxii]  Further, PRC President Xi Jinping regularly blames “foreign forces” for encouraging the pro-democracy protests.[xxxiii]  The last time the PRC handled completely internal democracy protests occurred in June 1989 with the deaths of students at Tiananmen Square.[xxxiv]  International reaction and pressure to deaths as a result of the current protests will, undoubtedly, be swift and condemning, but so far, pressure on the PRC has been muted at best. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated the United States’ long-standing support of “…universal suffrage in Hong Kong, accordant with the Basic Law.”[xxxv]  Maybe hoping the PRC would see the light, Kerry added, “…we have high hopes that the Hong Kong authorities will exercise restraint and respect the protestors’ right to express their views peacefully.”[xxxvi]

Image: A riot policeman uses pepper spray during clash with protesters, as tens of thousands of protesters block the main street to the financial Central district outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong

China’s international agreements are similarly without teeth. As a signatory on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), China is only required to uphold the object and purpose of the treaty, the object and purpose being the civil rights of its citizens.[xxxvii]  This fact coupled with a restrictive interpretation of the ICCPR could lead to a ratified treaty purporting to protect civil rights, while restricting them under the guise of protecting national and public safety.[xxxviii]  A narrative the PRC is persistently weaving to counter pro-democracy protestors.  In the absence of an international agreement, the argument of international intervention on the basis of jus cogens or erga omnes violations is not applicable.  The PRC transitioned to socialism in 1949.[xxxix]  Certain civil rights have never been a part of the PRC’s socialist regime.  As such, the PRC has a good argument that it is consistent in objecting to the withholding of certain rights, labeling itself a persistent objector.  This would relieve the PRC of any obligation under the ICCPR to respect the civil rights in question.

If the PRC wishes to continue its socialist policies, it is important that it not give into pro-democracy demands.  Giving in to democracy in an area where the PRC can exert a large amount of influence could lead to increased pressure over Taiwan, an internationally recognized “unsettled” state over which the PRC claims sovereignty.[xl]  With no clear end in sight, little support entering the area, and an entire state against them, pro-democracy protestors may be fighting, a battle, albeit a noble one, that they can’t win.

Christian Noble is a third year student at the University of Baltimore School of Law, planning to graduate in May 2015 with a J.D. and a concentration in International Law. He graduated from the Penn State University in June of 2008 with a Bachelors of the Arts in International Politics with a minor in Sociology. He has also studied Japanese and Korean language. During the winter of his second year, Christian studied abroad in Curaçao taking classes in International Law and European Union Law. The following summer, Christian studied abroad in Japan taking classes in International Business Transactions and the Japanese legal system. While in Japan, Christian interned with Nakamura & Partners, a Japanese IP firm located in downtown Tokyo.In addition to being a CICL Student Fellow, Christian serves as the Emerging Issues Editor for the Journal of International Law, Vice President of the Immigration Law Association, Treasurer of the Latin American Law Student Association, Treasurer of OutLaw, and 3L Representative of the International Law Society. Christian is also currently serving as a Maryland Rule 16 Student Attorney with the Immigrant Rights Clinic.

[i] http://online.wsj.com/articles/footage-of-beating-prompts-hong-kong-police-to-launch-investigation-1413343131

[ii] Id.

[iii] http://www.basiclaw.gov.hk/en/facts/index.html#3_7

[iv] Joint declaration of the government of the united kingdom of great Britain and northern Ireland and the government of the people’s republic of china on the question of Hong Kong, Para. 2

[v] Supra note iii.

[vi] Id.

[vii] Id.

[viii] Id.

[ix] Xianggang Jiben Fa art. 45 (H.K.).

[x] Supra note iv at annex 1.

[xi] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-27790302; See also http://news.xinhuanet.com/gangao/2014-06/10/c_1111067166.htm (text of White paper in Chinese).

[xii] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-27790302

[xiii] Id.

[xiv] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/31/china-rules-out-open-elections-hong-kong

[xv] Id.

[xvi] Supra note iv at annex 1.

[xvii] Supra note xii.

[xviii] Id.

[xix] Id.

[xx] http://alj.am/1tT3MXH

[xxi] http://time.com/3447838/hong-kong-democracy-china-protests-anson-chan/

[xxii] http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2014/10/hong-kong-protesters-set-midnight-ultimatum-201410252253727739.html

[xxiii] Id.

[xxiv] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-29453490

[xxv] Supra note xx.

[xxvi] http://time.com/3453736/hong-kong-stands-up

[xxvii] http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/hong-kong-strategy-both-sides-eye-end-game/2014/10/01/b9af3bf6-4980-11e4-b72e-d60a9229cc10_story.html

[xxviii] http://oneline.wsj.com/articles/whats-at-stake-in-hong-kong-1412204981

[xxix] Id.

[xxx] http://alj.am/1uGUTGe

[xxxi] Supra note xxviii.

[xxxii] Supra note xii.

[xxxiii] Supra note xxvi.

[xxxiv] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/01/china-doesnt-know-how-respond-umbrella-revolution-hong-kong

[xxxv] Id.

[xxxvi] Id.

[xxxvii] https://treaties.un.org/pages/viewdetails.aspx?chapter=4&src=treaty&mtdsg_no=iv-4&lang=en

[xxxviii] http://chinesejil.oxfordjournals.org/content/6/1/17.full

[xxxix] http://monthlyreview.org/2004/07/01/introduction-china-and-socialism/

[xl] John J. Tkacik, Jr., Taiwan’s “Unsettled International Status: Preserving U.S. Options in the Pacific (June 19, 2008

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Sweden and Finland – To Join NATO or not to Join NATO? That is the Question!

Clark Smith

Events this year, primarily those orchestrated by Russia, have again reignited the debate over whether Sweden and Finland should join the North Atlantic Alliance.  Most concerning to both NATO allies and Europe’s non-Alliance members alike was Russia’s annexation of Crimea earlier this year, followed by Russian activities in the east of Ukraine.  In scenes reminiscent of the Cold War, , Sweden embarked upon its largest maritime mobilization since the end of the frozen conflict in its search for a mystery vessel suspected of being some type of Russian mini-submarine in Swedish territorial waters.  The Swedish maritime search, along with repeated and recent violations of Finnish airspace by Russian combat aircraft, has these two nonaligned Scandinavian countries on edge and rethinking their defense postures.  Sweden and Finland both successfully navigated military nonalignment throughout and following the Cold War, though under very different circumstances. However, with a newly invigorated Russia that appears to disregard international law at every turn, now may be the time for Sweden and Finland to advance discussions on joining NATO.  

Finland NATO Sweden

Sweden, historically an adversary of Russia, lost the eastern third of the Kingdom of Sweden to Russia during the Finnish War from 1808 to 1809.  Thereafter, Sweden devised and maintained its military policy of nonalignment, which kept them out of both World Wars and the Cold War.  That eastern third of Sweden, however, became the Grand Duchy of Finland and remained under Russian control until Finland declared independence during the 1917 Russian Revolution. Finland fought Soviet aggression throughout World War II, even briefly aligning with Nazi Germany in what Finland calls the Continuation War Finland ended up paying reparations and ceding territory to the Soviet Union following the war and signed the Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance with the Soviets in 1948.  Left out of the Marshall Plan, Finland lagged economically behind its West European neighbors until the 1970s.  With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Finland emerged from the Soviet shadow as truly independent.  So, while Sweden’s choice to pursue nonalignment was actually of its own accord, Finland’s had more to do with concern over possible Soviet retaliation.

Despite the two Nordic countries’ nonalignment policy, both maintain advanced, competent militaries and possess both NATO and US equipment, including, for example, the McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-18C/D (Finland) and the Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin) C-130 (Sweden).  Additionally, both are part of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, train frequently with NATO forces, and integrate well with NATO, US, and other European militaries.  Swedish and Finnish forces have even deployed to Afghanistan with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).  Thus, meeting the standards of and effectively integrating with NATO would not present the type of challenges similar to those of recent NATO, and former Warsaw Pact, countriesBoth countries would, however, need to increase their defense budgets if they wanted to meet NATO’s agreed target of two percent of a country’s GDP.  According to 2012 figures, Sweden’s defense budget was 1.2% of their GDP and Finland’s was 1.5%. However, it is not a precondition that the two percent figure be met prior to joining the Alliance, as many current NATO members regularly fall short of that target.


More challenging than military interoperability would be mustering the political will in both countries to affect such a partnership in acceding to the Treaty.  Unlike the US, where the President and two-thirds of the Senate can commit the country to a treaty, the constitutions of Sweden and Finland require a referendum.  But neither country has the support from a majority of the voters, with recent polls indicating that just over one-fifth of Finns and just under one-third of Swedes favor joining NATO.  Those who prefer the tradition of nonalignment to a multilateral defense pact believe a better option is reinforcing bilateral defense cooperation or, preferably, even strengthening Nordic defense cooperation.  Entering into defense arrangements with regional partners can certainly reduce the financial impact of developing and sustaining a robust defense force, most notably in the areas of research and development and weapons and systems procurement. However, Sweden and Finland will be limited in their Nordic partnership pursuits since NATO members Norway and Denmark will continue to modernize their militaries first and foremost through the Alliance.  Despite the impediments to joining NATO, particularly from the voters, political and military leaders of both countries increasingly recognize the importance of advancing from debate to action the process towards membership.  In response to a discussion about whether or not Sweden could hold out even a week against a Russian attack, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen remarked that “Sweden cannot count on military support from NATO unless it becomes a member state.”Bear Finland Sweden

Though Russia has no legal basis for preventing the two countries from joining NATO, their threatening rhetoric would seem to indicate they believe otherwise.  In 2013, Russian Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev stated that Sweden and Finland joining NATO would upset Europe’s balance of power and force Russia to respond.  A senior adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, in response to the possibility of Sweden and Finland joining NATO, remarked that “anti-semitism started World War II, [and] Russophobia could start the third.”  Russia’s former chief of their armed forces, speaking to a national defense audience at the University of Helsinki, asserted not only that Finnish-NATO cooperation threatens Russian security, but even questioned Finland’s right to hold military exercises on its own soil.  Following their annexation of Crimea, Russian forces in the north then held military exercises on Finland’s border.

Arguing against Sweden and Finland joining NATO because it antagonizes Russia is hardly a rational, if even a reasonable, argumentBut provocative or even hostile comments threatening a sovereign nation for exercising its political and military rights, along with both overt and covert actions that violate the territorial integrity of another sovereign nation, would seem to be both reasonable and strong evidence of behavior implicating Article 2(4) of the UN Charter.  As Russia and its president advance their anti-western rhetoric and activities, Sweden and Finland should advance their discussions around a defense posture that provides certain security in an increasingly uncertain environment.

Clark Smith is a third-year law student pursuing a concentration in International Law. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Political Science and International Relations. In addition to being a Student Fellow, he is the Submissions Editor for the Journal of International Law. His previous experience includes work in both security and policy and his previous overseas postings include Western Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East, and South Asia. His professional interests include international development.

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What about Mali? Why the Recent Attacks on UN Peacekeepers Demonstrates the Need for Renewed Focus on UN Peacekeeping Ops

Natalie Krajinovic

The month of October began with two separate attacks on United Nations (UN) peacekeepers in Mali. On October 3, unknown attackers killed nine UN peacekeepers in Mali.[1] On October 8, a second attack occurred, resulting in the death of one UN peacekeeper.[2] Both attacks have been linked to the UN’s mission to guard against militant Islamists who posed a threat to Bamako, Mali. These attacks are indicative of the security problems in Mali, which have only been further exacerbated by both food insecurity and extreme poverty throughout Africa’s Sahel region, an area that stretches from the Atlantic to the Red Sea, including Mali, Chad, Mauritania, Niger, and parts of Sudan, Cameroon and Nigeria. However, it is the lack of attention or response from the international community for these attacks that is equally striking and highlights the need for more attention and focus on UN peacekeeping missions, generally.


Despite the unconfirmed identities of the attackers, these attacks potentially show the danger of growing extremist behavior in Africa. Although MINUSMA, the UN peacekeeping force based in Mali, has not indicated who is responsible for these attacks, there were 30 survivors. One of these survivors, from Niger, stated that the attacks were carried out by the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao), an al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militia.[3]

The UN began their peacekeeping mission in Mali in April of 2013 as a response to northern Mali falling under the control of Tuareg separatists and Islamic extremists with links to Al Qaeda after a military coup in 2012.[4] Mali entered into conflict after a coup in 2012, which failed to handle the Tuareg rebellion in Mali’s northern desert region.[5] “Al-Qaeda with its Islamist allies took advantage of the subsequent chaos to seize the north, sidelining the Tuaregs.”[6] Despite French-led interventions in 2013, which successfully scattered extremists, some groups still remain active and continue to act violently.[7] Following this intervention, peace talks begun between the Malian government and the Tuaregs, however, as French troops have removed themselves from the region, the situation has become “intolerable” per Hervé Ladsous, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping.[8]

Mali UN peacekeeping forces

The international community’s lack of response to these attacks is extremely concerning. Other than minor news coverage reports detailing the number of casualties, there has been minimal international reaction. UN officials have commented on the events, with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressing “shock and outrage at the killing[s] . . . and issued a warning that all hostilities waged against UN ‘blue helmets’ constitute a serious violation of international law.”[9] The 9,000-strong UN force, took over peacekeeping operations in July 2013,[10] and frighteningly, thirty peacekeepers have now been killed in Mali since the United Nations Security Council established the operation in April 2013.[11] Yet, international attention regarding these conflicts has been minimal.

The world has been consumed with the threat of ISIS, particularly with the recent battle for control of the Syrian border town of Kobane.[12] However, these recent attacks on UN peacekeepers illustrate the need to look at extremist actions beyond the anticipated Middle Eastern Regions. The UN Security Council was recently debriefed on global conflicts, including the Malian attacks. Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop spoke to the UN Security Council stating that urgent measures were needed in response to the recent killings of UN peacekeepers.[13] In regards to the Golan Heights region of Syria and Israel, Lieutenant General Iqbal Singh Singha, Force Commander of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), stated the UN peacekeeping missions were further jeopardized due to the ongoing conflict in Syria, which has resulted in “an upward spiralling of violence.”[14] Singha also noted that troop contributing countries, such as Austria, have removed their forces from the region as the Syrian conflicts continue to rage.[15] These instances of conflict demonstrate the difficulty UN peacekeeping missions have in regions of conflict, regardless of the political and social reasons for the conflict. Without proactive measures for the UN peacekeepers, peacekeeping efforts will likely be halted and civilians further harmed.


The difficulty now becomes determining how the UN and international community respond to the attacks, even if it is in the form of aid relief. “‘Force Commanders are operating in failing or failed States, where, frankly, there is no – or hardly – a peace to keep,’ Lieutenant General Ahmed stated, noting that the growing Ebola crisis had added yet another dimension of complexity to the UN military presence on the ground in Africa.”[16] In the recent Security Council briefing, Lieutenant General Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz, the Force Commander of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) addressed the Security Council, stating, “the protection of civilians remained ‘a moral obligation.’”[17] However, the safety of UN peacekeeping forces, as well as civilians, should now be the primary focus.


Despite these calls for strengthened peacekeeping missions, there is still inadequate discussion on how to strengthen peacekeeping forces. For example, at the General Debate of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2014, peacekeeping discussions were dwarfed in comparison to topics such as terrorism or extremism.[18] Further, the lack of discussion of peacekeeping efforts, particularly in Mali, reflect that the global community is more concerned with active conflicts in regions such as Israel/Palestine and Syria. Without discussion on how to improve and strengthen peacekeeping efforts, more harm will likely come to UN peacekeepers operating in conflicted regions. Hopefully the UN will respond to the Malian government’s request for heightened enforcement action in the coming days. The level of support offered to the stressed Malian areas should involve sufficient aid so that both civilians and peacekeepers in the region receive enhanced protection.

Natalie Krajinovic is a University of Baltimore School of Law J.D. candidate (’15), with a concentration in Business Law. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts in English and East Asian Studies from the University of Toronto, St. George. Natalie has always had an interest in international law and policy. While studying at the University of Toronto, she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Toronto Globalist, an international relations magazine with chapters across the globe. She currently serves as the President of the International Law Society and as the Comments Editor for the Journal of International Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Natalie is also a law clerk for John H. Denick & Associates, P.A., a business law firm in downtown Baltimore.

[1] The Associated Press, Mali: Gunmen Kill 9 U.N. Peacekeepers, N.Y. Times (Oct. 3, 2014), http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/04/world/africa/mali-gunmen-kill-9-un-peacekeepers.html.

[2] Reuters, Mali: U.N. Peacekeeper Dies in Attack, N.Y. Times (Oct. 7, 2014), http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/08/world/africa/mali-un-peacekeeper-dies-in-attack.html.

[3] Mali’s UN troops killed in deadliest attack, BBC News (Oct. 3, 2014), http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29475975.

[4] The Associated Press, Mali: Gunmen Kill 9 U.N. Peacekeepers, N.Y. Times (Oct. 3, 2014), http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/04/world/africa/mali-gunmen-kill-9-un-peacekeepers.html.

[5] Mali’s UN troops killed in deadliest attack, BBC News (Oct. 3, 2014), http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29475975.

[6] Id.

[7] The Associated Press, Mali: Gunmen Kill 9 U.N. Peacekeepers, N.Y. Times (Oct. 3, 2014), http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/04/world/africa/mali-gunmen-kill-9-un-peacekeepers.html.

[8] Id.

[9] Ban ‘outraged’ by deadly attack on UN peacekeepers in Mali, UN News Centre (Oct. 3, 2014), http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=48998#.VDWW_PldXNw.

[10] Mali’s UN troops killed in deadliest attack, BBC News (Oct. 3, 2014), http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29475975.

[11] The Associated Press, Mali: Gunmen Kill 9 U.N. Peacekeepers, N.Y. Times (Oct. 3, 2014), http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/04/world/africa/mali-gunmen-kill-9-un-peacekeepers.html.

[12] Kobane: IS and Syria Kurds in fierce gun battles, BBC News (Oct. 8, 2014), http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29532291.

[13] Mali conflict: UN urged to send more troops, BBC News (Oct. 8, 2014), http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29547051.

[14] UN force commanders brief Security Council on challenges facing ‘blue helmets,UN News Centre (Oct. 9, 2014), http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=49037#.VDdAUxZPS2w.

[15] Id.

[16] Id.

[17] Id.

[18] OpenCanada Staff, Global Priorities and the UN General Debate, Canadian International Council (Oct. 7, 2014), http://opencanada.org/features/graphic/global-priorities-and-the-un-general-debate/.

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How the Scots Dodged a Bullet By Voting “No”

Andres Meraz

On September 18th almost 4.3 million Scots took to the polls to decide their nations future. On the ballot was a very simple yet powerful question, “Should Scotland be an independent country?” After two years of campaigning by supporters of both sides, the Scots decided against leaving the United Kingdom. A continued alliance with the rest of the UK guarantees a much brighter future for Scotland, especially if the UK Parliament stands true to their promise to devolve further power to the Scots.


The loudest voice in support of an independent Scotland was the “Yes Scotland” campaign group while “Better Together” led the charge in campaigning against independence. Many notable figures chimed in on the debate including President Barack Obama and former president, Bill Clinton, both supporting the status quo.

The “no” campaigners cited uncertainty in how an independent Scotland would address various issues. Among those issues were Agricultural subsidy payments from the EU under the Common Agricultural Policy. Some Scots feared that becoming an independent state would reduce their bargaining power in obtaining these funds as opposed to the strong, established bargaining power of the UK. These voters also feared that becoming a new EU member state could mean that these payments would be phased in, as that has been the case with other new EU member states. “Yes” supporters, on the other hand, believed that an independent Scotland could mean greater agricultural subsidies because the allocation of funds would be decided by an independent Scotland and not the UK.


Another important issue that divided voters was currency. “No” voters feared that an independent Scotland would lose the ability to use the Pound Sterling, as it would have been unlikely that the UK would have agreed to further keep the currency union. The possible options could have been joining the Eurozone or establishing an independent Scottish currency. Both options presented problems. Scotland’s major trading partner is the UK and a change in currency could have meant transaction charges that could hurt businesses on both sides. Adopting the euro would also be problematic; as it would likely take time before an independent Scotland could join the European Union.

Perhaps the biggest issue causing the divide between the “yes” and “no” voters was government revenue and expenditures. “Yes” voters believed that Scotland would be better off if they used their own revenue (mainly from North Sea oil) to cover their own expenses. “Yes” voters have grown disillusioned with London’s budget decisions believing that their taxes were being misspent by the UK’s parliament. Those who opposed independence feared a dwindling oil reserve along with the instability of oil prices and believed that a continued union would mean economic stability.

In the end, Scotland will remain a part of the United Kingdom, at least until the next referendum. Regardless of this outcome, Scotland will likely be divided by this issue for some time, as the supporters of independence were very close to succeeding. 55% of voters (2,001,926 ) voted “no” while 44.7% (1,617,989) voted “yes”. This referendum was also of great significance to other states that seek independence such as Catalonia, who stated that they saw it as a model for a future vote to secede from Spain.


While an independent Scotland may have made many Mel Gibson fans happy, it seems the Scots likely dodged a bullet by remaining a part of the UK.

Andres Meraz is a third-year law student at the University of Baltimore School of Law with a concentration in Private International Law. He graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park where he received a B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in Government and Political Theory. While a student at UB Law, Andres spent the summer before his 2L year studying comparative family law and comparative environmental law at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. During the 2014 winter intersession, Andres will participate in UB Law’s 13th Annual Program in Comparative and International Law in Curaçao, hosted by the University of Curaçao.

In addition to being a CICL student fellow, Andres currently serves as the Outreach & Technology Editor for the University of Baltimore Journal of International Law. He is also the current president of UB Law’s chapter of Phi Delta Phi ( ΦΔΦ) International Legal Honor Society, and has also recently worked as a Law Scholar for first year law students.


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Is NATO Poking the Bear in Ukraine?

Justin Tepe

Sometimes it’s best not to poke the bear.

Despite the fact that Ukraine entered into a ceasefire agreement with the pro-Russian separatists nearly two weeks ago, NATO continues to assert its right to intervene in Eastern Europe and establish a “rapid response force.” During a visit to Poland on October 5, NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, asserted that NATO can deploy its forces “wherever we want to.”[1] This policy is not congruent with the 1997 NATO agreement in which the NATO member nations agreed to refrain from the permanent stationing of military forces near the Russian borders.[2] As the NATO member nations attempt to strengthen the security and safety of Eastern European countries (particularly Ukraine, and now Poland), expansion and growth of NATO military forces in Eastern Europe is likely to be met with stark opposition from Russia.


President Barack Obama spoke at the NATO Summit in Wales on September 5. Among other things, President Obama confirmed that the NATO Alliance would be supporting Ukraine with security assistance and military supplies in its conflict with Russia.[3] While President Vladamir Putin has denied intervening militarily in Ukraine, indications of Russian involvement in Ukraine continue to develop.[4] President Obama cited Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, stating that “an armed attack against one [member nation]…shall be considered an attack against them all.”[5] Before this declaration by President Obama, the only other time that the NATO member nations have invoked Article 5 was following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.[6]

There are two immediate issues with NATO invoking Article 5 to intervene in Ukraine. First, Ukraine is not a member of the NATO alliance.  The text of the Washington Treaty under Article 5 states that when a Member State is attacked, the other parties will assist “including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”[7] Since Ukraine is not a member nation, the NATO members may be moving to invoke the Article 5 under the assumption that Russian expansion in to Ukraine could destabilize the Eastern and Central European nations that are member nations. If Ukraine were a member nation, NATO could easily justify the use of Article 5 reactionary measures. Incidentally, Ukraine made attempts to join NATO in 2008.[8] Russia essentially squashed that attempt (more on that in the next section). Regardless, as there is next-to-no precedent for invoking Article 5, NATO may be able to make the argument that this use of Article 5 reactionary measures is within the treaty’s boundaries. As Secretary-General Stoltenberg stated in Poland, NATO has a strong interest in supporting the security of the member nations in Eastern Europe. NATO’s “collective defense” principle could serve as the legally permissive clause under the NATO agreements to permit the rapid response force to act in Eastern European countries. NATO members may assert that their military support in Eastern Europe is necessary to ensure the safety of NATO members in Europe. The stability and security of Europe, and NATO as a whole, would be compromised if the Eastern European countries are compromised. NATO likely will not have any issues with justifying action in Eastern Europe and among non-NATO members.

192660024The second, likely more concerning, problem with NATO’s commitment to action is the inevitable Russian response. At the NATO summit, President Obama sought to send a “strong message to Russia that actions have consequences.”[9] As mentioned above, when Ukraine made steps toward joining NATO in 2008, Russia essentially said “you better not”.[10] In more eloquent words, President Putin said “[i]t is horrible to say and even horrible to think that, in response to the deployment of [NATO missile facilities] in Ukrainian territory, which cannot theoretically be ruled out, Russia could target its missile systems at Ukraine….”[11] Despite this explicit objection to NATO expansion, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated that Russia cannot dictate what countries may and may not join NATO. [12]

The NATO response at the Wales Summit was to establish a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, one that will be able to deploy within a few days and can respond to challenges that arise that pose a threat to peace and security.[13] This unit is expected to be comprised of several thousand land troops that can be deployed quickly, i.e. within a few days.[14]  U.S. involvement seems to be exclusively financial at this time, but nations such as Canada and the U.K. have pledged 1000 troops to the force.[15]


Russia has previously reacted to NATO’s eastward expansion and U.S. involvement by flexing its own “military muscles” in the region with intervention in Georgia, and more recently, Ukraine.[16] With President Putin viewing NATO action in Ukraine as essentially a hostile threat towards Russia, the recent dedication of military support may end up being the catalyst for further Russian aggression. If NATO intends to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia and establish consequences for further Russian aggression, they may find themselves in a quickly escalating war of words. Or worse, NATO might find out quickly that its Very High Readiness Joint Task Force will be put to work.

Justin Tepe is a third-year student at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Justin earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. While studying Political Science, Justin developed a passion for foreign politics and international relations. As Editor-in-Chief of the University of Baltimore Journal of International Law, Justin has had the opportunity to build on his passion for international law and help grow the Journal’s impact on the UB community. Justin has worked as a paralegal and law clerk in civil litigation firms over the last three years

[1] http://news.yahoo.com/nato-put-troops-wherever-wants-secretary-general-says-211805135.html

[2] http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_25468.htm

[3] http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/05/remarks-president-obama-nato-summit-press-conference

[4] http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/31/opinion/chance-analysis-russia-ukraine/

[5] Whitehouse article


[7] North Atlantic Treaty art. 5, Apr. 4, 1949, 63 Stat. 2241, 34 U.N.T.S. 243.

[8] http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/09/04/that-time-ukraine-tried-to-join-nato-and-nato-said-no/

[9] Id.

[10] http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/09/04/that-time-ukraine-tried-to-join-nato-and-nato-said-no/

[11] Id.

[12] http://www.rferl.org/content/nato-rapid-rresponse-force/26568752.html

[13] http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_49755.htm

[14] http://www.rferl.org/content/nato-rapid-rresponse-force/26568752.html

[15] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2744716/NATO-outline-force-aimed-deterring-Russia.html

[16] Justin Evison, Migs and Monks in Crimea: Russia Flexes Cultural and Military Muscles…, 220 Mil. L. R. 90, 117 (2014).

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Terror Victims’ Pursuit of Justice and the Necessary Limitations of Courts

Clark Smith

In a decision last month that reverberated most through the international banking community, a Brooklyn jury in a federal trial held liable Arab Bank for “providing material support to Hamas.”  In Linde v. Arab Bank, families of a number of American victims of terror attacks in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank during Palestinian uprisings from 2001 to 2004 were pitted against an international bank with branches in those areas.  Filing suit in 2004, the victims’ families accused Amman-based Arab Bank of knowingly assisting Hamas financing a “death and dismemberment benefit plan” for martyrs and their families.  The case itself was described by lawyers as significant because it was the first civil case pertaining to terror financing to reach trial in a US court.  Despite the outcome, and noting that damages have yet to be addressed, attorneys for Arab Bank predict the verdict will be overturned on appeal due to errors pertaining to, among other things, the threat of sanctions against a foreign bank for failing to turn over lawfully private customer data.  In addition to the concerns of the international banking community, the verdict also raises questions about the impact to US intelligence efforts in tracking terrorist actions via their financial activities and to the President’s ability to carry out foreign affairs without interference from the Article III judiciary.


Since 9/11, the financial industries, indeed many technology-based data transfer industries, have stepped up their cooperation with governments’ anti-terror efforts.  But this verdict could lead to US-based banks severing relationships with foreign banks and customers, thus increasing the challenge to intelligence and other national security organizations in tracking terrorists’ financial networks.  Banking industry officials point out that the verdict may lead to US banks limiting risk by limiting business in designated regions.  The market for such illicit services will not diminish, however, but instead be driven deeper underground where they become much more difficult, and require more resources, to track.  Prudently, banks are likely to await the outcome of the appeal before taking specific actions to limit their risk.  But while governments’ ability to successfully track terrorists’ illicit financial networks is also at risk, a likely greater concern is the President’s ability to carry out the nation’s foreign affairs reasonably unimpeded.

Financial District And Banks In Jordanian Capital

While Arab Bank intends to address a number of substantive errors on appeal, their primary complaint was their inability to present a proper defense after being sanctioned for refusing to provide customer records protected by Jordan’s privacy laws.  The judge further permitted jurors to infer from the bank’s refusal to violate the Jordanian privacy laws that Arab Bank knowingly and willfully aided terrorists.  The State Department had urged the White House to support Arab Bank’s position in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, asserting that forcing the bank to proceed under the sanctions put at risk a number of US foreign policy goals, including Middle East peace efforts.  Although the White House ultimately asked the Court not to review the issue, the Solicitor General’s amicus brief pointed to a number of lower court errors in their analysis which could undermine the President’s ability to carry out foreign affairs.

“The lower courts erred in suggesting that petitioner’s reliance on foreign bank secrecy laws in this private action did not reflect good faith simply because petitioner previously produced some of the documents to the Departments of the Treasury and Justice.  That reasoning fails to account for the distinct United States and foreign interests implicated when the government, as opposed to a private party, seeks disclosure.  It also threatens to undermine important United States [] national-security interests by deterring private entities and foreign jurisdictions from cooperating with government requests.  The United States has a compelling sovereign interest in obtaining documents located abroad for use in [] proceedings through which the government [] protects the Nation.  When it decides whether to seek documents assertively covered by foreign bank secrecy laws, the government balances the need for the information sought and the public interest in the investigation against the interests of the foreign jurisdictions where the information is located and any potential consequences for our foreign relations.”

The exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington

Article III of the Constitution does provide that judicial power extends to various enumerated “cases and controversies,” some of which will certainly relate to foreign affairs.  But past Court opinions have acknowledged the Article III courts’ “customary policy of deference to the President in matters of foreign affairs.”  As the Solicitor General points out, courts should weigh the interests of private citizens’ claims against the interests of the US in conducting the nation’s foreign affairs.   But in so weighing such matters, courts should not invade this province of the Executive.

This case, weighing private citizens’ interests against those of the Administration in carrying out its foreign policy, will certainly be worth following on appeal.  In the unlikely event that the decision is upheld, the effects on national security and broader foreign policy interests could have far-reaching consequences on how the US engages abroad, friend and foe alike.


Clark Smith is a third-year law student pursuing a concentration in International Law. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Political Science and International Relations. In addition to being a Student Fellow, he is the Submissions Editor for the Journal of International Law. His previous experience includes work in both security and policy and his previous overseas postings include Western Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East, and South Asia. His professional interests include international development.



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Eliminating the IS Threat – Why a U.S. Led Coalition Was the Only Way It Would Work

Lindsay Stallings

The Islamic State (IS), also known by the acronyms ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), has been growing in their power and their influence around the Arab world. However, while they are creating a daily panic in Syria and Iraq, they are causing great concern for the rest of the world.  IS is largely autonomous. They have stolen, robbed, or bartered for their money, weapons, and even slaves. The international concern for IS’ activities stems not only from their humanitarian violations against those in Syria and Iraq; but more, the fear that comes from their sheer power. It is for this reason that President Obama, who had once had been so adverse to relying on the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs, felt it necessary to rely on these very legal instruments to bolster his arguments for air strikes against IS. In doing so, he has made his smartest and most mature foreign policy decision of his Presidency – taking charge and leading a coalition of states in eliminating the IS threat.

In the middle of August of 2014, IS released their first viral video – the beheading of American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded for the sins of the Americans. They have beheaded innocent people, have raped and pillaged villagers, and have terrorized countless populations; and there seems to not be an end in sight. [1] President Obama has admitted that US intelligence on the strength of IS was lacking.[2] Over the past few years of Syrian unrest, IS has been able to use widespread lawlessness to recruit and develop their jihad. The United States, along with five Arab nations and France,[3] began air strikes against IS two weeks ago. From outside reports it seems that strikes are currently being aimed at infrastructure and oil strongholds.[4] Thus far, there is a general avoidance of targeting individuals and more of a focus on materials. This makes it clear that the US and their allies recognize the importance of IS’ resources. It is obviously important to not underestimate the strength of IS’ message, both in the Arab world and globally, but their resources will run out long before their passion for the advancement of the Islamic State and, in reality, the loss of resources will hurt them first.  However, to compound the obvious hole in U.S. intelligence, an IS combatant has publicly stated that IS was prepared for the U.S. airstrikes, claiming they have been ineffective against IS.[5] _77944799_iraq_syria_air_strikes_624_01_10_14_v2 The US made the first move on the airstrikes and did so without the full support of the international community. Should the world and, potentially more importantly, US citizens take notice of this deviation in President Obama’s approach to unrest in the Middle East? In a time when the US is fighting an image battle in the Middle East, this was a bold move, and one that seems to have been made less for political reasons than it was for moral ones. It is worth a great deal of commendation that our administration is willing to take this step. Mind, we are not doing this alone, there are multiple Arab countries fighting for their own borders, along with French, British, Belgium, and Danish support, a total of fifty countries have signed on to support the airstrikes.[6] This support comes in the form of ground support, air support, and of course, political support. But, this all began before President Obama went to the United Nations. Before he was forced to explain why the US thought they could, should, and had the right to get involved. The event to be considered here is why the President of the United States decided to commence air strikes and then, at least two weeks later, plead with the international community for their support and encourage action to be taken against ISIS. During the course of his presidency, President Obama has rarely taken international action without wandering around the world, garnering as much support, either implicit or explicit, as he could. But here, he essentially said, “World, we know what we are going to do to deal with this -what are you going to do?” UN-SECURITY COUNCIL-OBAMA This shows a certain level of foreign relations maturity on the part of POTUS. He and his advisors made a decision that we could not stand by and let ISIS terrorize Iraq, Syria, Christians, Jews, the Yazidi (a Kurdish ethno-religious community who practice Yazidism in Iraq), and threaten to lash out at America, without doing something. The President ran his first campaign on the auspices that the “War On Terror” must end. He ended the war in Iraq, he started to pull out of Afghanistan – and is continuing that effort for all intents and purposes – but the Middle East is still in constant, bubbling, turmoil. And, in the end, the US is the US. The world’s savoir, the moral-driven, freedom to all races and creeds-focused, rescuer of all, right!? But, is that our job? Is that the job of the American Armed Forces to step in and save all of those deemed unable to save themselves? I think that President Obama’s decision to direct airstrikes against IS is indeed his most mature foreign policy move to date. He did not wait for the rest of the world powers to support him, he did not ask permission from anyone aside from Congress[7], and did what was right for the United States and the areas in the Arab world we have taken responsibility for over the last ten years. It would have been sadistic on the part of the U.S. to just sit back and watch as Iraq, a country we essentially decimated over the past decade, to struggle to fight this new radical bastardization of Islam that currently terrorizes them. The US took on this responsibility in 2001. We tried to establish communities and governments that would help the weakened and tired populations of the Arab world. We tried to empower them and build democracy. It has not worked yet and we are, clearly, not done. So, when a new group rises up, a group more terrifying than Al-Qaeda has ever been, we cannot step away. The President put on his ‘I am a world leader’ pants and he worked with those who were suffering the most. He created a coalition of the willing and took responsibility for the role the United States played in allowing this to happen. French When President Obama spoke to the United Nations he did not tell the world that we were doing the right thing for everyone. He made it clear that this was important to the US, and why. He did not tell the United Nations that the US was better than the rest of them for taking action; he actually made clear that the US has struggles too.[8] There are school shootings, race riots, militarizing police forces, renegade shooters targeting law enforcement officers, individuals setting wild fires – the list of domestic struggles the US is facing is not less than that of any other country. And finally, President Obama recognized that by not pretending we were better than every other country, those countries were more willing to listen to our silent pleas for help. The President was begging for other countries to step in, to step up and recognize that the threat from IS is not just against those in the Arab world or just against the US, it is a threat to the general level of safety most citizens of the world feel as they go about their daily lives. The French joined in the airstrike offensive on September 19 with the US and Arab partners.[9] Thus far, France has only acted in Iraq, wary to move into Syria and encourage any more disturbances. However, as of Friday, September 25, they have said they are considering moving into Syria on the tail of a French tourist’s beheading by an Algerian terror organization.[10] Yesterday, the UK carried out its first air strikes in Iraq[11]  after voting last Friday to authorize action in Iraq.[12] No mention was made of the UK going into Syria, which shows that they too are wary of moving into an area where they are not invited. UK Parliament Each country currently involved or considering involvement in this offensive is doing so for country-specific reasons, not based on the perceived duty owed to the international community as a whole. A sense of general duty did not work as well as they hoped ten years ago in Iraq, but maybe this time there will be more successful. Personal involvement, a sense of devotion the protection of oneself, will hopefully deal with this matter with less bureaucracy and more effectiveness. Only when there is an understanding that this is not only a worldwide threat but also a worldwide responsibility can we finally defeat IS.

Lindsay Stallings is third year student at the University of Baltimore School of Law, planning to graduate in May 2015 with a J.D. and concentration in International Law. She graduated from The Ohio State University in June of 2011 with a Bachelors of Science in Political Science with minors in Sociology and International Studies. She has also studied  Spanish and Arabic language and culture extensively. While at The Ohio State University, she was a member of the International Affairs Scholars program, through which she studied abroad in Bulgaria. She was active in the Undergraduate Student Government and was a member of various academic and student life university-level committees.  Her primary interests are international law, national security, and U.S. Military and diplomatic policies. Through her coursework and relationships with our international law faculty she has developed a more focused interest in the policies surrounding international conflict and the capabilities of international courts. Lindsay currently serves as the Careers Director on the International Law Society and is a Staff Editor on the Journal of International Law. Her legal coursework and extracurricular activities have given her the opportunity to mold her passion for cultural studies and problem solving into an exciting international legal career.

[1] Rod Mills, Family anguish over Glasgow schoolgirl turned jihadi (Sep. 4, 2014) http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/506765/Family-anguish-over-Glasgow-schoolgirl-turned-jihadi; Teenage jihad: 2 Austrian girls stopped en route to join ISIS, (last edited Sep. 10, 2014) http://rt.com/news/186536-austria-schoolgirls-join-isis/.

[2] Stephen Rex Brown, President Obama admits U.S. ‘underestimated ISIS’ strength – but knocks other superpowers for failure to act (Sep. 28, 2014) http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/obama-admits-u-s-underestimated-strength-rise-isis-article-1.1955804.

[3] France Says Carried Out Air Strikes In Iraq September 25 (Sep. 25, 2014) http://www.rferl.org/content/iraq-france/26605701.html.

[4] Scott Neuman, Airstrikes Move to Syria, Target More Than Just ISIS (Sep. 23, 2014) http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/09/23/350820165/airstrikes-move-to-syria-target-more-than-just-isis; New airstrikes, new tactic to beat ISIS (Sep. 25, 2014) http://www.cbsnews.com/news/u-s-arab-allies-airstrikes-target-isis-oil-refineries/.

[5] Arwa Damon and Holly Yan, ISIS fighter says U.S. airstikes aren’t effective (Sep. 29, 2014) http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/29/world/meast/isis-fighter-and-defector-interviews/index.html?hpt=hp_t1.

[6] Stephen Castle and Steven Erlanger, Nations Offer Limited Support to Attack on ISIS (Sep. 26, 2014) http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/27/world/europe/british-parliament-vote-isis-airstrikes.html?_r=2; Michael Pearson, Greg Botelho, and Ben Brumfield, Anti-ISIS coalition grows, but that doesn’t mean victory is near (Sep. 27, 2014) http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/26/world/meast/isis-syria-iraq/index.html.

[7] Lisa Mascaro, Congress mostly approves of airstrikes in Syria so far (Sep. 23, 2014) http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/politicsnow/la-pn-congress-syria-airstrikes-20140923-story.html (explaining that Congress approved of support of training and equipping moderate Syrian rebels).

[8] Stewart M. Patrick, President Obama’s UN Speech: Defending World Order (Sep. 24, 2014) http://blogs.cfr.org/patrick/2014/09/24/president-obamas-un-speech-defending-world-order/.

[9] France Carried Out Airstrikes, supra note 2.

[10] Id.; France Considers Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria After Beheading (Sep. 25, 2014)  http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/france-considers-airstrikes-against-isis-syria-after-beheading-n211221.

[11] Jenny Gross, U.K. Carries Out First Airstrikes in Iraq (Sept. 30, 2014) http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-k-ministry-of-defense-raf-carried-out-its-first-airstrikes-in-iraq-1412097556

[12] Nicholas Winning and Jenny Gross, British Parliament Approves Airstrikes in Iraq Against Islamic State (Sept. 26, 2014) http://online.wsj.com/articles/david-cameron-calls-for-u-k-parliament-to-vote-for-iraq-airstrikes-on-islamic-state-1411725035