Does International Law Matter for US Military Action?

Posted September 11, 2013 at 10:38am

Forbes reports that “while everyone seems focused on whether President Obama needs congressional authority under the U.S. Constitution to bomb Syria, there is surprisingly little discussion whether such an attack would be proper under international law. What that tells us, in part, is how little a superpower such as the United States frets over the niceties of international law.”

“The reality is that much of international law isn’t really ‘law’ in the sense that most Americans understand the term. There is no world constitution to frame international law, no powerful supreme court or legal system to define and enforce it, and no global police force to arrest and detain those who violate the law. It would be more accurate to say that international law is a set of norms that countries agree to follow, at least when it’s in their interest to do so.”