Slides 10

Chapter 10 - Unilateral Self-Defense and
Unilateral Use of Force
What are the three classic justifications for the
use of unilateral power?
 Defense
 Collecting bills
 Reparations and punishment for past attacks
Does this extend to protecting citizens abroad?
Pirates and Private War
Why was there fewer restrictions on using force against
pirates and aborigines?
Are pirates a better analogy for the war on terror than is
general war?
Letters of Marque and Reprisal
 Issuance of letters of marque and reprisal was
renounced by signatories to the Declaration of Paris in
 The US did not sign the Declaration of Paris, but
agreed to respect it during the Civil War and later, and
it was superseded by Hague Declaration of 1970
Responding to General Attacks
What formality did traditional international law
require before responding to a general attack?
What about more limited attacks?
Why should the response be different to a limited
action like the killing of a soldier, versus a general
Is Imperfect War a Political Question?
Is the exercise of the imperfect war power simply
negotiated between the political branches?
If so, what is the point of studying legal limits on
the imperfect war powers?
Isn’t whatever is negotiated constitutional, and
doesn’t the President hold all the cards in the
The Gulf of Sidra Incident: Repelling (or
Provoking?) Attack - 1986
What did Rep. Fascell think should trigger the
WPR (War Powers Resolution)?
 Did we have to be fighting?
What did the White House say?
When did the White House notify Congress?
Was this a deliberate attempt to provoke Libya?
What happened in 1988 that might have been
Libya's response?
What is the problem of presidential provocation?
How can presidents provoke attacks within the
legal confines of the WPR?
Was the Gulf of Tokin incident a fraudulent
What about sinking the Maine in the Spanish
American War?
Durand v. Hollins, 8 F. Cas. 111 (1860)
Where did this take place?
What was Captain Hollins sent to do?
What ended up happening?
Whose property was really being protected?
Who is bringing the lawsuit against whom?
What question does this defense raise about presidential
Where does the court find that the power to order this
type of retaliation resides?
Iranian Hostage Crisis Rescue Mission
Why did Secretary of State Vance oppose a rescue
What repercussions did Vance fear?
Did Carter notify congress before the rescue?
What did presidential counsel Cutler cite as authority for
not requiring Congressional authority for such a rescue?
Why was there no duty to notify Congress about the first
stage of the rescue?
What was Cutler's catch all response?
The Hostage Act
Why did the United States Supreme Court decide that the Hostage
Act did not apply?
 What is the citizenship issue?
Why was taking hostages in reprisal left out of the Hostage Act?
 Do you think the president can do this anyway?
How might the rescue power be a subset of the power to repel a
sudden attack?
Is the capture of American citizens by itself a sufficient legal
predicate for exercise of any implied presidential rescue power?
Why are the actions of local Navy commanders who are on the
scene of attacks limited to: self-defense, ‘‘exercised only as a last
resort, and then only to the extent which is absolutely necessary to
accomplish the end required.’’
The 1998 Attacks on Sudan and
Afghanistan: Striking or Striking Back?
What precipitated these attacks?
Did Clinton notify Congress in advance of the
What was the legal authority?
Why self-defense?
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA)
In the AEDPA, Congress prohibited various kinds of
assistance to countries that sponsor or harbor terrorists.
In the preamble to these prohibitions, it made the
following ‘‘finding,’’ among others: ‘‘the President should
use all necessary means, including covert action and
military force, to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy
international infrastructure used by international
terrorists, including overseas terrorist training facilities
and safe havens.’’
 Could this have been used post-911?
Domestic Politics
What was going on domestically?
What is the Wag the Dog factor?
What is the appropriations argument for congressional
authorization of such actions?
What caused Clinton to bomb Iraqi Intelligence Service
Headquarters in Baghdad?
Why is this a problem for legal justification?
Why does exempting attacks on terrorists not undermine
the purpose of the WPR?
What does Executive Order No. 12,333 ban?
What is the traditional definition of an assassination?
Why is it a problem as public policy?
Is it defined in war time against combatants?
When can you kill civilians as well?
What are examples of the US targeting civilian
populations directly, rather than as collateral damage to
military attacks?
When are Assassinations OK?
Is there a provision of the United Nations Charter that
might shelter assassinations?
Would Executive Order 12,333 ban killing al Qaeda
 Who about their bankers?
 Why might killing the bankers be really effective?
When should we use assassinations?
How do you get around Executive Order 12,333?
 Can this be done secretly?