Of War and Law

Princeton University Press
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Modern war is law pursued by other means. Once a bit player in military conflict, law now shapes the institutional, logistical, and physical landscape of war. At the same time, law has become a political and ethical vocabulary for marking legitimate power and justifiable death. As a result, the battlespace is as legally regulated as the rest of modern life. In Of War and Law, David Kennedy examines this important development, retelling the history of modern war and statecraft as a tale of the changing role of law and the dramatic growth of law's power. Not only a restraint and an ethical yardstick, law can also be a weapon--a strategic partner, a force multiplier, and an excuse for terrifying violence.

Kennedy focuses on what can go wrong when humanitarian and military planners speak the same legal language--wrong for humanitarianism, and wrong for warfare. He argues that law has beaten ploughshares into swords while encouraging the bureaucratization of strategy and leadership. A culture of rules has eroded the experience of personal decision-making and responsibility among soldiers and statesmen alike. Kennedy urges those inside and outside the military who wish to reduce the ferocity of battle to understand the new roles--and the limits--of law. Only then will we be able to revitalize our responsibility for war.

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About the author

David Kennedy is Manley O. Hudson Professor of Law and Director of the European Law Research Center at Harvard Law School. He is the author of The Dark Sides of Virtue and coauthor of The Canon of American Legal Thought (both Princeton).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jan 10, 2009
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9781400827367
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / International
Law / Military
Political Science / Public Policy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Army does not want you to read this book. It does not want to advertise its detention system that coddles enemy fighters while putting American soldiers at risk. It does not want to reveal the new lawyered-up Pentagon war ethic that prosecutes U.S. soldiers and Marines while setting free spies who kill Americans.This very system ambushed Captain Roger Hill and his men.Hill, a West Point grad and decorated combat veteran, was a rising young officer who had always followed the letter of the military law. In 2007, Hill got his dream job: infantry commander in the storied 101st Airborne. His new unit, Dog Company, 1-506th, had just returned stateside from the hell of Ramadi. The men were brilliant in combat but unpolished at home, where paperwork and inspections filled their days.With tough love, Hill and his First Sergeant, an old-school former drill instructor named Tommy Scott, turned the company into the top performers in the battalion. Hill and Scott then led Dog Company into combat in Afghanistan, where a third of their men became battlefield casualties after just six months. Meanwhile, Hill found himself at war with his own battalion commander, a charismatic but difficult man who threatened to relieve Hill at every turn. After two of his men died on a routine patrol, Hill and a counterintelligence team busted a dozen enemy infiltrators on their base in the violent province of Wardak. Abandoned by his high command, Hill suddenly faced an excruciating choice: follow Army rules the way he always had, or damn the rules to his own destruction and protect the men he'd grown to love.
In this provocative and timely book, David Kennedy explores what can go awry when we put our humanitarian yearnings into action on a global scale--and what we can do in response.

Rooted in Kennedy's own experience in numerous humanitarian efforts, the book examines campaigns for human rights, refugee protection, economic development, and for humanitarian limits to the conduct of war. It takes us from the jails of Uruguay to the corridors of the United Nations, from the founding of a non-governmental organization dedicated to the liberation of East Timor to work aboard an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.


Kennedy shares the satisfactions of international humanitarian engagement--but also the disappointments of a faith betrayed. With humanitarianism's new power comes knowledge that even the most well-intentioned projects can create as many problems as they solve. Kennedy develops a checklist of the unforeseen consequences, blind spots, and biases of humanitarian work--from focusing too much on rules and too little on results to the ambiguities of waging war in the name of human rights. He explores the mix of altruism, self-doubt, self-congratulation, and simple disorientation that accompany efforts to bring humanitarian commitments to foreign settings.


Writing for all those who wish that "globalization" could be more humane, Kennedy urges us to think and work more pragmatically.


A work of unusual verve, honesty, and insight, this insider's account urges us to embrace the freedom and the responsibility that come with a deeper awareness of the dark sides of humanitarian governance.

Already acclaimed in England as "first-rate" (The Sunday Times); “a model of meticulous, courageous and path-breaking scholarship"(Literary Review); and "absorbing and thoroughly gripping… deserves a lasting place among histories of the war.” (The Sunday Telegraph), Hunting Evil is the first complete and definitive account of how the Nazis escaped and were pursued and captured  -- or managed to live long lives as fugitives.
 
At the end of the Second World War, an estimated 30,000 Nazi war criminals fled from justice, including some of the highest ranking members of the Nazi Party.  Many of them have names that resonate deeply in twentieth-century history -- Eichmann, Mengele, Martin Bormann, and Klaus Barbie -- not just for the monstrosity of their crimes, but also because of the shadowy nature of their post-war existence, holed up in the depths of Latin America, always one step ahead of their pursuers.  Aided and abetted by prominent people throughout Europe, they hid in foreboding castles high in the Austrian alps, and were taken in by shady Argentine secret agents. The attempts to bring them to justice are no less dramatic, featuring vengeful Holocaust survivors, inept politicians, and daring plots to kidnap or assassinate the fugitives.
 
In this exhaustively researched and compellingly written work of World War II history and investigative reporting, journalist and novelist Guy Walters gives a comprehensive account of one of the most shocking and important aspects of the war: how the most notorious Nazi war criminals escaped justice, how they were pursued, captured or able to remain free until their natural deaths and how the Nazis were assisted while they were on the run by "helpers" ranging from a Vatican bishop to a British camel doctor, and even members of Western intelligence services.  Based on all new interviews with Nazi hunters and former Nazis and intelligence agents, travels along the actual escape routes, and archival research in Germany, Britain, the United States, Austria, and Italy, Hunting Evil  authoritatively debunks much of what has previously been understood about Nazis and Nazi hunters in the post war era, including myths about the alleged “Spider” and “Odessa” escape networks and the surprising truth about the world's most legendary Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. 
 
From its haunting chronicle of the monstrous mass murders the Nazis perpetrated and the murky details of their postwar existence to the challenges of hunting them down, Hunting Evil is a monumental work of nonfiction written with the pacing and intrigue of a thriller.
 


From the Hardcover edition.
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