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Thread: US DoD lawyer: military pursuit of al-Qaida should end

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default US DoD lawyer: military pursuit of al-Qaida should end

    A Guardian article ', US heading for point when 'military pursuit of al-Qaida should end' is bound to Speaking tonight @ Oxford University, Jeh Johnson:
    general counsel at the US defence department for the past four years and has given advice on every military operation that needs the approval of the president or defence secretary.
    His speech included:
    I do believe that on the present course there will come a tipping point, a tipping point at which so many of the leaders and operatives of al-Qaida and its affiliates have been killed or captured, and the group is no longer able to attempt or launch a strategic attack against the United States, such that al-Qaida as we know it, the organisation that our Congress authorised the military to pursue in 2001, has been effectively destroyed.

    At that point we must be able to say to ourselves that our efforts should no longer be considered an armed conflict against al-Qaida and its associated forces, rather a counter-terrorism effort against individuals who are the scattered remains of al-Qaida for which the law enforcement and intelligence resources of our government are principally responsible.
    The article ends:
    We refuse to allow this enemy, with its contemptible tactics, to define the way in which we wage war..Our efforts remain grounded in the rule of law.
    Link:http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...ainst-al-qaida
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default

    Was going to post the same link. Hopefully there is political energy behind this idea. This has been a criminal enforcement matter from the beginning. Rarely a good idea to let the military lead for law enforcement, diplomacy, or foreign policy....and there has been a good bit of all three for the past decade or so.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Default But, Who Declares Peace ?

    We all hope to see this:

    from Jeh Johnson speech

    I do believe that on the present course there will come a tipping point, a tipping point at which so many of the leaders and operatives of al-Qaida and its affiliates have been killed or captured, and the group is no longer able to attempt or launch a strategic attack against the United States, such that al-Qaida as we know it, the organisation that our Congress authorised the military to pursue in 2001, has been effectively destroyed.

    At that point we must be able to say to ourselves that our efforts should no longer be considered an armed conflict against al-Qaida and its associated forces, rather a counter-terrorism effort against individuals who are the scattered remains of al-Qaida for which the law enforcement and intelligence resources of our government are principally responsible.
    but when will it become official ?

    From the US standpoint (based on what the Federal courts have decided so far), the end of the AQ-armed conflict could occur if (1) both President and Congress agree it's ended; (2) the President declares it's "ended" (in the sense of a ceasefire; e.g., Bush I in Gulf I); or (3) Congress declares it's "ended" by overriding a Presidential veto (say, of a defunding resolution). The appellate decisions, so far, have claimed no judicial authority to end an armed conflict.

    On the other hand, substantial opinion in the "international legal community" is that the end of an armed conflict can be determined by "it" - as a matter of customary international humanitarian law.

    So, Jeh didn't say anything we didn't already know.

    Regards

    Mike

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Will Obama End the War on Terror?

    A follow-on article in Newsweek which gives some context to the speech made by Johnson (who is due to retire by 2013) and grasps the newly released film 'Zero Dark Thirty' to extend the argument:http://www.thedailybeast.com/newswee...on-terror.html
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default SWC Spotted the speech, did you?

    A curious commentary on FP, which probably makes more sense to Americans or more likely within "The Beltway" and headlined:
    Honorable Mention: The most important national security speech of 2012 you probably never heard of.
    Well SWC did note the speech!

    On November 30, outgoing Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson delivered a provocative speech to the Oxford Union pondering how the war against al Qaeda and its associated forces will end. At its core, Johnson's speech was a plea to resist treating the post-9/11 counterterrorism war footing as the "new normal.".....

    These are strong, if ironic, words from someone who helped forge "the new normal" counterterrorism legal policies in the Obama Pentagon. What Johnson said, why he said it, whether he was right, and why on earth he said it at Oxford instead of at home will be grist for counterterrorism policy wonks for years to come.
    Link:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...gence?page=0,1
    davidbfpo

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