Characterizing US operations in Pakistan : is the United States engaged in an armed conflict ?
Laurie R. Blank and Benjamin R. Farley
Host item entries:
Fordham international law journal, Vol. 34, issue 2, 2011, p. 151-189
This article first analyzes the extent and nature of the hostilities between Pakistan and Tehrik-e-Taliban, the main insurgent group in opposition to the Pakistani government. Both the intensity of the hostilities and the level of the TTP’s organizational structure demonstrate that Pakistan and the TTP are engaged in a non-international armed conflict, along with other relevant non-state armed groups in Pakistan. The intensity of the hostilities between the U.S. and the TTP – which has steadily increased over the past two years, both in frequency and in scope – suggests that the U.S. and the TTP are also engaged in an armed conflict. Once identified as an armed conflict rather than isolated acts of violence, the hostilities between the U.S. and the TTP can be characterized as an intervention into the existing non-international armed conflict, which remains a non-international armed conflict because the U.S. is intervening on the side of the state actor. Alternatively, the conflict between the U.S. and the TTP can be characterized a separate parallel conflict, either a Common Article 3 conflict, using the broad standard established in Hamdan, or, at a minimum, a transnational armed conflict triggering the application of fundamental principles of the law of war that govern the conduct of any military operations.
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