The international criminality of waging illegal war, alongside only a few of the gravest human wrongs, is rooted not in its violation of sovereignty, but in the large-scale killing war entails. Yet when soldiers refuse to kill in illegal wars, nothing shields them from criminal sanction for that refusal. This seeming paradox in law demands explanation. Just as soldiers have no right not to kill in criminal wars, the death and suffering inflicted on them when they fight against aggression has been excluded repeatedly from the calculation of post-war reparations, whether monetary or symbolic. This, too, is jarring in an era of international law infused with human rights principles. Tom Dannenbaum explores these ambiguities and paradoxes, and argues for institutional reforms through which the law would better respect the rights and responsibilities of soldiers.
Tom Dannenbaum is Assistant Professor of International Law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Massachusetts. His article 'Why Have We Criminalized Aggressive War?' was awarded the Lieber Prize by the American Society of International Law in 2017.
Table of cases; Table of treaties and legislation; Table of other authorities; Introduction; Part I. The Criminalization of Aggression and the Putative Dissonance of the Law's Treatment of Soldiers: 1. Soldiers and the crime of aggression: required to kill for a criminal end, forgotten in wrongful death; 2. Normative reasoning and international law on aggression; 3. What is criminally wrongful about aggressive war?; Part II. Can International Law's Posture towards Soldiers Be Defended?: 4. Military duress; 5. Shedding certain blood for uncertain reasons; 6. Legal spheres and hierarchies of obligation; 7. Understanding the warrior's code; 8. Global norms, domestic institutions, and the military role; Part III. Respecting Soldiers in Institutions and Doctrine: The Internal Imperative to Reform: 9. Shifting contingencies; 10. Domestic implications; 11. An internal normative vision for international reform; Conclusion; Index.