Altering the Playing Field: The US Redefinition of the Use-of-Force from Bush to Obama

Bode, Ingvild and Warren, Aiden (2015) Altering the Playing Field: The US Redefinition of the Use-of-Force from Bush to Obama. Contemporary Security Policy, 36 (2). pp. 174-199. ISSN 1352-3260. E-ISSN 1743-8764. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/13523260.2015.1061768) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13523260.2015.1061768

Abstract

This article will interrogate the degree to which the Obama administration has continued, even at times inadvertently, the Bush administration's challenge on international law. Notwithstanding the Obama administration's bold pronouncements pertaining to reversing its predecessor's policies, little has actually changed when it comes to how the USA considers using military force. As a means to unpack this transition, this article will firstly consider the apparent continuum of use-of-force policies from the Bush to the Obama administration, specifically: the American conflation in the line between pre-emptive and preventive self-defence options; the sustained post-September 11 legacies that continue to lower thresholds towards using military force; and how this ultimately contributes to the erosion of international law in this area. Secondly, this article presents a critical contextualization of Obama's drone programme and its legal arguments in relation to his administration's overall use-of-force policy, focusing on jus ad bellum standards. In light of the centrality of targeted killings under Obama, our article will pay particular attention to the contradiction this poses with regard to his reluctance to use military force in relation to ongoing conflicts in Libya and Syria, while also looking at recent adjustments pertaining to use-of-force pronouncements against the Islamic State (IS). The article lastly considers what this will mean for international use-of-force thresholds and the future of the general prohibition on the use-of-force in the context of new and emerging technologies and theaters should the USA continue to skew and adjust its use-of-force policies on when, how, against who and where to use such force.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations > Conflict Analysis Research Centre
Depositing User: Ingvild Bode
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2015 15:15 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2015 11:30 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/53511 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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