Is the “War on Terror” a War?


Lecture by Visiting Scholar Laura Olson. What is the proper role of International Humanitarian Law (the law of armed conflict) in the “war on terror”? International Humanitarian Law applies in and to armed conflict. Thus, terrorism, and by necessary implication, counter-terrorism, are subject to International Humanitarian Law when, and only when, those activities rise to the level of armed conflict. Does the “war on terror” per se rise to the level of armed conflict within the meaning of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols?