This talk was given as part of the Oxford Transitional Justice Research (OTJR) Seminar Series. In this seminar, Dr Craig Jones discusses his newly published book, The War Lawyers. Craig’s monograph examines the laws of war interpreted and applied by military lawyers to aerial targeting operations carried out by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Israel military in Gaza. Drawing on interviews with military lawyers and others, he explains why some lawyers became integrated in the chain of command whereby military targets are identified and attacked, whether by manned aircraft, drones and/or ground forces, and with what results. Craig’s research shows just how important law and war lawyers have become in the conduct of contemporary warfare, and how it is understood. Jones argues that circulations of law and policy between the US and Israel have expanded the scope of what constitutes a legitimate military target, contending that the involvement of war lawyers in targeting operations not only constrains military violence, but also enables, legitimises, and sometimes even extends it. Dr Craig Jones is a Lecturer in Political Geography in the School of Geography, Sociology and Politics at Newcastle University. He completed his PhD in Geography at the University of British Columbia in 2017. He researches the geographies of later modern warfare and is especially interested legal and medical materialities of war and conflict in the contemporary Middle East. His current work focuses on the slow violence of traumatic injury and regimes of rehabilitation among civilian populations in Palestine, Iraq, and Syria. To learn more please visit the War Space website or follow him on Twitter @thewarspace.
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