The face of modern warfare is changing as more and more humanitarian organizations, private military companies, and non-state groups enter complex security environments such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Haiti. Although this shift has been overshadowed by the legal issues connected to the War on Terror and intervention in countries such as Rwanda and Darfur, it has caused some to question the relevance of the laws of war.
To bridge the widening gap between the theory and practice of the law, Modern Warfare brings together both scholars and practitioners who offer unique, and often divergent, perspectives on four key challenges to the law's legitimacy: how to ensure compliance among non-state armed groups; the proliferation of private military and security companies and their use by humanitarian organizations; tensions between the idea of humanitarian space and counterinsurgency doctrines; and the phenomenon of urban violence. The contributors do not simply consider settled legal standards - they widen the scope to include first principles, related bodies of law, humanitarian policy, and the latest studies on the prevention and mitigation of violence.
By bringing to light international humanitarian law's limitations - and potential - in the context of modern warfare's rapidly changing landscape, Modern Warfare opens a path to preventing further unnecessary suffering and violence.