Iraq and the Crimes of Aggressive War: The Legal Cynicism of Criminal Militarism

Iraq and the Crimes of Aggressive War: The Legal Cynicism of Criminal Militarism


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From the torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib to unnecessary military attacks on civilians, this book is an account of the violations of international criminal law committed during the United States invasion of Iraq. Taking stock of the entire war, it uniquely documents the overestimation of the successes and underestimation of the failings of the Surge and Awakening policies. The authors show how an initial cynical framing of the American war led to the creation of a new Shia-dominated Iraq state, which in turn provoked powerful feelings of legal cynicism among Iraqis, especially the Sunni. The predictable result was a resilient Sunni insurgency that reemerged in the violent aftermath of the 2011 withdrawal. Examining more than a decade of evidence, this book makes a powerful case that the American war in Iraq constituted a criminal war of aggression.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107104532
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 06/09/2015
Series: Cambridge Studies in Law and Society
Pages: 266
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

John Hagan is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Law at Northwestern University, Illinois and Co-Director of the Center on Law and Globalization at the American Bar Foundation. His previous Cambridge University Press books are Mean Streets: Youth Crime and Homelessness (with Bill McCarthy) and Darfur and the Crime of Genocide (with Wenona Rymond-Richmond). Hagan is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada. In 2015, he received the Cesare Beccaria Medal in Gold, a lifetime achievement award, from the German Criminological Society.

Joshua Kaiser is a Law and Social Science Fellow at the American Bar Foundation and a JD-PhD candidate in law and sociology at Northwestern University, Illinois. His research focuses on the sociology and criminology of state control and state violence, both in the United States and internationally.

Anna Hanson is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at Northwestern University, Illinois. Her research focuses on issues of terrorism and human rights.

Table of Contents

Prologue; 1. The reign of terror; 2. A shadow of hope; 3. Judging torture in Iraq; 4. Night falls on Baghdad; 5. The separate peace of the Shia; 6. Legal cynicism and Sunni militancy; Epilogue.

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