Louis René Beres, a specialist on matters of nuclear weapons and world politics, examines the new challenges in geopolitics because of change in control over Afghanistan from a strategic and jurisprudential standpoint...
Abstract: Following US withdrawal from Afghanistan, America’s security focus will turn more expressly to Iran. The core problem with America’s Afghanistan withdrawal was not one of timing or tactics, but of original misconception. In essence, the “Afghanistan Problem” stemmed from an initially underestimated and misunderstood military operation. Looking ahead, Afghanistan’s incoherent conclusion means, inter alia, steadily expanding regional destabilization. Much of this instability will derive from diminished US credibility. Some of it will also be grounded in longstanding Shia-Sunni differences and in variously prospective impacts on Israel’s strategic calculations. Regarding Iran’s still-accelerating nuclearization, the United States may retain more-or-less plausible options, including certain residual forms of preemption. All of these complex options should be examined from a suitably combined strategic and jurisprudential standpoint, and take into close account the preferences and apprehensions being projected from Jerusalem.
“Everything is very simple in war, but even the simplest thing is difficult.”
– Carl von Clausewitz, On War
Post-Afghanistan Calculations: A Situation of Geopolitical Difficulty
As part of his retrospective focus on Afghanistan, President Joseph Biden must prepare the United States and its allies for complex and sometimes intersecting developments. Regionally, there must take place a coherent and comprehensive consideration of probable spillover effects – e.g., an expected expansion of Islamist insurgent/terror groups. Mr. Biden will also need to update and refine America’s response to the region’s most expressly existential problem: Iranian nuclearization.
At some point, such an imperative response – at least in markedly worst case scenarios– could involve a defensive first strike or preemption. Whether undertaken by the United States alone, or in some form of purposeful collaboration with Israel, any such protective action would be judged on operational and jurisprudential criteria. Both criteria will be germane.
Always, this will represent a preeminently intellectual task, not a narrowly political one.
On its face, the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan portends greater influence for certain fundamentalist Islamic philosophies of war and peace, but it is by no means clear that such a predominantly Sunni triumph will play well in Tehran. Moreover, the Taliban takeover unfolded shortly after Trump’s-brokered “Abraham Accords,” agreements that will more-or-less arouse reasonable Iranian fears about “Sunni-Zionist encirclement.” Prima facie, there are several crosscutting issues and coalitions in the broader Middle East, and – at least for the moment – plausible uncertainties about particular threats and optimal responses.
Regarding Iran, which now has a new president, the critical facts are conspicuous and largely unassailable. Tehran reacted to former US President Donald J Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 JCPOA agreement by accelerating its already-robust nuclearization. Now, even if US President Biden is able to re-negotiate that problematic pact, there would still be no persuasive reason to believe that Iran would ever agree to a verifiable renunciation of its nuclear efforts. Among other things, Trump’s “Abraham Accords” further marginalized the Islamic Republic by enhancing formal diplomatic ties between Israel and various Sunni Arab states.
While any such enhancement could first seem to represent a positive regional development, it actually hardened the persistently fractionating dualism of Shia-Sunni Islamic states. After Afghanistan, any such hardening will be patently disruptive. For now, Shiite Iran views Sunni Taliban as a natural enemy, but this perception could change. Previously, Iran forged assorted ties with Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad. A corollary issue concerns whether an Afghanistan-governing Taliban will see its Islamic role as specifically nation-state oriented, in the fashion of Palestinian Hamas, or as a transnational movement resembling the universal caliphate ideology like the ISIS.
The Preemption Issue
What can be said about the legality and operational utility of a measured American preemption against Iranian nuclear infrastructures? Plausibly, for the United States, the probable costs of any defensive first strike against Iran would exceed expected benefits. In more precise strategic parlance, a preemptive first strike by the United States, even while Iran was still militarily non-nuclear, could be “irrational.”
Despite America’s clear superiority in nuclear and conventional ordinance and infrastructure, Iran could deliver very substantial harms to Israel, a close US ally. This could include full-on assistance to continuously-growing Hezbollah forces in Lebanon and Syria. To some not-yet-calculable extent, this tangible prospect (1) could become more worrisome with Taliban control of Afghanistan; and (2) could partially derive from this Taliban control.
In all such hard-to-foresee matters, some developments could prove counter-intuitive. To wit, the prospective credibility of any US nuclear deterrent threat to Iran could vary inversely with expected magnitude of that threat. Here, President Biden should become especially wary of creating conditions that would obstruct America’s primary intra-crisis obligations.
There is more. Enemy expressions of irrationality need not always be expressions of madness. Any actual decisional irrationality in world affairs could take different and overlapping forms. These forms include a disorderly or inconsistent value system; computational errors in calculation; an incapacity to communicate efficiently; random or haphazard influences in the making or transmittal of particular decisions; and internal dissonance generated by structures of collective decision-making (i.e., assemblies of individuals who lack identical value systems and/or whose organizational arrangements impact their willing capacity to act as a single or unitary national decision maker).
For the United States, the foreseeable task of any military action against Iran would be to achieve “escalation dominance” without simultaneously stumbling into a catastrophic war. Apropos of this cautionary advice, by threatening “obliteration” vis-à-vis North Korea at the outset of his curious relationship with Kim Jong Un (“We fell in love”), former President Trump precluded any manageable sequence of bilateral escalations. Any such purposeful sequence should always be based upon credible threats of deterrence.
Inadvertent Nuclear War and Foreseeable Risks
Not every conceivable atomic threat in the Middle East would concern a deliberate nuclear war. An accidental nuclear war between the US and Iran would necessarily be unintentional or inadvertent, but not every unintentional nuclear war would be the result of accident. An unintentional nuclear war could sometime represent the outcome of decisional miscalculation or irrationality, whether by one or both of two contending parties/presidents. Such an understanding is entirely plausible/reasonable, and underscores the ongoing need for decision-maker humility rather than chauvinistic bravado.
There is more to know. Facing future Iranian negotiations – proceedings that would be governed by authoritative international law– it will become necessary that US policy analysts systematically examine dynamic configurations of foreseeable nuclear risk. When expressed in the orthodox game-theoretic parlance of formal military planning, these shifting configurations could present themselves singly, one-at-a-time (the expectedly best case for Washington); but they might also arise suddenly, unexpectedly, with apparent diffusiveness and in multiple or overlapping cascades of strategic complexity.
A tangible threat of nuclear war could even obtain in crises between an already nuclear United States and/or Israel with a not-yet-nuclear Iran. This is the case because there could be circumstances in which only an explicit nuclear threat would suitably deter still unacceptable conventional harms from Iran. Though all this may at first seem “simple,” even the simplest such crisis would be “difficult.”
To this point, there has been no discussion here of already-nuclear Pakistan’s present and prospective alignments with Sunni Arab states, but as regional crises heat up and become still more complicated, these alignments, together with ramifications for India, will have to be brought into the analytic foreground. Similar assessments will be needed in regard to “Palestine.” Intellectually, all such assessments will be daunting.
Whatever their particular nuances, these analytic examinations will present analytic and legal tasks, not political ones. To understand such obligations and possible intersections will require carefully-honed, well-developed and formidable analytic skills. In brief, these will not be graspable tasks for the analytically faint-hearted. They will require generally rare combinations of historical acquaintance, legal erudition and well-demonstrated capacities for advanced dialectical thinking. This points to tasks that will require thinkers who are as comfortable with elucidating holistic prescriptions of Plato and Descartes as with more narrowly technical elements of modern strategic planning.
There is more. Certain understandings here will call for crucial bifurcations. Currently, it is worrisome that neither Washington nor Tehran is likely paying sufficient attention to the specific and growing risks of an unintentional nuclear war. To this point in their ongoing relations, each nation’s president would seem to assume the other’s decision-making rationality. If, after all, there were no such mutual assumption, it would make no calculable sense for either side to negotiate further nuclear security accommodations with the other.
Reasonable Goals: Seeking Deterrence of Iran, not “Denuclearization”
For the United States and its relevant allies, goals for this region must be plain. Stable and viable deterrence, not Iran’s “denuclearization,” should become the overriding US strategic goal vis-à-vis Iran. This complex goal is always contingent upon certain basic assumptions concerning enemy rationality. But are such assumptions valid in the particular case of a potential war between two nuclear powers? If not, if President Biden should sometime begin to fear overt enemy irrationality in Tehran, issuing explicit threats of US retaliation might only make matters less stable.
What happens then?
This scenario is especially worrisome where the new threats are expressly disproportionate. In the past, in his always-escalating bravado detached from secure intellectual foundations, Donald Trump favored such utterly vacant and law-violating threats as “complete annihilation” or “total destruction.” But no such crudely lawless preference could stand a scintilla of a chance to meet legitimate American or Israeli security goals. What might have sounded reasonably “tough” to an American president comfortable only with metaphors of the marketplace or the street could only reduce US nuclear deterrent persuasiveness.
At some point, if it is made too contingent upon seat-of-the-pants bellicosity, American national security could come to depend on some presumptively viable combinations of ballistic missile defense and defensive first strikes. Settling upon such untested and legally-problematic combinations would lack decisional input from any tangible/quantifiable historical evidence, and – once Iran were operationally nuclear – could prove existentially risky. In the conceivably worst case, the offensive military element could entail a narrowly situational American preemption – a defensive first strike.
At that manifestly late stage, all previous hopes for bilateral reconciliation would already have become moot. At that portentous point, there could remain no “ordinary” circumstances wherein a preemptive strike against a nuclear Iran would conceivably be rational.
In Washington’s post-Afghanistan nuclear relations with Tehran, none of these decisions should be made casually or without substantive intellectual foundations. More precisely, with the steadily expanding development of “hypersonic” nuclear weapons, determining optimal US policy combinations from any one crisis to another could quickly become overwhelming. Though counterintuitive, the fact that the United States is evidently “more powerful” than Iran could prove largely irrelevant. Even worse, it could become the underlying cause of some actual military nuclear engagement between the two countries.
The Jurisprudential Imperative
What next? To begin, Biden and his relevant policy counselors will need to better understand and elucidate their desired military objectives in this destabilizing military theatre. Here, considerations of law will expectedly follow more primary considerations of strategic objective, but such legal considerations should not be excluded altogether. Earlier, the Trump administration demeaned and attenuated the established collective security functions of the United Nations. This amounted to willful disregard of the world’s most clearly binding multilateral treaty, the UN Charter. Following Article 6 of the US Constitution, the “Supremacy Clause,” this treaty is part of “the supreme law of the land.”
In its most coherent totality, international law is designed to ensure the safety of states in a continuously anarchic world. Its evident rules include the “inherent” right of individual or collective self-defense. At times, this basic or “peremptory” prerogative of states may be exercised not only after an armed attack has already been suffered (the legal expectation codified at Article 51 of the UN Charter), but also in advance. The UN Charter is a broadly authoritative agreement to which the United States is an original party and from which individual state members cannot pick and choose whatever is presumptively most convenient, gainful or cost-effective.
What are the permissible times for launching a preemptive attack – that is, a defensive strike that would qualify in law as “anticipatory self-defense?” The answers involved in such multi-layered questions are at least potentially urgent for US President Joe Biden, especially in the plausibly dense case of continuous Iranian nuclear weapons development. Are Tehran’s nuclear expansions in verifiable violation of authoritative international law, or are they now more-or-less allowable because of the prior and willful US withdrawal from the 2015 JCPOA agreement? To what extent, if any, are these expansions related to America’s Afghanistan withdrawal?
In dealing with such complex matters, we may reason from the general to the particular. What does world law say about preemption in general? Although the established rules of the UN Charter reserve the right of self-defense exclusively to states that have already suffered an armed attack, an equally valid customary legal norm may permit a first use of force if the danger posed is “instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means and no moment for deliberation.”
Drawn from an 1837 incident in military history known as the Caroline (concerning the unsuccessful rebellion in Upper Canada against British rule), this usually inconspicuous doctrine builds upon the foundational seventeenth-century legal writings of celebrated jurist Hugo Grotius. Self-defense, proclaims the Dutch scholar in The Law of War and Peace (1625), may be permitted “not only after an attack has already been suffered, but also in advance, where the deed may be anticipated.” In his later text of 1758, The Right of Self-Protection and the Effects of Sovereignty and Independence of Nations, Swiss jurist Emmerich de Vattel similarly affirms: “A nation has the right to resist the injury another seeks to inflict upon it, and to use force and every other just means of resistance against the aggressor.”
The jurisprudential writings of both Grotius and Vattel were well-known to the founding fathers of the United States, especially Thomas Jefferson. They were altogether unknown to former President Donald Trump. They should become better known to President Joseph Biden.
Humanitarian International Law, or the Law of Armed Conflict
Subsidiary questions must soon be answered. Is there discoverable evidence that Iran seeks to “inflict injury” upon the United States or Israel, either gratuitously or with some larger geostrategic plan in “mind”? Even if such evidence were capably produced by the White House, any subsequent US defensive strikes would still need to meet core “Law of War” criteria identifiable as “discrimination,” “proportionality” and “military necessity.” Moreover, even US invocation of “anticipatory self defense” could not automatically allow US President Joseph Biden any operational carte blanche in choosing among remediating uses of force. Under international law, any use of force must always be judged twice: once with regard to the justness of the war (jus ad bellum) and once with regard to justice in war (jus in bello).
Jurisprudentially, there is still more to know. International law has multiple and sometimes contradictory sources. Article 51 of the UN Charter, limiting self-defense to circumstances following an armed attack, does not override the equally valid customary right of anticipatory self-defense. As for customary international law, it is most prominently revealed at Article 38 of the (UN) Statute of the International Court of Justice.
Still, the actual conditions under which an expression of anticipatory self defense would conceivably be lawful must require enemy threats that are “instant,” “overwhelming” and discernibly “imminent in point of time.” How, precisely, would Joe Biden be able to make such a difficult determination, especially in extremis atomicum?
One scenario would be a US and/or Israeli non-nuclear preemption intended to prevent a regional nuclear war. This narrative follows from the assumption that if US/Israel were to wait for a pertinent enemy (e.g. Iran) to strike first, this enemy could sometime launch nuclear attacks, or, if they should strike first with only conventional weapons, US/Israel could sometime have no choice but to resort to a nuclear retaliation. To the extent that this were indeed the case, the reasonableness/legality of any non-nuclear preemption would be enhanced.
No such defense could be mustered on behalf of a nuclear preemption, which would, in virtually all circumstances, be in unequivocal violation of international law. A possible exception could obtain if a state’s resort to nuclear preemption were compelled by certain plausible expectations of national disappearance (see, in this connection, the 1996 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice).
Should Israel or the United States feel compelled to resort to nuclear war-fighting at some point, either after enemy reprisals for a conventional preemption cause Israel/US to escalate to nuclear weapons; or after enemy chemical/biological/conventional first-strikes cause Israel/US to escalate to nuclear weapons, Jerusalem/Washington would confront substantial problems under international law. If, in the future, Iran should launch a nuclear first-strike against Israel, Jerusalem/Washington’s retaliatory use of nuclear weapons would be less problematic jurisprudentially, but in such dire circumstances, all matters of jurisprudence would effectively become moot.
International Law and United States Law
In rendering this country’s strategic judgments, President Biden should bear in mind Article VI of the US Constitution and various related US Supreme Court decisions. Both sources proclaim unambiguously that international law is part of the law of the United States. When certain US politicians argue that the United States should always prioritize domestic law over international law (e.g., former President Trump’s visceral demands for “America First”) it is a false and misleading bifurcation.
To be in meaningful compliance with his oath of office, US President Biden should consider international law as an integral part of US law, and, correspondingly, as fully binding. The principal confirming Supreme Court case in this process is the Paquete Habana (1900). In still broader connections, William Blackstone’s seminal Commentaries on the Law of England represent the principal foundation of all early United States law. Blackstone’s Commentaries represent the original legal system for the United States.
For the current US president, there remains one singularly important clarification: The 1837 Caroline decision notes an implicit distinction between preventive war (which is never legal) and preemptive war, which can be lawful or even law-enforcing. “Anticipatory self-defense” is never permitted merely to protect a state against some seemingly emergent threat; rather, it becomes potentially applicable only when (per the Caroline) the “danger posed” is “instant” and “overwhelming.”
In applying such a correctly limiting jurisprudential framework, it is doubtful that Joe Biden could presently or prospectively construct a minimally valid legal argument for launching preemptive strikes against Iran. This would be the case even if the considered military operation were based on authentically valid considerations of American national self-defense and if the operation were consciously and conspicuously limited to presumptively nuclear military targets. In law, a more compelling case for preemption could likely be made by the State of Israel, which is plainly more vulnerable to Iranian nuclear developments than the United States.
Vulnerability matters. Israel has no strategic depth. It is half the size of an American lake (Lake Michigan), and could face sudden annihilation from almost any future Iranian nuclear attack.
A related and plausibly derivative danger to Israel is posed by various terrorist group surrogates. If they are not kept suitably distant from receiving nuclear weapons or fissile materials from Iran, such proxies could sometime inflict grievous harms upon Israeli targets. In principle, at least, such future harms could be nuclear, including conventional rocket attacks against Israel’s nuclear reactor at leadership Dimona.
Such attacks were attempted by Hamas several years back, but without success. Still earlier, during Israel’s war with Saddam Hussein, Iraq also sent rockets against Dimona. Baghdad’s operation was similarly unsuccessful. In the future, by striking a nuclear reactor core inside Israel, a non-nuclear insurgent adversary such as Hamas or Hezbollah could conceivably deliver nuclear harms to the Jewish State. This prospect remains a too-little discussed nuclear war scenario.
Wider Strategic Calculations
Where does all of this leave US President Joe Biden? Operationally, any significant use of preemptive force against Iran would almost certainly initiate a wider cycle of attack and counter-attack, further destabilizing the entire region and significantly expanding Israel’s overall strategic vulnerabilities. The likelihood of these markedly unwelcome consequences could likely increase in rough proportion to US inflicted harms.
This suggests, inter alia, that if American president Joe Biden’s determined military objectives were designed to halt Iranian nuclearization, these efforts could achieve some limited success, but only at very considerable strategic cost. As for capable legal assessments, it is almost certain that any preemptive strike against Iranian targets ordered by Joseph Biden – even if exclusively military or hard-target oriented – would be taken as an act of US aggression. Reasonably, therefore, Mr. Biden should now be focusing on other law-enforcing remedies.
In the final analysis, US planners should think systematically about all possible paths to a nuclear war, paths that include risks of inadvertent or accidental nuclear war. It is certainly possible and even likely that the perceived risks of any deliberate nuclear war would be very small, but that the United States and/or Israel could still be vulnerable to such a conflict occasioned by mechanical/electrical/computer malfunction (on one side or another) and/or by assorted decisional errors in related reasoning i.e., miscalculation.
To properly assess the different but intersecting risks existing between a deliberate nuclear war and an inadvertent or accidental nuclear war should now be regarded in Jerusalem/Washington as an overriding obligation. These risks could exist independently of one another, Moreover, Israel – like the much larger United States – must continuously prepare to deal with worrisome issues of cyber-attack and cyber-war, issues now considered together with the destabilizing impacts of “digital mercenaries” and Taliban victory in Afghanistan.
One more conceptual distinction now warrants mention. This “sub-distinction” references the difference between an inadvertent nuclear war and an accidental nuclear war. By definition, an accidental nuclear war would need to be inadvertent. Conversely, however, an inadvertent nuclear war would not necessarily be accidental. False warnings, for example, which could be generated by various types of technical malfunction or sparked by third-party hacking/digital mercenary interference, would not be included under identifiable causes of an unintentional or inadvertent nuclear war. Instead, they would represent cautionary narratives of an accidental nuclear war.
Most critical among causes of inadvertent nuclear war would be errors in calculation by one or both (or multiple) sides. The most blatant example here would involve misjudgments of enemy intent or enemy capacity that could emerge and propagate as a particular ongoing crisis would escalate. Once again, such consequential misjudgments could stem from an understandably amplified desire by one or several state parties to achieve “escalation dominance.” Such a desire is simply integral to geopolitical struggle in “Westphalian” world politics.
Always, in any such projected crisis conditions, rational sides would likely strive for escalation dominance without “severely risking” total or near-total destruction. Where one or several adversaries would not actually be rational, all usual deterrence “bets” would be “off.” Where one or several sides would not be identified as rational, Washington/Jerusalem could then need to input various unorthodox sorts of security options.
Still other credible causes of an inadvertent nuclear war could include flawed interpretations of computer-generated nuclear attack warnings; an unequal willingness among adversaries to risk catastrophic war; overconfidence in deterrence and/or defense capabilities on one or several sides; adversarial regime changes; outright revolution or coup d’état among adversaries; and poorly-conceived pre-delegations of nuclear launch authority among apparent foes.
The End of Realpolitik?
Since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, the people of earth have countenanced a geopolitical system based on competitive power politics, belligerent nationalism and endless conflict. This inherently fragile system of Realpolitik was formally transformed into authoritative law by this landmark treaty. But when Realpolitik is joined with a world of proliferating nuclear weapons, the risks of remaining on a seventeenth-century course of international relations exceed all conceivable benefits.
For current political leaders, there is still much to consider. The Westphalian peace which put an end to the Thirty Years’ War (the last of the major religious wars sparked by the Protestant Reformation) acknowledged a world system that lacked any loci of central global governance. Indeed, after Afghanistan, this increasingly unstable condition of structural anarchy stands in marked contrast to any neatly sanitizing or falsely reassuring assumption of solidarity between states.
Such a “peremptory” expectation (known formally in international law as a jus cogens assumption) was already been mentioned in Justinian, Corpus Juris Civilis (533 C.E.); in Hugo Grotius, The Law of War and Peace (1625); and most plainly of all, in Emmerich De Vattel, The Law of Nations, or The Principles of Natural Law (1758). Vattel’s “first principle” of the Law of Nations is the mutual independence and dependence of sovereign states. Though “foreign nations have no right to interfere in the government of an independent state….” (II, sec. 57), these states are “bound mutually to promote the society of the human race…” and, correspondingly, “owe one another all the duties which the safety and welfare of that society require.”
In brief, as Vattel clarifies in his introduction: “What one man owes to other men, one Nation, in its turn, owes to other Nations.”
Israel’s “Bomb in the Basement” and “Escalation Dominance”
Going forward after Afghanistan, the United States and Israel will inevitably find themselves embroiled in various crisis relationships with Iran. To best protect itself from any unwanted consequences, Israel should continue to refine its intellect-based policies of deterrence, both conventional and nuclear. More precisely, to optimize its presumed nuclear deterrent, Jerusalem/Tel Aviv should finally confront the rapidly disappearing advantages of “nuclear ambiguity”, thereby acknowledging that this state is now able to calibrate a credible nuclear response to any level of military threat. Such an acknowledgment would serve not only Israel’s strategic obligations, but also its complementary jurisprudential ones.
For Israel and the United States, law and strategy should go hand in hand. Still, even under optimal conditions regarding stable nuclear deterrence, either or both states could suddenly be immersed in extremis atomicum. The same steps needed to maximize a credible deterrence posture could enlarge the likelihood of inadvertent nuclear war. Largely, this risk would represent the staggering complexity of managing “escalation dominance.”
Clausewitz could be helpful. After Afghanistan, US/Israeli strategic policy- making could sometime appear simple (as it did to former US President Donald J. Trump), but even the “simplest thing” will be “difficult.” Plainly evident is that US geopolitical influence worldwide will wane after the fall of Afghanistan. This foreseeable diminution could have various immediate and substantial effects upon Iranian nuclearization, Palestinian statehood claims, the corresponding power of Hamas vis-a-vis Fatah (the latter has now become relatively ineffectual in “Palestine”) and the generally expanded influence of Islamic extremists throughout the region. Though this general expansion may ultimately prove to be more specific to Sunni groups such as Hamas than to Shiite organizations such as Hezbollah, it is presently too early to know.
Everything may seem simple at first, further recalling Carl von Clausewitz, “but even the simplest thing is difficult.”
Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is the author of many books and articles dealing with nuclear weapons and world politics. In Israel, he was Chair of Project Daniel (2003). Professor Beres’ most pertinent scholarly writings can be found at Israel Defense and in the Harvard National Security Journal (Harvard Law School); The International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence; The Brown Journal of World Affairs; Yale Global Online; The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Parameters: Journal of the U.S. Army War College; JURIST; The War Room (Pentagon); Modern War Institute (West Point); The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs; World Politics (Princeton); The Jerusalem Post; International Security (Harvard); and Oxford University Press (Oxford Yearbook of International Law and Jurisprudence). Dr. Beres was born in Zürich, Switzerland, at the end of World War II. His twelfth and latest book is Surviving Amid Chaos: Israel’s Nuclear Strategy, Rowman & Littlefield, 2016 (2nd ed., 2018).
Suggested citation: Louis René Beres, Law and Strategy after Afghanistan: The United States, Israel and Iran, JURIST – Academic Commentary, September 3, 2021 https://www.jurist.org/commentary/2021/08/louis-rene-beres-law-strategy-afghanistan/.
This article was prepared for publication by Khushali Mahajan, a JURIST staff editor. Please direct any questions or comments to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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