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The War LawyersThe United States, Israel, and Juridical Warfare$
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Craig Jones

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198842927

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198842927.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 June 2021

‘The Lawyers’ War’

‘The Lawyers’ War’

Slow Violence in Iraq

(p.117) 3 ‘The Lawyers’ War’
The War Lawyers

Craig Jones

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the involvement of military lawyers in the planning and conduct of the US-led First Gulf War in 1990–1991. Contrary to representations of the First Gulf War as one of the cleanest, most precise, and limited wars the US military has ever fought, this chapter outlines the planning process and rationale behind the US military’s destruction of Iraq’s key infrastructure. The laws of war and military lawyers played no small part in the patterning of violence as key legal interpretations turned ‘dual use’ infrastructures into legitimate military targets—with cascading collateral consequences for civilian life in Iraq. The chapter considers how calculations of proportionality failed to properly consider the ‘slow violence’ of targeting, which enabled and legitimized forms of infrastructural violence and military destruction that might otherwise be considered impermissible.

Keywords:   First Gulf War, Iraq, United States, slow violence, ‘dual use’, infrastructure, infrastructural violence, electricity, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Shield

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