Posted on 2 February 2021 in human rights, isrf fellows, law, politics, violence, war, war

New book – The War Lawyers: The United States, Israel, and Juridical Warfare by Craig Jones

Former ISRF Fellow Craig Jones presents his new book, The War Lawyers. In this groundbreaking study, Jones explores how important law and war lawyers have become in the conduct of contemporary warfare, and how it is understood.

CRAIG JONES, NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY

ISRF Early Career Fellow 2019–20

Main image:
War room in Colorado Springs, CO (1964).
Image in public domain.


Over the last 20 years the world’s most advanced militaries have invited a small number of military legal professionals into the heart of their targeting operations, spaces which had previously been exclusively for generals and commanders. These professionals, trained and hired to give legal advice on an array of military operations, have become known as war lawyers.

The War Lawyers 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, this book 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.

This book 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 U.S. 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.

Craig will be presenting The War Lawyers during an upcoming book launch by the ISRF. Date to be announced. Subscribe to our mailing list if you want to receive updates.

The War Lawyers: The United States, Israel, and Juridical Warfare

by Craig Jones
Published by Oxford University Press
£56.00 (hardcover––with discount code ALAUTHC4)

Craig Jones The War Lawyers cover


Dr Craig Jones

Lecturer in Political Geography at Newcastle University

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. He was an ISRF Early Career Fellow in 2019–2020.

Craig Jones ISRF