International law is suddenly very popular in Washington. President Obama responded to Russian military intervention in the Crimea by accusing Russia of a "breach of international law." Unfortunately, during the last five years, no world leader has done more to undermine international law than Barack Obama.
America's moral leadership is gone; we have subverted our own liberties -- we have panicked in an unmanly manner. Taken together, these failures and transgressions are a heavy load on the collective national psyche. We are now a people whose timidity in acknowledging their failings is fear by another name.
Under international law, in an armed conflict the United States can kill members of the armed forces of the enemy, or civilians while they directly participate in hostilities. In Afghanistan, the United States is still clearly in an armed conflict. But where else does the law of armed conflict apply?