PREVENTING ATROCITIES

Proxy Warfare Project

Global and regional powers increasingly rely on state and non-state partners in the course of ongoing hostilities, particularly those occurring in the Middle East and North Africa. Research suggests that such support of armed proxies increases the risk of civilian casualties and protracted conflict. In response to these concerns, the ABA Center for Human Rights convened an Expert Working Group to examine whether gaps in the law have contributed to the adverse impacts of proxy warfare and make recommendations on how to reduce these risks.

Read the Four-Part Series in Just Security

Part 1 (May 11, 2020): Why No One Ever Wins a Proxy War

Part 2 (May 20, 2020):  How States Supporting Armed Proxies Can Reduce Civilian Casualties and Protracted Hostilities

Part 3 (May 27, 2020): How the U.N. Can Help Prevent the Spread of Proxy Conflicts

Part 4 (August 20 2020): House and Senate Chart Different Courses on US Clandestine Support of Foreign Militias

How States Supporting Armed Proxies Can Reduce Civilian Casualties and Protracted Hostilities
How States Supporting Armed Proxies Can Reduce Civilian Casualties and Protracted Hostilities

Related Articles

Lawfare (April 9, 2020): Time to Get a Handle on America's Conduct of Proxy Warfare

Read the Report 

Report on the Legal Framework Regulating Proxy Warfare (PDF)

On Tuesday, December 10, 2019, ABA CHR held a launch event for the Report, co-sponsored by the ABA Rule of Law Initiative, the American Society for International Law, and the Stimson Center. The featured panelists were members of the Expert Working Group,

Stephen Tankel (moderator), Associate Professor at American University and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security;

Brittany Benowitz, Chief Counsel for the ABA's Center for Human Rights;

Linda Bishai, Adjunct professor at George Washington University;

Daniel Byman, Senior Associate Dean at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution's Center for Middle East Policy; and

Rachel Stohl, Managing Director, Stimson Center.

View launch event photos

Click to View the Photos from the Report Launch Event

Listen launch event audio