To deter war in the Gulf and elsewhere, hold leaders personally accountable for aggression

Noah Weisbord is an associate professor of law at Queen’s University and author of The Crime of Aggression: The Quest for Justice in an Age of Drones, Cyberattacks, Insurgents, and Autocrats. He served on the International Criminal Court’s working group that drafted the crime of aggression.

The current U.S. and Iranian standoff in the Persian Gulf threatens the security of the world. But war is not inevitable. It would be a choice made by political leaders, a choice Canada can help to deter.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has committed Canada to “the renewal, indeed the strengthening, of the postwar multilateral order” and “the principled use of force.” This means the use of force should accord with the rule of law, not the whims of politicians.

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Unfortunately, impulsive, reckless behaviour by U.S. and Iranian leaders is threatening a devastating Middle East war.

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