Chicago Journal of International Law


No state, including the United States, should take a heavy-handed approach toward the use of armed force under any circumstances. All states, however, must be able to exercise their inherent right under international law to defend themselves against all actors-non-state and state alike. Effective deterrence demands that terrorists do not have safe havens and that terrorists must fear that they ultimately will pay a price for their criminal mayhem. This Article does not advocate armed force as an option of first resort; however, when force may be necessary, it details the international legal authority of states to use armed force against states for acts of terrorism and against non-state actors when the more appropriate law enforcement option is ineffective against terrorist threats to the national security of our great Nation.