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International Law and the Application of the Unwilling or Unable Test in the Syrian Conflict


This Article aims to critically analyze the application of the unwilling or unable test by the United States to the case of Syria, and assess why the justification that the United States provided for its military intervention on Syrian territory has not been universally accepted. It will also discuss barriers to the acceptance of this standard, especially in the way that it has been interpreted by the United States in the particular case of Syria. This Article argues that the theoretical test is inapplicable in the Syrian case, because the prerequisites set by the test itself are not met. Moreover, the Article will argue that the test lowers the threshold for using force set by the U.N. Charter.