Vandita Khanna in this paper traces the evolution of laws relating to terrorism to
examine the contribution of the United States of America in moulding and effectively transforming international law through its extra-legal hegemonic interventions.

Abstract

The onset of terrorism has drastically impacted the
evolution of the doctrine on the prohibition on the use of force
in international law. This essay aims at providing a
comprehensive survey of these modifications and plausible
justifications invoked by States to claim legality of their
actions in foreign territories against the Islamic State of Iraq
and Syria. The underlying aim of tracing the evolution is to
examine the contribution of the United States of America in
moulding and effectively transforming international law
through its extra-legal hegemonic interventions. Part 1 of this
essay reflects on various constructions of the ambiguously
worded Security Council Resolution 2249 (2015) to indicate
that the UN machinery’s failure to effectively address terror
threats has given way to unilateral assessments of risk at the
behest of individual States wedged in power politics. Part 2 of
the essay addresses shifting interpretations of the use of force
and its immediate applicability to the ISIS crisis: Section 1 of
this Part explores the possibility of the use of defensive force
against non-State actors without requiring attribution of their
conduct to territorial States; Section 2 establishes the legality
of American-led intervention in Iraq grounded in the principle
of ‘intervention by invitation’; and Section 3 examines the
viability of the grounds of collective self-defense and
anticipatory self-defense that have been invoked by USA for its
intervention in Syria. Part 3 of the essay appraises the
detrimental implications of according ostensible legality to
hegemonic interventions on the fundamentality of Article 2(4)
of the Charter of the United Nations and the perpetuation of a
xenophobic narrative all-pervading international law.