The Russian invasion of Ukraine on the 24th February 2022 was an egregious breach of international law. It has resulted in a humanitarian crisis in Europe not seen since World War Two and has already taken the lives of countless innocent civilians. In addition, it has raised tensions in Europe to a level not seen since the Cold War. The Western and Russian narratives of why the war started are predictably different. In terms of studying A-Level Politics, it is a chance to consider whether or not the realist principle of the security dilemma played a role in the outbreak of the war, or if this was at most a pre-text for an action that President Putin wanted to take anyway.
The Dictator’s Club is the term often given by some commentators in the West to refer to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. This is a IGO representing primarily European and Asian States. So, why was it formed and what is its purpose on the international stage?
On the 3rd January 2020 US drone strike in Iraq killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani whilst on the 31st July 2022 a similar such drone strike in Pakistan killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri. Both these attacks had tactical similarities, but more broadly both were stand-out examples of a type of military hard power that few states truly possess. So what happened in these two cases and what was their legal status?