Book Review: The Assault on International Law, by Jens David Ohlin


This essay reviews Jens David Ohlin’s The Assault on International Law, an important new book that analyzes the arguments deployed by the New Realists in their efforts to detach the United States—and the Executive Branch, in particular—from certain international obligations.  The essay finds compelling the book’s core argument:  that the New Realists misconstrued and misapplied game theory.  It also examines Ohlin’s contention that these mistakes led to many of the excesses in the so-called War on Terror, including, most notoriously, torture and widespread warrantless collection of private communications.  The essay observes that, while Ohlin may be correct in this contention, a richer historical account would be necessary to prove it.


54 Colum. J. Transnat'l L. 332