It gives me great pleasure to contribute the Foreword to this second edition of The Law of Armed Conflict. I have had the good fortune of working with the author, Dr. Gary Solis, for fifteen years. He is a gifted teacher, and a mentor to America's military and civilian youth. For years prior to our meeting, I knew of him by virtue of his stellar reputation in military legal circles. We finally met when serving together on the faculty of the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy, at West Point.
Dr. Solis is one of the nation's leading scholars of the law of armed conflict, with a deep and wide-ranging expertise. Significantly, he also is a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer with twenty-six years active service. His combat experience as an armor officer and troop commander gives him personal experience with many of the topics about which he writes.
While at the United States Military Academy, Dr. Solis created and taught a Law of Armed Conflict program, which included the first modern West Point elective on the subject. In 2006, he received the prestigious Apgar Award as the Military Academy's outstanding professor, military or civilian, for excellence in teaching. At West Point, Dr. Solis laid the foundation for this outstanding book. Over the years he continued to teach the law of war at West Point, then at Georgetown University, George Washington University, and the University of California, Davis, continually refining the book's instructional value.
I have taught the Law of Armed Conflict at West Point for nine years, using this textbook since it was first published. Every term, cadets praise it as thought provoking, practical, and easy to read: high praise from a knowledgeable audience. Having taught the law of war to graduate students, undergraduates, and American and international military students, I can say that this book is an essential resource for students and professors alike. It addresses basic issues relevant to modern armed conflicts involving nonstate actors who recognize no law and covers armed conflict topics that were unanticipated just a few years ago.
For law schools, military educational institutions, undergraduate courses, and practitioners, The Law of Armed Conflict is a textbook that I recommend enthusiastically.