I was at the U.S. Pacific Command’s 27th annual MILOPS conference much of the week. One of the most interesting presentations I heard was by Commander Michael Adams, deputy legal adviser to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who talked about his new paper on “Jus Extra Bellum.” The paper, which has not yet been published, is a look forward to a post-AUMF world, where the United States will have to rely on non-war powers for its national security activities. Those powers, Adams argues, are historically quite extensive.
Adams and I sat down after his talk to discuss the idea of Jus Extra Bellum. We also talked about his career as an operational lawyer for special forces and the task of giving legal advice in real-time targeting situations.