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Posts by Kenneth Anderson

Kenneth Anderson is professor of law at Washington College of Law, American University; a visiting fellow of the Hoover Institution and member of its Task Force on National Security and Law; and a non-resident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution. He writes on international law, the laws of war, and national security, and his most recent book is "Living with the UN: American Responsibilities and International Order." Full bio »

NYT on Autonomous Weapons and Ways to Regulate Them

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 1:08 PM

The New York Times has a useful article today on autonomous weapon systems and debate about their regulation.  The issue is also on the discussion agenda this week in Geneva for the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapon.  The Times article says: Warfare is increasingly guided by software. Today, armed drones can be operated by . . .
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Readings: Geoff Corn on Precautionary Measures in the Law of Armed Conflict

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Monday, September 29, 2014 at 4:30 PM

(Author’s note: Apologies to Geoff and everyone else – I somehow managed to delete the last couple of paragraphs of this post when it went up.  I’ll recover them–including the part of the post that actually introduces Geoff’s paper!–and get it back up Tuesday. I’m sure everyone felt a trifle let down to have the . . .
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Readings: Marc Sageman on Stagnation in Terrorism Research

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Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Marc Sageman probably needs no introduction to most Lawfare readers. Author of two of the past decade’s most influential books on the conceptualization of transnational terrorists and terrorist groups, Understanding Terrorist Networks (2004) and Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century (2008), he has been a leading participant–both inside and outside of government–in efforts . . .
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Readings: An International Legal Framework for Surveillance, a New Article by Ashley Deeks

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Friday, September 26, 2014 at 7:44 AM

Lawfare’s own Ashley Deeks (University of Virginia School of Law) has released a new article, “An International Legal Framework for Surveillance,” available on SSRN and forthcoming in the Virginia Journal of International Law (Vol. 55, 2015).  The article unsurprisingly has been receiving considerable attention since its release on SSRN, and I wanted to be sure . . .
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Speaking the Law: Chapters 4 and 5

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 7:41 AM

The Hoover Institution has released Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 of our serialized book: Speaking the Law: The Obama Administration’s Addresses on National Security Law. Here are the Introduction and Chapter 1, Chapter 2,  and Chapter 3. Chapter 4 looks at the Obama administration’s speeches on national security—and the framework they lay out—in relation to other branches of government . . .
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Readings: Adapting the Law of Armed Conflict to Autonomous Weapon Systems

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 12:08 AM

We are pleased to share our recently published article on law and autonomous weapons, on which we teamed up with our good friend Daniel Reisner (formerly head of the Israel Defense Forces International Law Department). The article, “Adapting the Law of Armed Conflict to Autonomous Weapon Systems,” appears as 90 International Law Studies 386 (2014), . . .
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Readings: Geoffrey Corn on Autonomous Weapons

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Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 2:00 PM

I’m pleased to note that Lawfare’s good friend Geoff Corn has entered into the public discussion of autonomous weapon systems (AWS) with a new paper posted to SSRN, “Autonomous Weapon Systems: Legal Consequences of ‘Taking the Man Out of the Loop’.”  The paper is a relatively rough working draft, but it raises a number of . . .
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Jens Ohlin Is Guest-Blogging at Opinio Juris

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Friday, August 1, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Cornell University law professor Jens Ohlin is one of the most intellectually interesting scholars on international criminal law around–trained in philosophy as well as law, doctrinally learned, and someone who manages to surprise me on a regular basis.  He has been running his own blog for a while now, LieberCode, but these two weeks is guest-posting . . .
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Readings: Laurie Blank on Proportionality in Jus in Bello in Israel-Hamas Conflict, a Primer

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Friday, August 1, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Laurie Blank (Emory University Law School professor, director of its law of armed conflict clinic and, of course, well known to many Lawfare readers as a prominent scholar of LOAC) has an opinion column up at TheHill.com–a primer on the meaning of proportionality in the conduct of hostilities in the law of armed conflict, what it . . .
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Readings: Civilian Intelligence Agencies and the Use of Armed Drones by Ian Henderson

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Friday, June 27, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Footnote 44 of the recently released and much-discussed OLC Awlaki memorandum is heavily redacted, but what’s left reads, in part: Nor would the fact that CIA personnel would be involved in the operation itself cause the operation to violate the laws of war. It is true that CIA personnel, by virtue of their not being part of . . .
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Readings: Through Our Glass Darkly: From ‘Universal’ to ‘Extraterritorial’?

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Monday, June 23, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Apologies for Shameless Self-Promotion, but I wanted to mention an essay of mine that came out a couple of months ago as part of an excellent symposium on the work of Harvard Law School’s comparative law scholar, my old and dear friend Mary Ann Glendon. (Duquesne Law Review, Vol. 52, Winter 2014, pp. 115-149, “Through Our . . .
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Readings: Can Non-State Actors Mount an Armed Attack? by Kimberly N. Trapp

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Among the issues separating the American understanding of international law regarding transnational non-state actor armed groups from that of the “international community” (or at least an influential and significant part of UN officialdom, international law academics, international tribunals, international human rights NGOs, and governments particularly in Europe) is whether it is even possible for a . . .
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Readings: The Diffusion of Drone Warfare: Industrial, Infrastructural and Organizational Constraints by Andrea Gilli and Mauro Gilli

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Political science graduate students Andrea Gilli (European Union Institute, Florence) and Mauro Gilli (Northwestern University, Evanston) have posted a new and provocative paper to SSRN–“The Diffusion of Drone Warfare: Industrial, Infrastructural and Organizational Constraints.” I read this paper when first posted to SSRN some weeks back, but I waited to discuss it in a Readings post . . .
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Readings: “Ending Perpetual War?” by David A. Simon

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Monday, May 19, 2014 at 5:50 PM

David A. Simon, special counsel to the General Counsel, Department of Defense, has posted a new article to SSRN, “Ending Perpetual War? Constitutional War Termination Powers and the Conflict Against Al Qaeda” (41 Pepperdine Law Review 685 (2014)).  It’s an excellent article, and I heartily recommend it to those wanting a careful, nuanced walk through the . . .
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Readings: NSA Report on the 702 Program

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Below is the text of a Report/public comment on the 702 program submitted by the NSA Civil Liberties and Privacy Office to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), dated April 16, 2014. It doesn’t appear to have received much notice so far (and doesn’t seem to be online yet).  The following text of the . . .
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WeRobot2014 Conference Underway at University of Miami

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Friday, April 4, 2014 at 11:49 AM

The annual WeRobot program has emerged as the key conference on the legal, policy, moral, and other normative questions related to robotics. It is underway at this moment at the University of Miami, hosted by the law school and organized by law professor Michael Froomkin, who is one of the leaders of the field. The . . .
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Readings: A Critique of ‘Jus Post Bellum’ in International Law, by Eric De Brabandere

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 11:53 PM

In the past two decades or so, an enormous amount of academic international law and policy attention has gone to the concept of jus post bellum, or “post conflict justice.”  There are various ways of rendering the phrase with varying intellectual or political commitments implied – “post-conflict transitional justice,” “law and obligations applicable to the . . .
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Are Armed Drones Anything Strategically New?

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Strategika, a Hoover Institution online journal edited by Victor Davis Hanson, has published a symposium on whether armed drones are strategically something new, or just an incremental step forward in remote platform weapon systems.  Ben and I have a brief contribution to the issue, taken mostly from Chapter 3 of Speaking the Law, our book . . .
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Readings: “Charting the Legal Geography of NIAC” by Michael Schmitt

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Monday, February 3, 2014 at 1:11 PM

I’ll be participating this week in a Naval War College workshop on “Legal Implications of Autonomous Weapons,” and since my presentation topic at the workshop is “area of operations” with respect to autonomous weapons, I thought it might be a good idea to check on any recent scholarship on what has come to be called . . .
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Readings: “Using Force on Land to Suppress Piracy at Sea,” by Steven R. Obert

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Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Although piracy in the Indian Ocean by Somali pirates is sharply down in the last year or two, threats remain and an increase in attacks is far from impossible.  After all, little has been done to disrupt the land-based organizational, logistical, and financial structures of  Somali piracy.  Nearly all anti-piracy use-of-force actions have taken place . . .
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