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Category Archives: Readings

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: “Jus Extra Bellum: Reconstructing the Ordinary, Realistic Conditions of Peace,” by Michael Jefferson Adams

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Monday, June 16, 2014 at 7:44 AM

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about what legal regime should prevail against remaining terrorist threats if and when the armed conflict with the Taliban and/or al Qaeda ends.  Commander Michael Adams, the Deputy Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (and a former student), has an excellent article addressing this issue . . .
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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: “A New Strategy for Reducing the Threat of Dangerous Øday Sales to Global Security and the Economy,” by Michele Golabek-Goldman

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Monday, May 19, 2014 at 5:59 AM

We have discussed the manifold challenges of zero day vulnerabilities quite a lot on this blog – why they are central to the cybersecurity challenge, how their discovery is vital to both offensive and defensive postures in cybersecurity, optimal USG policy on stockpiling v. publishing and patching vulnerabilities, and the like.  One little discussed but . . .
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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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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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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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Readings: Sean Wilentz on Snowden, Greenwald, and Assange

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Friday, January 24, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Over at the New Republic, Sean Wilentz has this fascinating long piece about the ideologies of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Glenn Greenwald. The bottom line, in Wilentz’s view, is that it’s odd that these people have become heroes of the Left, because Snowden, Greenwald, and Assange’s writings “reveal an agenda that even the leakers’ . . .
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Readings: Chris Borgen on Realpolitik in Russia’s ‘Near Abroad’

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Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Readings: Christopher Borgen, “Russia, Moldova, and the EU: Realpolitik as Normative Competition,” Opinio Juris, October 23, 2013; Christopher Borgen, “The Protests in Ukraine and Normative Geopolitics,” Opinio Juris, December 3, 2013. Chris Borgen, law professor at St John’s Law School and Opinio Juris blogger, is a leading expert on the increasingly fraught law-and-geopolitics of Russia’s . . .
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Readings: Caelum Liberam: Air Defense Identification Zones Outside Sovereign Airspace, by Peter A. Dutton

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Friday, November 29, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Given all the discussion around China’s controversial announcement this past week of an “Air Defense Identification Zone” in the East China Sea, it seems like a good moment for a Reading on the law and state practice of ADIZ.  Peter A. Dutton, a professor at the US Naval War College, published in 2009 an excellent . . .
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Readings: Christine Fair, “Drones, Spies, Terrorists and Second-Class Citizenship in Pakistan – A Review Essay”

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Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Georgetown University political scientist C. Christine Fair has been a leading voice in challenging much of the conventional wisdom about the nature of conflict in Pakistan, including the role of US drones, the Pakistani Taliban, and Pakistan’s military.  In a brief but comprehensive essay, forthcoming in the journal Small Wars and Insurgencies (25.1), she reviews . . .
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Readings: The Case for Drones (Now Available at SSRN, No Paywall)

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 6:57 PM

With reports released this week critical of US drone strikes and targeted killing from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson, this seems like a good moment to mention my own article from the June 2013 issue of Commentary magazine, “The Case for Drones“.  (It has just been posted to SSRN, . . .
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Readings: FAA v. Pirker (Domestic Drone Flights)

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Although the Federal Aviation Administration has been tasked by Congress to come up with regulations for the use of drones  in domestic airspace, it is running late on that mandate.  Even small, light model-airplane type drones operate under a narrow exemption for non-commercial hobbyists.  (As readers of Lawfare know, even flying the toy Parrot quadracopter . . .
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Readings: Ashley Deeks on Domestic (International) Humanitarian Law

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Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Ashley Deeks (UVA and Lawfare) has posted a book chapter to SSRN, “Domestic Humanitarian Law: Developing the Law of War in Domestic Courts,” which will appear in D. Jinks, J. Maogoto, S. Solomon (eds.), Applying International Humanitarian Law in Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Bodies: International and Domestic Aspects.  The article coins a new term, “DHL,” or “domestic . . .
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Readings: Ashley Deeks, “The Observer Effect”

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Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 12:04 AM

UVA’s (and Lawfare’s own) Ashley Deeks has posted a new article to SSRN, “The Observer Effect: National Security Litigation, Policy Changes, and Judicial Deference,” forthcoming (November 2013) in Fordham Law Review. Abstract: The national security deference debate has reached a stalemate.  Those favoring extensive deference to executive branch national security decisions celebrate the limited role . . .
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Readings: Kevin Jon Heller Watches “Crossing Lines” for Its Imaginary International Criminal Law

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Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 2:00 PM

“Crossing Lines” is a new NBC cop series this season that features … well, here’s the plot description at Wikipedia: Based in The Hague, a fictionalized version of the International Criminal Court‘s special crime unit (itself a fictional agency) investigates serialised crimes that cross the borders of Europe. The unit includes an anti-mafia covert specialist from Italy, . . .
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