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Category Archives: Rule of Law Field Operations

Gen. John R. Allen Remarks on Signing of Afghan Special Ops MOU

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Monday, April 9, 2012 at 12:32 PM

The Afghanistan International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) reports that Gen. John R. Allen, commander of United States Forces–Afganistan, and Abdul Rahim Wardak, Afghan Minister of Defense, have “shoulder-to-shoulder signed an agreement on the process by which Afghan National Security Forces will take the lead on special operations, a critical security responsibility in Afghanistan.”  The Memorandum of Understanding . . .
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Change of Command at ROLFF-A

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Monday, September 19, 2011 at 8:16 AM

On September 14, General John R. Allen, who succeeded David Petraeus as the commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, presided over the change of the command of Rule of Law Field Force – Afghanistan from Brigadier General Mark Martins (whom Lawfare readers know) to Rear Admiral Jim Crawford, who has been Staff Judge Advocate for the Commander of . . .
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Mea Culpa: Lawfare

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Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 10:35 AM

In the Fall of 2002, a month or so after I started work in the Defense Department General Counsel’s office, I had a chat with Rear Admiral Michael Lohr, who at the time was the Judge Advocate General of the Navy.  I had come to the Pentagon from the University of Chicago Law knowing very . . .
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Mea Culpa: The Military’s Proper Role in Strengthening the Rule of Law During Armed Conflict

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 11:03 AM

My contribution to Lawfare’s 10th Anniversary Project concerns the role of the military in strengthening justice institutions in countries struggling to emerge from instability, a topic on which my personal and professional views have changed as a result of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and service in U.S. national security ranks.  Ten years ago, having recently participated in successful . . .
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Michael Yon on General Martins and the NATO Rule of Law Field Support Mission

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Michael Yon, whose dispatches from the field are always interesting (and typically include copious photography to give you a feel for what he has seen), recently traveled with General Martins in connection with the stand-up of the NATO Rule of Law Field Support Mission.  His coverage, including some great pics, is here.

NATO Stands Up Rule of Law Field Support Mission in Afghanistan

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Kandahar–Among the ceremonies in Afghanistan on this past July 4th was one having more to do with Afghans and their international partners than with the United States troops stationed here, though we Americans saw strong connections between our allies’ celebration and our own Independence Day observances.  Implementing last month’s decision of the North Atlantic Treaty . . .
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ROLFF-A Gets a Boost from NATO

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Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Defense Ministers from the 48 nations of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) today endorsed the NATO Rule of Law Field Support Mission (NROLFSM).  The press release describes the mission as follows: Governance and service delivery in Afghanistan remain key to ensure security gains are sustainable. Difficult terrain and insecurity pose challenges to lawyers, judges . . .
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“The Cup of Lawfare”

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Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 9:01 AM

I was inexpressibly moved yesterday when I opened a surprise package that showed up in my office from a military base in Afghanistan. The package contained this cup, along with a note from Brig. General Mark Martins, whose amazing posts about the Rule of Law Field Force and its work readers will remember from last . . .
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Mark Martins Speech at Harvard

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Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Last Monday Harvard Law School conferred its medal of freedom on one of its graduates, General Mark Martins, Commander of the Rule of Law Field Force -Afghanistan.  The Harvard National Security Journal has just posted the speech, with slides, that General Martins gave for the occasion.  It is a terrific speech, covering a wide range . . .
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Secretary Gates on Rule of Law in Afghanistan and the Possible Expansion of ROLFF

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Friday, March 11, 2011 at 4:29 PM

In a speech today that criticized NATO coalition partners for their diminishing contributions to the Afghanistan effort, Secretary of Defense Gates said something remarkable about the rule of law in the context of the Afghanistan transition: [A]s we consider the elements of effective transition, it is worth recalling the core grievances in Afghanistan that spawned . . .
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General Martins on Rule of Law Green Zones, Afghan Criminal Prosecution, and Other Updates from the ROLFF in Afghanistan

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 11:17 PM

Earlier today, General Mark Martins participated (by teleconference) in a press conference in order to bring folks up to speed on the Rule of Law-Field Force’s (ROLFF) latest activities in Afghanistan (for prior discussions of this topic by General Martins here at this blog, see here, for example).  The full transcript is posted here.  The point . . .
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Tom Nachbar on “Law as a Means to Counterinsurgency: Practical Considerations”

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Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 10:27 PM

[This is the second of two posts from Tom Nachbar of the University of Virginia on the topic of lawfare.  In addition to his role as a law professor at UVA, Tom has the distinction of serving as an Army JAG who has worked and written extensively on rule of law-related issues.  Check out his paper “Defining . . .
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More Response to Brig. Gen. Martins

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Jacob Bronsther, a third-year student at NYU Law School, who spent time as a Fulbright Scholar studying the the Muslim community in Mauritius, sent Brig. Gen. Mark Martins comments on his guest posts, which Gen. Martins encouraged him to submit to the site in longer form.  In addition to his legal training, Bronsther studied political . . .
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Guest Post: Tom Nachbar on COIN, Lawfare, and the Rule of Law

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Monday, December 6, 2010 at 9:39 PM

We are very pleased to present this guest post by Professor Tom Nachbar, who teaches antitrust, communications law, and constitutional law at the University of Virginia. Tom is also an Army Reserve judge advocate, and has worked on both detention policy and the role of legal institutions in counterinsurgency and stability operations. From 2007 to 2009, . . .
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Lawfare: So Are We Waging It?

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Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Parwan, Friday, November 19, 2010 — The week’s posts up until now—written on a Blackberry while we moved or found small spaces of time between engagements—position me finally to move from the definitional and philosophical matters I pondered yesterday in Khost to Jack’s September question: Do I consider counterinsurgency (COIN) in Afghanistan to be “lawfare.” . . .
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Reflections on “Lawfare” and Related Terms

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Khost, Thursday, November 18, 2010 — Having outlined, in theory as well as in practice, the military’s and ROLFF’s proper counterinsurgency (COIN) role in Afghanistan, it is time to blog more pointedly—to “drill down,” as the great 101st Airborne Division Rakkasan soldiers I am with today in Khost might say—on the term “lawfare.” Inaugurating this . . .
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Building the Rule of Law in Practice

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Kandahar City, Wednesday, November 17, 2010 — Counterinsurgency (COIN) theory—for that is what my last post describes—is only that: theory. The current reality in Afghanistan is that the rule of law remains mostly just a worthy goal. To evaluate whether COIN operations here are, as Jack Goldsmith writes, a “weapon of war . . . that . . .
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New CRS Report on U.S. Rule of Law Efforts in Afghanistan

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Monday, November 22, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Here, via the excellent Secrecy News, and just in time for General Martins’ posts on the subject, is a new CRS Report entitled: Afghanistan: U.S. Rule of Law and Justice Sector Assistance.

Building the Rule of Law in Theory

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Monday, November 22, 2010 at 7:05 AM

Kandahar, Tuesday, November 16, 2010 — Whether contemporary U.S. counterinsurgency operations (COIN) and legal institution-building are “an attractive form of lawfare,” as Jack proposed in his 8 September post, is a question of both theory and practice. A good deal of theory on these matters can be found in the U.S. military’s 2006 COIN manual and . . .
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Lawfare in Afghanistan?

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Monday, November 22, 2010 at 7:00 AM

Kabul, Monday, November 15, 2010 – Jack Goldsmith invited me more than two months ago to write in this space about our military’s involvement in efforts to build the rule of law in Afghanistan. In his initial post, Jack wondered what I thought about referring to those efforts as “lawfare.” I apologize for the lateness of . . .
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