Robert Chesney

Bobby Chesney is the Charles I. Francis Professor in Law at the University of Texas School of Law, as well as a non-resident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution. His scholarship encompasses a wide range of issues relating to national security and the law, including detention, targeting, prosecution, covert action, and the state secrets privilege; most of it is posted here.

Terrorism Trials & Investigations

Another Arrest of a U.S. Citizen Allegedly Inspired by ISIL to Plot an Attack

The episode tends to illustrate the inevitable tension between ensuring an early-enough intervention to prevent harm and a variety of costs—including lost opportunities for gathering intelligence and building up the prosecution's case, among other things. 

Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC)

No CTIIC Meddling Please: Excerpts from White House Veto Threat

Back on June 15, the White House issued a SAP (statement of administration policy) spelling out objections to H.R. 2596, the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY'16.  The SAP concludes that the President will veto the bill if presented as-is.  I thought it worthwhile to highlight the White House objections to those same provisions.

targeted killing

Storifying the Oversight System for JSOC Kill/Capture Ops

I'm not certain this adds value, but I've decided to give Storify a shot.  My first shot at it uses the platform to pull together my posts on the ongoing development of the statutory regime for oversight of kill/capture ops conducted by the military outside of theaters of major ongoing hostilities, along with some accompanying commentary from others and links to news articles and the statute itself.  Not particularly different from my regular post here at Lawfare a few hours ago, but a different packaging.  My sense is this will be useful in some contexts much more than others.

Targeted Killings

Eliminating the Afghanistan Exception to the Oversight Regime for Military Kill/Capture Ops

A little-noticed provision of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 might expand Congressional oversight of kill/capture operations conducted by the U.S. military.  The change arguably reflects the ongoing process whereby U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is coming to resemble our involvement in Yemen and Somalia (and we now might add Libya), and constitutes the latest development in the long-running process whereby we are evolving a legal architecture for kinetic operations in situations that are not obviously full-fledged combat operations.