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Tag Archives: Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)

Revealing the Deployment to Somalia: Drawing the Sting Before a Snowden Document Goes Public?

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Friday, January 10, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Did the government reveal the presence of US military advisors in Somalia in order to beat the Guardian or some other Snowden outlet to the punch? Earlier today, Jack posted about the likelihood that the metes and bounds of JSOC’s shadow conflict with al Qaeda (and perhaps others) will come into public light involuntarily at . . .
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Most Snowden Documents Concern Current U.S. Military Operations

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Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:37 AM

One hears that the worst of the Snowden documents (from the perspective of the USG) have not yet been released, and one wonders what that might mean.  Yesterday’s story that “most of the documents he took concerned current military operations” might provide the beginning of an answer (though I expect that another part of the answer is . . .
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Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield

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Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill—the activist-turned journalist previously known for his exposé of the military contractor formerly known as Blackwater—is a bad book. But it’s a bad book with a significantly redeeming feature. Scahill’s project is to depict the “dark side” of what he considers to be America’s unrestrained pursuit of security . . .
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Important New Oversight Legislation for Military Kill/Capture Outside Afghanistan

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Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 12:24 AM

Big news out of the House Armed Services Committee: Representative Mac Thornberry (a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, I proudly note) is going to introduce a bill enhancing oversight of kill/capture operations that may be conducted by the armed forces outside of Afghanistan.  [UPDATE: Full disclosure: I gave comments on an early . . .
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Mali, the Way of the Knife, and Working “By, With, and Through” Others

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 7:04 PM

While we are on the subject of Mark Mazzetti’s The Way of the Knife, and for that matter while we are speaking of Mali, check out this Washington Post report on U.S. boots being on the ground in Mali after all. It was already clear, of course, that Mali nicely illustrated both a key concern . . .
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The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM

I have a long review in the New Republic of Mark Mazzetti’s excellent new book, The Way of the Knife.  The first half of the review simply summarizes the book, the main point of which is to demonstrate how since 9/11 the CIA and DOD have changed to become like one another.  In short, the CIA has become (in . . .
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US Intelligence Support to Mexico’s Counter-Cartel Operations

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Monday, April 29, 2013 at 7:04 PM

This Washington Post article by Dana Priest is an excellent primer for those looking for an introduction to the particulars of US intelligence support to Mexico’s counter-cartel activities, as well as the looming issue of whether Mexico’s new president, Enrique Pena-Nieto, will pull back from this relationship.  Key nuggets in the article include:

My Final Response to Jennifer and Steve

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Monday, March 18, 2013 at 8:24 PM

We address all of Jennifer and Steve’s latest arguments in our paper, and so I urge any interested reader to look for responses there.  I will limit myself here to one point.  Jennifer and Steve believe that when the threats covered by the AUMF are eliminated, then we can have “a paradigm shift back toward . . .
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Congressman Rogers on Congressional (and Personal) Oversight of the Obama Drone Program and USG Involvement in Al-Awlaki Strike; and the Implications for the ACLU FOIA Cases [UPDATED]

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Congressman Mike Rogers, the Republican Chairmen of the House Intelligence Committee, revealed Sunday on Face the Nation much more than I had previously known about the nature and scope of congressional intelligence committee oversight of the drone program.  He also appears to have given the clearest official confirmation of U.S. involvement in the drone strike . . .
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The US Government Position on Imminence and Active Self-Defense

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Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 12:26 PM

(Updated and extended.)  The White Paper’s reference to imminence has occasioned some heated rhetoric about the Obama administration stretching the notion beyond all possible ordinary meaning or bounds, etc.  But it’s worth bearing in mind that there’s nothing new in this from the standpoint of the US government.  The US government has held this view . . .
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The “End of War” – A Recent Timeline

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 7:07 AM

January 28, 2013: The United States signs a status of forces agreement with Niger “that clears the way for a stepped-up American military presence on the edges of the conflict in neighboring Mali,” and that portends a drone base in North Africa to surveil, and (maybe later) attack, Islamist militants in the region. January 27, 2013: The . . .
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Lawfare Podcast Episode #26: General Stanley McChrystal Speaks at Brookings on the Evolution of JSOC

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Monday, January 28, 2013 at 5:15 PM

This morning, my Brookings colleagues Michael O’Hanlon and Bruce Riedel held an excellent event with General Stanley McChrystal on the evolution of JSOC and his new book, My Share of the Task. I can’t embed the video because of the way it’s formatted, but I am happy to make the full audio available as the . . .
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Brookings Event with Gen. Stanley McChrystal

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Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 7:49 PM

This should pique the interest of our local readers: Killing Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and His Legacy: A Discussion with General Stanley A. McChrystal Monday, January 28, 2012, 10:00 — 11:30 am The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC Osama bin Laden may have been the most notorious face of al-Qaeda before . . .
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Thoughts on the Brennan Profile

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Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 10:36 AM

I agree with Bobby’s analysis of this morning’s Washington Post profile by Karen DeYoung of John Brennan, and would add these thoughts: Eliminating CIA’s Drone Capacities.  Count me as skeptical that we will see drone targeting capacities moved out of CIA and exclusively into the hands of JSOC.  First, the CIA loves this stuff and . . .
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Thoughts on the Brennan Speech : Scope of the AUMF, CCF, JSOC, and Other Issues

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Over at Opinio Juris, Gabor Rona of Human Rights First offers an extended critique of John Brennan’s speech on the use of lethal force.  It is an interesting and provocative post, leading me to share a few thoughts in response.  The Scope of Domestic Authority to Engage in Drone Strikes Rona’s critique opens by arguing . . .
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Greg Miller’s Overview of Drone Program Developments Under Obama

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 11:06 PM

I’m taking a break from de-ornamenting my Christmas tree (or, more accurately, spreading an astonishing number of dried-out pine needles around my living room) to draw attention to this very interesting piece from Greg Miller at the Washington Post (assissted by Julie Tate).  It’s a very handy overview of developments over the past three years in relation to drone . . .
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JSOC Operations Without Host State Consent: A Possible Explanation for the Claimed Legal Prohibition?

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Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Yesterday I noted that a series of recent news articles suggest that only the CIA can lawfully conduct strikes without the host-state’s consent, and that this is one reason (in addition to various policy considerations) why CIA soon will join JSOC in using lethal force against AQAP in Yemen.  It was far from clear to me . . .
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“After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden, and took custody of his body.”

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Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 11:43 PM

So stated the President just now.  I would be extraordinarily surprised if anyone serious raised a legal objection to this [UPDATE: Or will some argue that the CIA, as opposed to the military, cannot lawfully carry out such operations? Of course, it may turn out that CIA provided the intel, and JSOC provided the trigger-pullers...]