(By Benjamin Wittes, Jack Goldsmith, and Robert Chesney)
We are thrilled to be joined this week by a guest blogger: Brigadier General Mark Martins. General Martins commands the Rule of Law Field Force--Afghanistan, which is a military operation of unique interest to Lawfare readers. It is in many ways an emblem of the mind-boggling change in the way we think about armed conflict that as part of their efforts in Afghanistan, the U.S. military and diplomatic mission are assembling a substantial and diverse task force of lawyers, engineers, trainers, advisors, procurement experts, military police, and security forces under the command of General Martins to bring law to lawless spaces. General Martins--a West Point graduate, former infantry officer, Rhodes Scholar, and Harvard-trained Army lawyer with more than four years of deployment experience in the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan--wrote these remarkable posts from the field on a Blackberry in response to a question Jack posed early in this blog’s life: Are Gen. Martins, “his soldiers, and their Afghan partners [who] are literally fighting to bring ordinary Afghans criminal justice capacity, dispute resolution services, and anti-corruption institutions, all with the aim of promoting the legitimacy of the Afghan government and defeating the insurgency” engaged in lawfare?