Brenna Gautam

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Brenna Gautam is a second-year student at Georgetown University Law Center, where she is the 2L Delegate on the Journal of International Law. In 2015, she graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in History and Peace Studies.

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Military Commissions

Last Week at the Military Commissions: Medical Accommodations and Conspiracy Liability in al-Iraqi

The military commission trying alleged al-Qaeda commander Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi reconvened from Jan. 7-14, after a break in proceedings beginning in November 2018. The bulk of the session focused on Hadi’s medical status and accommodations being made to enable his participation in proceedings, and the commission heard testimony from Hadi’s neurosurgeon, the camp senior medical officer (SMO), and the commander of the Joint Detention Group (JDG).

Military Commissions

Last Week at the Military Commissions: A New Judge and Testimony on Unlawful Influence

Last week, the military commission in United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed et al. reconvened for pretrial proceedings, meeting in open session on Sept. 10, 11, and 12. The commission covered Col. Keith Parrella’s replacement of Col. James Pohl as the presiding military judge, began discovery motions, and interviewed witness Lieutenant Doug Newman.

Parrella’s Transition into the Role

Military Commissions

Last Week at the Military Commissions: Undue Influence and Other Issues in the 9/11 Case

Last week, the military commission in United States v. Khalid Shaikh Mohammad et al. reconvened for pretrial proceedings, meeting in open session on July 23 and 25, and in closed sessions on July 24 and 26. The commission covered a wide range of topics, including motions relating to unlawful influence by CIA director Gina Haspel, FBI influence in CIA interrogations, denial of a public trial, errors regarding classification determinations, and competing theories of "hostilities" under the law of war.

Politics & National Security

Summary of the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review

The Nuclear Posture Review is a legislative-mandated review undertaken by the Department of Defense that outlines U.S. nuclear policy, strategy, capabilities and force posture for the next five to 10 years. Below is a summary of key takeaways from the 2018 document, which can be read in full here.

1. Low-Yield Nuclear Weapons

The review calls for low-yield nuclear weapons, also known as tactical nuclear weapons, as a “flexible” nuclear option.