Robert Chesney

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Bobby Chesney is the Charles I. Francis Professor in Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas School of Law. He also serves as the Director of UT-Austin's interdisciplinary research center the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. 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. Along with Ben Wittes and Jack Goldsmith, he is one of the co-founders of the blog.

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Cybersecurity and Deterrence

The 2018 DOD Cyber Strategy: Understanding 'Defense Forward' in Light of the NDAA and PPD-20 Changes

The Pentagon’s 2018 Cyber Strategy document is drawing attention because of its reference to “defense forward.”  What does that mean? Let’s have a close look, in context with the recently-enacted NDAA and recent changes to PPD-20.

The National Security Law Podcast

The National Security Law Podcast: A Deep Dive Into the History of Military Commissions

There’s no shortage of news this week, but comparatively little of it is national security law news, and so we are back with a fresh deep dive episode.  For better or worse, it’s our longest episode yet (topping out a bit over 1:20). So find a comfy spot, pop in the headphones, and prepare to dive deep, deep, deep into the history of military commissions in the United States!  Get ready for Ex Parte Milligan, Ex Parte Quirin, and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, and much more besides!

North Korea

The North Korean Hacker Charges: Line-Drawing as a Necessary but not Sufficient Part of Deterrence

The Justice Department's charging last week of a North Korean hacker is a step in the right direction toward establishing redlines for hostile cyber operations and, thus, a contribution to the larger project of building a deterrence architecture.

Podcasts

The National Security Law Podcast: A Deep Dive into the Steel Seizure Case

This week, we explore the iconic 1952 decision of the Supreme Court in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, better known as the “Steel Seizure Case.” It’s an all-time classic regarding the separation of powers in general and war-related powers in particular (not to mention constitutional interpretive method, theories of emergency power, and more). In this deep dive, we:

Detention

Inching Closer to a Showdown Over the Fate of Captured Islamic State Fighters

More than 600 Islamic State fighters from a variety of countries are being held by SDF in Syria, but no one thinks this situation can last.  Frantic diplomatic negotiations have borne little fruit so far, and it appears a two-pronged stopgap solution may be in the works.  Buckle up.