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.

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2001 AUMF

Mullah Mansour as a "Continuous" Threat: Was the AUMF Strictly Necessary?

The DOD airstrike that may have killed Taliban leader Mullah Mansour is interesting, from a legal perspective, at many levels.  From an international law perspective, as Marty Lederman explains here, it looks to be another example of action under color of the much-discussed unwilling/unable principle (unless of course there was conse

NDAA

Oversight of DOD Kill-Capture Missions Outside Theaters of Major Hostilities: What May Change Under the Next NDAA?

Despite the substantial overlap between counterterrorism activities undertaken by the CIA and JSOC, we tend to pay a lot more attention to the details of the congressional oversight framework for the former as compared to the latter.  The NDAA often addresses CT oversight relating to DOD activities, however, and this year is no exception. What follows below is an attempt to provide a user-friendly guide to the proposals on the table.

 

I. Increasing the pace of quarterly operational briefings regarding CT:

Unwilling or Unable

Belgian Airstrikes in Syria: More Support for the Unwilling/Unable Test?

Until now, Belgium's contribution to the air campaign against ISIS has been limited to strikes on targets in Iraq.  This constraint reflected, at least in part, a sense that the legal case for strikes in Iraq (from a UN Charter perspective) was clear (in light of the consent of the Iraqi government), whereas the legality of strikes in Syria (where the Assad regime did not consent) was murkier.  

Events

Conference on "Intelligence in American Society" with Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco

Last Wednesday, the Intelligence Studies Project at the University of Texas-Austin hosted a conference on “Intelligence in American Society”. The conference focused on the supervision and oversight of U.S. intelligence activities. The luncheon keynote speaker was Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Morning and afternoon discussions involved current and former officials involved in intelligence oversight by all three branches of government, the media, and non-governmental organizations.