Robert Chesney

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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Unfiled

Expanding Congressional Oversight of Kill/Capture Ops Conducted by the Military: Section 1036 of the NDAA

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 ("NDAA") is likely to complete its journey into law this week, and so the time has come to spotlight some of the nuggets in it that might matter to Lawfare readers.  One of the most important, in my view, involves the little-known, emergent oversight architecture associated with kill/capture operations conducted by the military in locations other than areas of "theaters of major hostilities."

James N. Mattis

Clearing the Way to Clear the Way for Secretary Mattis

As noted here, a law forbidding retired military officer from serving as Secretary of Defense until seven years after retirement currently stands in the way of the Mattis nomination, and will require fresh legislation to overcome.  Now the path towards obtaining that legislation is beginning to come into focus.

Lawfare

Is Lawfare Changing?

Has Lawfare changed?  It turns out quite a few people think so, judging both by the private messages that have been coming to the founders of the site (me, Jack, and Ben) and by the post that Brett Max Kaufman put up at Just Security earlier today. The perceived change pleases some and disappoints others.

Intelligence Oversight

Key Provisions in the Intelligence Authorization Act (FY'17)

On November 30th, the House passed H.R. 6393, the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY'17.  While it remains to be seen what if anything ultimately emerges at the end of the process, I'd like to highlight some items in the current bill that I found particularly interesting:

- two involve attempts to give SSCI and HPSCI greater awareness of presidential policy directives and MOUs involving the IC;

Annals of the Trump Administration

Annals of the Trump Administration #7 (Prequel Edition): Shaping the War Obama Will Leave to Trump

With less than two months to go before it hands over power to the Trump administration, the Obama administration is continuing to fine-tune the legal, policy, and institutional architectures that guide its approach to the ongoing conflict with al Qaeda.  Under that heading, I want to flag some important recent developments.

1. AUMF expansion: al Shabaab is now a full-fledged "associated force"