I agree wholeheartedly with Ben Wittes and Marty Lederman that there are very few new revelations in the just-declassified Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG) on direct action against terrorist targets, at least compared to what was already known from the previousl
Latest in Drones
I have now read through the newly-declassified PPG on direct actions, the so-called "Playbook" for drone strikes from May 2013.
Hot off the press: The new Executive Order concerning pre-strike and post-strike practices and policies is here, ODNI's release of aggregate casaulty information is here, and the official fact sheet concerning them both is
Greg Miller has an interesting and seemingly quite well-sourced article in the Washington Post today documenting (and offering explanations for) a significant decline in CIA drone strikes. To be clear, the claim is not that drone strikes on the whole are in decline.
CENTCOM has just released a summary of publicly-acknowledged airstrikes conducted against AQAP targets in Yemen over the first five months of 2016. The list includes three strikes from February and March that were not previously acknowledged, interestingly, and there is no guarantee that there are not others of that kind still awaiting public disclosure.
The DOD airstrike that may have killed Taliban leader Mullah Mansour is interesting, from a legal perspective, at many levels.
Nextgov reports that the State Department has put out a request for information for a wireless intrustion detection system that the story describes as an “Internet of Things-style surveillance network.”
Editor’s Note: What is a drone? Some do surveillance, others hunt terrorists, and some models likely to enter air forces are more akin to sophisticated fighter aircraft. Dave Blair, badass warrior intellectual, argues that lumping these many different systems together under the label “drone” confuses more than it enlightens. It makes more sense, he contends, to focus on the mission set rather than the engineering behind it.
"All models are wrong, but some are useful."
Excellent! Make sure you watch to the end to see the countermeasures that defeat this menace.
Run -- don't walk, run -- to your nearest movie theater and see Eye in the Sky. This new release is playing as an "artistic movie" with limited publicity and I do not know how long it will be in theaters. But its approach to law and war will be of interest to anyone who reads this blog. Plus, its a good movie (as it's 92% positive on Rotten Tomatoes will attest).