Latest in Reviews


Readings: Shane Harris, The Human-Free Future of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Journalist Shane Harris (senior writer for Washingtonian magazine and author of the well-received 2010 book, The Watchers) has written a briefing paper for the Hoover Institution's Task Force on National Security and Law's Emerging Threats series, Out of the Loop: The Human-Free Future of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.


My Review of William Shawcross’s “Justice and the Enemy”

It can be found here (and Wells’s review for Lawfare can be found here.)  I liked the book, which uses the dilemmas and compromises of Nuremburg as a lens for Shawcross's empathetic and fair-minded account of the cross-cutting pressures and difficult trade-offs the Bush administration (and later the Obama administration) face


Reviews: Thomas Nachbar on Executive Order 13567

Thomas B. Nachbar is a most remarkable law professor.  A few years ago, after having achieved wide recognition as a senior University of Virginia scholar known for his work in technology and regulation, he joined the US Army Reserve as a judge advocate. Captain Nachbar works on detention and counterinsurgency law issues:

He is a judge advocate in the U.S.


Readings: Drones in Civilian Airspace

As drone aircraft become commonplace in civilian settings - everything from police surveillance to environmental groups tracking whaling vessels to hobbyists and much, much more - and as they become more varied in size and pretty much everything else, well, issues of airspace rapidly crop up.  We tend to focus on the most controversial issues, such as privacy or the use of drones in targeted killing, but in civilian settings, the first and most common issue turns out to be air traffic control.

Targeted Killing: Drones

Reviews: CRS Report on U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems

The headline news from this Congressional Research Service report (which comes courtesy of Wired's Danger Room, in a very handy article by Spencer Ackerman) is that, today, nearly one in three US warplanes is a drone:

Remember when the military actually put human beings in the cockpits of its planes? They still do, but in far fewer numbers.


Reviews: Amicus Scholars' Briefs - Two Views

Last October 2011, Harvard Law School's Richard Fallon posted to SSRN an essay entitled, "Scholars' Briefs and the Vocation of  a Law Professor," which raised serious questions about the ethics of law professors signing onto amicus briefs in a wide variety of cases, particularly those with political, policy, and ideological implications.  He expressed serious reservations about the practice.

Targeted Killing

Reviews: UK House of Commons Library Publishes Briefing on Al-Aulaqi

Lawfare readers who followed our coverage and analysis of the al-Aulaqi drone strike last fall (archived here) may be interested to see the UK House of Commons Library’s recently released research briefing on the matter (with citations including Jack’s influential post on Lawfare calling for the release of


The Reviews

Happy New Year to all Lawfare readers.  Starting this month, Lawfare will be offering a new feature, which I will be editing alongside the Book Reviews.  This new feature (tentatively titled just plain "Reviews") will bring to Lawfare readers a variety of articles, reports, essays, websites, organizations, and other sources that we - well, mostly I - think are worth checking out.


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