The Warrior’s Bible – New Publication


The Warrior’s Bible is specifically designed to help the military community (warriors, family, and friends) understand and apply the timeless truths of God’s Word to daily life. From cover to cover, this Bible speaks in language that connects with military people about things that really matter.

The Warrior’s Bible also speaks volumues to any individual, church, educational institution, or other organization seeking to understand the unique challenges faced by our brave citizens and family members who sacrifice to keep our nation safe.

May 2, 2015: 4th Anniversary of Bin Laden Targeted Killing – A Retrospective On Military Legitimacy



Govern, Kevin H., Operation Neptune Spear: Was Killing Bin Laden a Legitimate Military Objective? (Chapter 13) (April 1, 2012). Targeted Killings Law and Morality in an Asymmetrical World, Editors: Claire Finkelstein, Jens Ohlin, and Andrew Altman (Oxford University Press, 2012). Available at SSRN:

CERL presents Sarah Chayes, “Counterproductive Coalitions”

Sarah Chayes

Sarah Chayes

Sarah Chayes
©2014 Kaveh Sardari


Contact Info:

CERL presents Sarah Chayes, “Counterproductive Coalitions”

Time: 4:30pm – 6:00pm

Location: Golkin 100, Michael A. Fitts Auditorium

The Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law presents “Counterproductive Coalitions”. This event will be held at the University of Pennsylvania Law School at 4:30 pm; followed by a cocktail reception with a book signing. This event is open to the public. Books will be available for purchase.
Sarah Chayes, author of Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, served as special assistant to the top U.S. military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. She participated in Cabinet-level decision-making on Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Arab Spring, traveling with Mullen frequently to the region. He tapped Chayes for the job after her work as special advisor to two commanders of the international troops in Afghanistan (ISAF), Generals David McKiernan and Stanley McChrystal. She contributed her unique knowledge of the Afghan south to the ISAF command.

It was a sense of historic opportunity that prompted Chayes to renounce her journalism career in early 2002, after covering the fall of the Taliban for National Public Radio, and to remain in Afghanistan to help rebuild the country. She chose to settle in the former Taliban heartland, Kandahar.

In 2005, Chayes founded Arghand, a start-up manufacturing cooperative, where men and women working together produce fine skin-care products for export. ( The goal was to revive the region’s historic role in exporting fruit and its derivatives, to promote sustainable development, and expand alternatives to the opium economy. Running Arghand in downtown Kandahar proved to an extraordinary vantage point for observing the unfolding war.

From 1996-2001, Chayes was NPR Paris correspondent. For her work during the Kosovo crisis, she shared the 1999 Foreign Press Club and Sigma Delta Chi awards.

She is now a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in the Democracy and Rule of Law and South Asia programs. Her work focuses on the security implications of acute corruption.

Along with Thieves of State, Chayes is is the author of The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban (Penguin, 2006) and contributes to The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and Defense One among other publications.

This program has been approved for 1.5 ethics credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credits may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $30.00 cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

CLE Reading link:

The Arab League Joint Military Force – Countering Extremism and Political Instability

The Arab League Joint Military Force – Countering Extremism and Political Instability
Wednesday 1 April 2015 at 7:44 PM ET edited by Yuxin Jiang
JURIST Guest Columnist Kevin Govern, Associate Professor of Law at Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, FL, considers the ramifications of the recent Arab League agreement to form a joint force in the context of historic efforts on joint defense and economic cooperation …

arab league
©  WikiMedia (Jeff Dahl)

JURIST recently noted the 22-member League of Arab States (a/k/a Arab League) formation of a voluntary but unified military force to oppose growing threats to its members, especially the intensifying instability in  Yemen. This effort is consistent not only with the Arab League’s September 2014 resolution to combat extremist groups like the Islamic State (IS), but reflective of 65 years of varied cooperation under the Treaty of Joint Defense and Economic Cooperation.

During the waning days of World War II, six nations formed the nascent Arab League in Cairo on March 22, 1945; Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan (Jordan after 1946), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria. In May 1945, Yemen joined the group, joined as a member on May 5, 1945. Amongst its first security actions, Arab League members Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon invaded Israel during the 1948 War of Independence / Palestine War, and, less formally, Arab volunteers forming the Arab Liberation army joined Arab League forces. While armistice agreements were concluded with Israel, conditions for sustainable peace never resulted especially in light of 400,000 Palestinian Arabs fled from Israel to refugee camps in Arab League nations Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

By 1950, the six original Arab League nations concluded the Treaty of Joint Defense and Economic Cooperation, ostensibly to “consolidate relations” between member states, “maintain their independence and their mutual heritage,” and “to cooperate for the realization of mutual defense and the maintenance of security and peace” as well as “consolidate stability and security.” Article 6 of that treaty, then as now, provides for a Joint Defense Counsel, assisted by the Permanent Military Commission under Article 5, to draw up plans of joint defense and their implementation, and by two-thirds majority vote, to bind Contracting States regarding joint defense decisions.

This alliance would be tested some six years later when Israeli forces launched air and ground assaults into Egypt’s Sinai peninsula after Egypt’s first President of the Republic, Gamal Abdal Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal. Not only did this become an Arab League security matter, but also a proxy conflict with an Anglo-French reinforcement of Israeli gains and Soviet support of Arab demands.

The predecessor to the currently proposed Arab League Military Forces was the Joint Arab Command (a/k/a United or Unified Arab Command), under the guise of the Treaty of Joint Defense and Economic Cooperation, established by the then-thirteen member states of the Arab League during their January 1964 summit in Cairo.

That 1964 summit would also set conditions for future conflict, rather than conflict resolution. That summit gave rise to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) , which would sustain an insurgency in Lebanon, reaching an intense level of conflict in the 1982 War in South Lebanon, and acts of terror and violence in Israel and beyond, until Israel and the PLO agreed to mutual recognition in 1993 in an historic bid for peace.

Two conflicts shortly thereafter would show the Joint Arab Command as ineffective in joint defense. Notwithstanding King Hussein of Jordan’s years of secret meetings with Israeli leaders, and assurances that Israel had no intentions of attacking Jordan, in November 1966, Israel undertook Operation Shredder incursion into the Jordanian-occupied West Bank.

By mutual defense pact, Jordan and Egypt placed the Joint Arab Command under command of the Egyptian military’s chief of staff in May 1967 as both Arab League nations built up forces along their borders with Israel. The June 1967 Six-Day War was marked by simultaneous Israeli attacks against Egypt and Syria, and resultant Israeli gains in the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights and the West Bank.

During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Arab League member Egypt attacked across the Suez Canal, and Syria maneuvered from the north, in efforts to reclaim territory lost to Israel during the 1967 war. The final 1974 cease-fire resulted in Israel withdrawing back across the Suez Canal and a portion of the East Bank, and relinquishing some territory to Syria.

In the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War, eight leaders of the Arab League set the conditions for continued strife with Israel with the September 1967 Khartoum Resolution’s Three No’s: “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.” The 1978 Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and Israel resulted in an abiding peace between the two nations but also Egypt’s suspension from the Arab League until its readmission in 1989 and the Arab League headquarters moving to Cairo.

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has lauded the Arab League’s common security consensus over the Saudi-sponsored Arab Peace Initiative in 2002, yet lamented the League’s failure to coordinate its policy over both the 1990-1991 Gulf War and the 2003 Iraq War.

In more recent years, the Arab League did not intervene in most of the Arab revolts throughout the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, but called for the UN Security Council to impose a no fly zone over Libya to protect civilians from air attack. Notable recent Arab League changes bode well for stronger, more cohesive efforts with the appointment of the renowned Egyptian diplomat and foreign rights lawyer Nabil Elaraby, and member nations Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates joining as part of the coalition to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973.

The CFR has also noted that since those actions, the Arab League’s efforts towards security included suspending Syrian membership, attempting to broker an agreement with the Assad regime and, for the first time in its history, assembled a team of observers to monitor the implementation of its plan and officially calling for Assad to step down in January 2012 and requested a resolution from the UN Security Council to support this proposal.

Most recently, in March 2015, 14 of the Arab League’s 22 nations assessed the success of ongoing Saudi-led allied air strikes against Shi’a Houthi rebels in Yemen. Those operations are part of a 10-nation military coalition against the coup by Arab League members Morocco, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE, joined with nonmember Pakistan. The Houthis are seeking to reinstate the ousted past Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was replaced in a February 2012 referendum that formally ushered in Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, previously Yemen’s vice president, into the role of transitional president.

Reports quote US President Barack Obama has reaffirmed his support for the military action taken in Yemen, and Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi saying he “backs calls for a unified Arab force” to confront security threats in the Middle East and North Africa. Yemen’s President-in-exile Abd-Radu Mansour Hadi has said that the Houthis are “Iran’s Puppet” that has “destroyed Yemen with political immaturity.”

In the words of William Shakespeare from his play The Tempest, “What’s past is prologue.” Considering the historic cohesion, or lack thereof, of past Arab League mutual defense efforts, this future Joint Military Force will do well to study past efforts when it faces this new proxy war between a military force led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, against the Houthi militia, whose allies number Iran, Russia and China, as well as future challenges to mutual defense and the maintenance of security and peace. It should also develop capabilities not only for space, sea, land and air, but the fifth dimension of warfare, cyber warfare, since present and future adversaries are likely to pose threats in each of those domains.

Professor Govern began his legal career as an Army Judge Advocate, serving 20 years at every echelon during peacetime and war in worldwide assignments involving every legal discipline. In addition to currently teaching at Ave Maria School of Law he has also served as an Assistant Professor of Law at the United States Military Academy and teaches at California University of Pennsylvania and John Jay College. Unless otherwise attributed, the conclusions and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, or Ave Maria School of Law.

Suggested citation: Kevin Govern , The Arab League Joint Military Force – Countering Extremism and Political Instability , JURIST – Academic Commentary, Apr. 1, 2015,

PERCEPTIONS OF RISK: How We Manage Emergencies

University of Pennsylvania Faculty Senate Symposium
Co-sponsored by the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law (CERL)

Eye of hurricane

How We Manage Emergencies
April 1, 2015
3:00 – 5:00 p.m., reception to follow
Fitts Auditorium | University of Pennsylvania Law School

The study of risk management across a variety of domains is an essential part of policymaking today. From public health to national security, market analysis, and natural disaster emergency response, the question of how to assess and to respond to risks is of the utmost importance.
Important questions pertaining to the public perception include:

Does the public perceive risks accurately or are public perceptions distorted by cognitive biases?
Should public perceptions of risk be taken into account in risk management plans even if they seem “irrational”?
Should preparedness for disasters follow the same template as management of more ordinary risks?
Should the management of risk in the public sector differ from that in the private?
Should the risk of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, be handled in the same way as the risk of human threats, such as terrorism or criminal activity?
Does a serious threat that persists over a protracted period of time, such as a daily threat of terrorism, still count as a security emergency?
When are restrictions of civil liberties, such as quarantines or preventive restraint, justified to pre-empt risk of harm to the general public?
The purpose of this Symposium is to foster multi-disciplinary and inter-professional conversation about risk perception and strategies of emergency management. The panelists will engage in a conversation about emergency preparedness and how our perceptions of risk factor into those efforts.


Professor P.J. Brennan, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President for the University of Pennsylvania Health System
Lieutenant General (Ret.) Russel Honoré
Led the Department of Defense Task Force in response to Hurricane Katrina
Professor Dan Kahan
Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School, specializing in risk perception
Vice President Maureen Rush, M.S., CPP
Vice President for Public Safety, University of Pennsylvania

Professor Claire Finkelstein
Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy, Founder and Director of the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law
For more information please contact

Penn Law School ·
3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19104

Cyber War Law and Ethics for Virtual Conflicts

Cover for 9780198717492

Cyber War

Law and Ethics for Virtual Conflicts


Jens David Ohlin, Kevin Govern, and Claire Finkelstein

19 May 2015

Cover for 9780198717508

Cyber War

Law and Ethics for Virtual Conflicts


Jens David Ohlin, Kevin Govern, and Claire Finkelstein

19 May 2015

  • Explores the controversial legal and ethical problems raised by cyber war, critically assessing the received wisdom about its legal implications
  • Examines the complex questions of which legal regimes apply to cyber attacks, whether principles of humanitarian law work in cyber warfare situations, and how these principles can be translated into the operational reality
  • Provides an unique analysis of the foundational questions of the legality and morality of cyber warfare

Ethical Dilemmas in the Global Defense Industry

Ethical Dilemmas in the Global Defense Industry

The defense industry operates at the intersection of the public and private sectors in a global arena and routinely interacts with foreign legal systems and diverse cultures.  Navigating these different contexts creates challenges for the defense industry, particularly where legal and ethical norms conflict.  How should a defense industry company conduct business in countries where government officials operate according to different moral norms?  Should the defense industry be responsive to ethical objections to technological developments in the context of surveillance or controversial new weapons such as autonomous weapons systems?  Should the global defense industry be held to a higher standard than other industries given the sensitive and potentially controversial nature of its enterprise?  Domestically, other pressing questions arise.  Should partnerships between the defense industry and institutions of higher learning be encouraged?  Do such partnerships raise ethical concerns?

The purpose of this conference is to inspire constructive discussion pertaining to such questions, by bringing  together distinguished practitioners and scholars from the private sector, academia, government service and the military to engage in an in-depth exploration of the moral and legal challenges facing the global defense industry.


The Future of Interrogation: National Security in 21st Century Conflict

February 25, 2015
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Contact Info:

The Future of Interrogation: National Security in 21st Century Conflict

Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Location: The National Press Club  |  529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor  |  Washington, DC 20045

6:00 – 8:00 p.m., followed by a cocktail reception

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program (SSCI Report) has reignited debate about the ethics and legality of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. The Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law (CERL), of the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Perry World House, will host a public panel discussing the Report’s findings. The panel will address the moral and legal status of harsh interrogation methods, the rights of detainees, as well as the role of international law in regulating interrogation practices.

In addition, the panel will discuss the role of professionals engaged with national security, many of whom are bound by professional codes of ethics. What are the duties of professionals when national security imperatives conflict with the standards of their professions? How should violation of such duties be handled?

Finally, the panel will address the controversy surrounding the SSCI Report itself. Some see the report as a long overdue exposure of a doleful chapter in our nation’s recent history. Others see the report as an exercise in partisan politics.

The panel brings together illustrious speakers from different backgrounds to explore these topics in a respectful, thought-provoking and non-partisan manner. There will be a reception after the formal proceedings.

This program has been approved for 2.0 ethics credits for Pennsylvania and D.C. attorneys.  CLE credits may be available in other jurisdictions as well.  Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $30.00 cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

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The Future of Interrogation: National Security in 21st Century Conflict