The Year in Review: 2016 Posts

Hertog War Studies Program

TOPICS:Institute for the Study of WarMilitary HistoryScholarship

Posted By: admin January 26, 2016

Seeking Talented Undergraduates and 2016 Graduates
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is seeking talented undergraduates and 2016 graduates for its summer Hertog War Studies Program before applications close on February 8, 2016 .

This summer, the Institute for the Study of War will host its fourth annual Hertog War Studies Program, an intensive, two-week long summer program in Washington, DC for advanced undergraduate students. Through small-group seminars and discussions with senior military officials and thought-leaders, students will learn about military history, the theory and practice of war, and modern military organizations. The program’s website is: . The program is free, offsets travel costs, and provides a stipend to student attendees. I teach the course, along with Frederick Kagan, Ph.D., and Lieut. General Jim Dubik (U.S. Army Ret., Ph.D.).

The military history classes will address the emergence of modern warfare through studies of Napoleon, the works of Clausewitz and others; a staff ride of Gettysburg battlefield; World War II; and our recent counter-insurgency campaigns. The program also includes distinguished guest instructors who can provide unique insight into the formulation of strategy, the relationship between military operations and policy, and command decision-making. Our past program speakers have included former CJCS GEN Marty Dempsey, GEN Ray Odierno, GEN (Ret.) Dave Petraeus, GEN (Ret.) Stan McChrystal, LTG H.R. McMaster, Ambassador Robert Ford, and Ambassador Pat Butenis.

The students discuss how the program has transformed their perspectives on war, the military, and policy in a video .

The Hertog War Studies Program aims to produce a generation of American leaders who are literate in the study of war and warfare. We offer alumni multiple, longitudinal opportunities for continued education. Fifteen of our 2013, 2014, and 2015 alumni recently completed an advanced seminar on U.S. Civil-Military Relations. We host two program alumni annually as fellows at ISW to launch their national security careers. We are proud to be able to offer so many opportunities to alumni continue their education in matters of national security.

Applications are due on February 8, 2016. Students may apply here:

ICRC – Rules of War (In A Nutshell) & What Is International Humanitarian Law?

TOPICS:IHLInternational Humanitarian LawLaw of Armed Conflictlaw of warLOACLOW

Posted By: admin February 1, 2016

and see

and see

and see

and see


Defense Support To Civil Authorities (DSCA), Homeland Security, and Superbowl L

TOPICS:Defense Support to Civil AuthoritiesDepartment of DefenseDepartment of Homeland SecurityDHSDoDDSCASuperbowl

Posted By: adminFebruary 6, 2016

Nightly News

Feb 4 2016, 6:57 pm ET

Super Bowl 50: Gaggle of Security Forces Unite for Big Game

by Alex Johnson, Miguel Almaguer and Vivian Kim

Call it a Prevent Defense.

While players, coaches and fans of the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers didn’t know for sure until just last week that they’d be in Santa Clara, California, for Sunday’s Super Bowl, thousands of other people have known they’d be there for three years — the security personnel who’ll be blanketing not just Levi’s Stadium but also the entire San Francisco Bay Area.

For more than a decade, the Super Bowl has been classified as a Level 1 national security event — meaning it’s considered a credible target for terrorists. That’s why the National Football League says it’s hired more than 4,000 private security professionals to bolster the thousands of federal, state and local officers already swarming the area.

A Joint Special Event Threat Assessment this week from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security said there was no information to indicate a specific threat to Super Bowl 50 or its surrounding events.

But San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr told NBC News that “the events that happened in San Bernardino and in Paris” illustrate how quickly threats have been escalating “in an uncertain world.”

The suicide attackers in Paris in November included a man who blew himself up near the Stade de France during an international soccer match between France and Germany.

An Army soldier guards Levi’s Stadium, site of Super Bowl 50, on Tuesday in Santa Clara, California. Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

So the alphabet soup of federal agencies working the Super Bowl on Sunday will go way beyond the familiar letters of FBI, DHS and TSA.

There’s NORAD — the North American Aerospace Defense Command — which will be enforcing a no-fly zone over the region and coordinating military aircraft patrolling the skies, including UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.

And there’s DNDO — the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office — which is deploying radiological and nuclear detection “surge” equipment to sniff out nuclear threats.

Not to mention CBP, ICE, FEMA, NPPD, NBIC, HSI, IPR and many, many others — about 60 agencies in all.

“This is by far the most significant security presence we’ve had at any event in the Bay Area for sure,” Steve Baxter, a regional watch commander for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told NBC News.

If you’re among the 1 million or so visitors to the area for Super Bowl ,you’ll be sniffed by bomb dogs, swept by X-ray machines, monitored by thousands of cameras and watched over by sharpshooters on rooftops.

And your phones and computers will be closely tracked. Cybersecurity is a big concern, DHS said Wednesday — so much so that it confirmed that it will have sensors inside the city of Santa Clara’s network in addition to all its other technology to spot cyber or communications threats in real time.

It’s a small part of what federal authorities call the Computer-Based Assessment Tool, an all-encompassing intelligence gathering system designed to provide “immersive video, geospatial and hypermedia data” on all critical facilities and transportation routes, according to DHS.

A representation of the Department of Homeland Security’s Computer-Based Assessment Tool customized for a Super Bowl. Department of Homeland Security

It’ll all be monitored in a command center on a sophisticated array that looks like something you’d see in a spy movie.

“We’re going to be so hardened around here,” said Suhr, the San Francisco police chief.

“We want to send a clear message to anybody that might have plans to do something … that this is not some place where somebody should come and make a problem,” he said.

and see:

Secretary Johnson Highlights Super Bowl 50 Security Operations

Release Date:

February 3, 2016

For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
Contact: 202-282-8010

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson met with local law enforcement officials and the National Football League (NFL) security team to oversee the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) security operations that will help ensure the safety and security of employees, players and fans during Super Bowl 50.

“Dozens of federal agencies and components, including multiple components of the Department of Homeland Security, are contributing to security measures seen and unseen in connection with the Super Bowl,” said Secretary Johnson. “Within the Department of Homeland Security itself, TSA, CBP, ICE, Coast Guard, the Secret Service, FEMA, our Office of Intelligence and Analysis, and our National Protection and Programs Directorate are contributing to the security of this event. The public has a role to play too. “If You See Something, Say SomethingTM” is more than a slogan. Public vigilance and public awareness contributes to a safe and secure event.”

More than 15 million fans and visitors in and around the San Francisco area will see the “If You See Something, Say Something™” message at airports, on bus and rail systems, billboards, magazines and visitor guides. Last year, for the first time ever, individuals using their smart phones to play games using the Game Day and NFL Experience mobile applications might have seen campaign messaging throughout Super Bowl Weekend. This year, fans will also see messaging that highlights the individual role of everyday citizens to protect their neighbors and the communities they call home, by recognizing and reporting suspicious activity when using mobile applications.

The “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign is just one part of the support DHS is providing for the Super Bowl. Hundreds of employees from DHS, and assets from across the Department, will support our state and local partners charged with securing this event.

DHS Operations – Super Bowl 50

  • As the principal Federal official for domestic incident management, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has appointed Federal Coordinator Tatum King (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations San Francisco Deputy Special Agent in Charge) and Deputy Federal Coordinator Frank Calvillo (National Protection and Programs Directorate Regional Director to serve as the Secretary’s representatives locally and federal points of contact for facilitating planning and support.
  • DHS is providing security assessments and training to state and local law enforcement, local hotels, and others to help them identify potential risks and take steps needed to address them.
  • DHS is continuing our partnership with the NFL with a newly revamped “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign. Fans and visitors in the area will see the “If You See Something, Say Something™” message at airports, on bus and rail systems, billboards and mobile applications. The message will also appear at NFL sponsored events as well as in the game day program, the official fan guide, and on the video board during the game.
  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is sending more than 100 additional officers and specialists to assist in security operations at Oakland International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Mineta San Jose International Airport for the influx of fans traveling for the game.  In addition to Transportation Security Officers, TSA will deploy additional Passenger Screening Canine teams, Behavior Detection and Analysis Officers, Transportation Security Specialists – Explosives, and Transportation Security Inspectors.
  • TSA’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams, which can be comprised of Federal Air Marshals, surface/aviation transportation security inspectors, Behavioral Detection Officers, TSOs, TSA certified explosive detection canine teams and local law enforcement agencies are helping secure mass transit locations in and around the San Francisco/San Jose area.
  • The U.S. Secret Service will support open-source social media monitoring for situational awareness and has been assisting with cyber security vulnerability assessments and mitigation. The Secret Service also conducted magnetometer training for security personnel.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard will provide maritime security and interagency support ahead of and during the Super Bowl. This includes increased patrol operations, deployment of Pacific Strike Team, ferry security operations and cruise ship security operations.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will conduct operations specifically targeting counterfeit vendors and local merchants of game-related sportswear. This is part of a crackdown on intellectual property rights violations and to ensure fans are getting official Super Bowl related memorabilia.
  • CBP officers and non-intrusive inspection equipment will scan the cargo entering the stadium for contraband such as narcotics, weapons, and explosives.
  •  CBP will provide venue security at numerous locations including team hotels and practice fields, the Santa Clara Convention Center, the Great America Theme Park and at various NFL related events ahead of and during the Super Bowl.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) units to ensure that, in the event of an emergency, state and local security personnel could quickly link and coordinate with federal partners. MERS provides mobile telecommunications, operational support, life support, and power generation assets for the on-site management of a disaster.
  • DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is deploying Mobile Detection Deployment Units (MDDUs), radiological and nuclear detection “surge” assets designed to supplement law enforcement and first responders’ existing radiological and nuclear detection and reporting capabilities.  The MDDUs include both fixed and mobile radiological and nuclear detection assets.
  • The DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) is providing on-site intelligence and personnel support at various centers throughout the San Francisco area.
  • DHS Office of Health Affairs (OHA) will deploy a network of BioWatch detectors to provide public health officials with a warning in the event of a biological agent release.  OHA’s National Biosurveillance Integration Center is providing state and local officials with information on potential health threats and their indicators, increasing situational awareness for public health partners prior to the event.
  • DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD):
    • Emergency Communications: The Office of Emergency Communications Region IX Coordinator has been working with Federal, State, and local public safety to support communications planning and will serve onsite as the Federal Communications Coordinator.
    • Cybersecurity: The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) will have personnel from the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team on-site monitoring, coordinating, and reporting activities from the Super Bowl 50 Operations Center with regards to cyber or communications threats or incidents. NCCIC Watch will monitor sensors installed on the City of Santa Clara’s network and respond to mitigate cyber/physical threats as necessary for restoration of critical infrastructure.
    • Site Assessments and Bombing Prevention Training:  Since 2014, Protective Security Advisors conducted 95 site visits and 40 security assessments in the San Francisco Bay and Santa Clara Metropolitan area.  The Office for Bombing Prevention conducted 20 National Counter-IED Capabilities Analysis Database Assessments. In addition, NPPD will have 12 Protective Security Advisors supporting the event.
    • Active Shooter Preparedness: NPPD Office of Infrastructure Protection conducted an active shooter preparedness workshop, training 170 public and private sector partners.
    • Securing Federal Facilities:  The Federal Protective Service will provide protection to Federal facilities in the in the San Francisco Bay and Santa Clara Metropolitan area and ensure the continuance of government business and services to the public. FPS will also deploy a Mobile Command Vehicle to serve as the primary standby communications platform.
  • DHS Blue Campaign— the unified voice for efforts to combat human trafficking— will display awareness materials to help individuals and communities identify and recognize indicators of human trafficking. Blue Campaign materials are being displayed in airports, public transportation hubs, city buses, and throughout the lodging industry. HSI is also working with local, state, and Federal partners (including CBP, TSA, and the FBI) and service providers to combat human trafficking in the region.

Secretary Johnson participates in a joint media availability with the NFL to discuss ongoing security efforts for Super Bowl 50. (DHS Photo/Jetta Disco)
Secretary Johnson looks out over Levi’s Stadium, where security preparations are ongoing for Super Bowl 50. (DHS Photo/Jetta Disco)

and see

Military Units to Contribute to Super Bowl Pregame Ceremony

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, February 5, 2016 — The Defense Department will provide ceremonial support to the pregame ceremony for Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, Feb. 7, Pentagon officials said.

— The Navy’s Blue Angels will provide a six-aircraft F/A-18 Hornet flyover at the end of the national anthem.

— The Armed Forces Color Guard from the Military District of Washington will present the national colors, flanked by drummers from the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.”

— A joint chorus made up of 50 service members representing the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard and from the premier military bands in the nation’s capital will sing “America the Beautiful.”

The National Football League’s championship game historically attracts one of the largest television audiences of the year. The telecast will be shown around the world in more than 170 countries and territories and will be available in seven languages, according to the NFL’s website.

and see

Govern, Kevin H., Chapter 23: Defense Support of Civil Authorities Responding to Natural and Man-Made Disasters (December 03, 2015). U.S. Military Operations Law, Policy, and Practice (Oxford 2015). Available at SSRN:

Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law Keynote: Ambassador Dennis Ross Time: 3:00pm – 5:00pm, April 15, 2016

TOPICS:Center for Ethics and the Rule of LawCERLEthics of Negotiation

Posted By: admin February 13, 2016

Contact Info:


Location: National Constitution Center

The Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law (CERL) presents Ambassador Dennis Ross, Keynote Speaker for CERL’s conference, The Ethics of Negotiation in Armed Conflict. This event will be followed by a book signing.

This event is free and open to the public but all guests must pre-register via a self-ticketing platform in coming weeks. Room capacity is 190. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase his book when they register. No book sales will happen at the event.
Ambassador Dennis Ross is counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Prior to returning to the Institute in 2011, he served two years as special assistant to President Obama and National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and a year as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

For more than twelve years, Ambassador Ross played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process and dealing directly with the parties in negotiations. A highly skilled diplomat, Ambassador Ross was U.S. point man on the peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. He was instrumental in assisting Israelis and Palestinians to reach the 1995 Interim Agreement; he also successfully brokered the 1997 Hebron Accord, facilitated the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty, and intensively worked to bring Israel and Syria together.

A scholar and diplomat with more than two decades of experience in Soviet and Middle East policy, Ambassador Ross worked closely with Secretaries of State James Baker, Warren Christopher, and Madeleine Albright. Prior to his service as special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton, Ambassador Ross served as director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff in the first Bush administration. In that capacity, he played a prominent role in U.S. policy toward the former Soviet Union, the unification of Germany and its integration into NATO, arms control negotiations, and the 1991 Gulf War coalition.

He is the author of the forthcoming book, Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, October 2015).

Find more information on Ambassador Ross here:

CERL 2016 Summer Internship Program – 4 March 2016 Application Deadline

TOPICS:Center for Ethics and the Rule of LawCERL


Posted By: admin February 23, 2016

The Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law (CERL) at the University of Pennsylvania is accepting applications for the Center’s 2016 Summer Internship Program.

CERL is a non-partisan interdisciplinary institute dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the rule of law in twenty-first century warfare and national security. The only Center of its kind housed within a law school, CERL draws from the study of law, philosophy, and ethics to answer the difficult questions that arise in times of war and contemporary transnational conflicts. It represents the vision of its founder and director, Professor Claire Finkelstein, in uniting scholars and policymakers from various fields in a multi-disciplinary conversation on some of the most challenging issues of our time.

The Summer Internship Program offers professional and graduate level students an opportunity to engage with efforts to promote and protect the rule of law in national and international security practice.  Summer interns will enhance their theoretical and practical understanding of ethics and rule of law values in contemporary asymmetric warfare as well as address critical and cutting-edge problems facing national security experts today. Interns in the Program will work as a team under the supervision of CERL’s leadership, and will participate in CERL’s on-going activities: assisting in the preparation of CERL’s upcoming conferences, workshops, and other public programs; contributing to CERL’s academic publications; and drafting briefing papers for policymakers and media outlets. Interns will meet once a week for lunch as a group to hear presentations by guest speakers, discuss work in progress, and engage in planning activities relating to CERL’s ongoing activities. Please visit the CERL site to learn more.

Law students, as well as graduate students from other disciplines related to CERL’s mission interested in examining the intersection of rule of law values, applied ethics, and national security are encouraged to apply. In some instances CERL will accept applications from advanced undergraduates. Summer stipends will be offered for qualified applicants on a competitive basis; applicants funded from outside sources are also welcome to apply. The internship program will last eight weeks, from Tuesday, May 31, 2016, to Friday, July 22, 2016. Applicants should submit a cover letter, CV or resume, and names and contact information of two referees. The application deadline is Friday, March 4, 2016. Please address any inquiries about CERL’s 2016 Summer Internship Program to

Complete the Application

As a non-profit academic center within the University of Pennsylvania, CERL aims to produce excellent research, programming, and educational opportunities and hopes to support these aims with expanded financial support for student interns.  We are actively seeking sponsorship for the CERL Summer Internship Program. Please contact to inquire about contributing to our Student Internship Fund.

Pentagon invites hackers in and backs encryption


Ash Carter – Getty Images

Posted By: admin March 2, 2016
Pentagon invites hackers in and backs encryption

The Pentagon has invited external experts to hack into its systems in the first such test of its cybersecurity measures.
The method is often used by private companies that want to use the expertise of “friendly” hackers to find holes in their systems.
It came after the US defence secretary backed strong encryption amid the FBI’s phone unlocking row with Apple.
Ash Carter called on tech firms and the US government to work together.
The US Department of Defense launched its Hack the Pentagon project on Wednesday, inviting vetted outside hackers to test the security of some of its public websites.
According to the Reuters news agency, the programme will be modelled on the hacking bounties often run by firms, in which experts are offered incentives to identify and report security issues. The Pentagon said it was also considering offering financial rewards.

See also Military Legitimacy Review webliography on:

Cyber War: Law and Ethics for Virtual Conflicts

Introduction: Cyber and the Changing Face of War

Cyberlaw Review Two Pager

Cyberwar, Cyberspace & Cyber Security Webliography

Frontline – United States of Secrets

Snowden on Cyber Warfare: “We Really Started This Trend”

and other posts on cyber warfare.


Carter Names First Female Combatant Commander

Posted By: admin March 19, 2016
By Cheryl Pellerin , DoD News, Defense Media Activity / Published March 18, 2016

Defense Secretary Ash Carter has named new commanders for U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Forces Korea to be confirmed by the Senate. If confirmed, the new Northcom chief will be the first woman to lead a U.S. combatant command.

Carter made the announcement this morning during an interview by Politico journalists Mike Allen and Bryan Bender. President Barack Obama has approved both choices and will nominate them to the Senate, the secretary said.

Air Force Gen. Lori J. Robinson

Air Force Gen. Lori J. Robinson now commands Pacific Air Forces and is air component commander for U.S. Pacific Command.
Air Force Gen. Lori J. Robinson
She’s also executive director of the Pacific Air Combat Operations staff at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.
Pacaf is responsible for Air Force activities spread over half the globe in a command that supports more than 46,000 airmen serving mainly in Japan, Korea, Hawaii, Alaska and Guam.

Robinson also is a senior air battle manager with more than 900 flight hours in the E-3B/C airborne warning and control system aircraft and the E-8C joint surveillance target attack radar system aircraft.

The general, Carter said, “has very deep operational experience, is now running the air forces in the Pacific, which is a very challenging place for the Air Force and a very intense operational tempo.”

Naming the first female combatant commander, Carter added, demonstrates “that we have coming along now a lot of female officers who are exceptionally strong. Lori certainly fits into that category.”

NYTimes: Radovan Karadzic, a Bosnian Serb, Gets 40 Years Over Genocide and War Crimes

Posted By: admin March 24, 2016


The United Nations tribunal for the former Yugoslavia convicted Mr. Karadzic of genocide for the Srebrenica massacre but acquitted him of other charges.

The Rise (Evolution, Expansion, and Decline?) of ISIS /Daesh – Various Perspectives

TOPICS:In The News

Posted By: admin March 25, 2016

NYTimes: A Top ISIS Leader Is Killed in an Airstrike, Pentagon Says

NYTimes: John Kerry, in Brussels, Says ISIS Is Faltering in Mideast

A View of ISIS’s Evolution in New Details  of Paris Attacks – The New York Times


In Rise of ISIS, No Single Missed Key but Many Strands of Blame
The New York Times

By the time the U.S. withdrew from Iraq, it thought it had subdued the Islamic State. The group is now on a very different trajectory. Read the full story at:

Also, for a non-exhaustive Webliography on the rise of ISIS/Daesh, see, e.g.,













And for the declassified Judicial Watch-obtained 5 AUG 12 DoD Intelligence Summary on Iraq:

And see PBS Frontline’s

The Rise of ISIS:


ISIS in Afghanistan:


ISIS expansion in Libya, Nigeria, Senegal:


Govern, Kevin H., Smart Power for Hard Problems: The Role of Special Operation Forces Strengthening the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Africa (July 10, 2013). 1 U. Balt. J. Int’l L. 154 et. seq. (2013). Available at SSRN:

Modern War Institute – MWI to Host Inaugural Sandhurst Conference

Posted By: admin April 4, 2016
On Monday, April 4, over 500 cadets, officers, and faculty from a number of ROTC programs and military academies across the globe will gather for the inaugural Sandhurst Conference. The theme of the all-day event, which is sponsored by the Modern War Institute and USMA Class of 1999, is: “Preparing our Future Leaders for Modern War.” Brigadier General Diana M. Holland, Commandant of the United States Corps of Cadets, will provide the opening remarks.
The premise of the conference is that technical and tactical competence alone no longer suffices for junior officers to meet the challenges of 21st century warfare. The nature and character of war are changing amid rapid technological advancements and the growing complexity and uncertainty of the modern battlefield. Throughout this conference, which is meant to serve as an intellectual counterpart to the Sandhurst Competition later in the week, attendees will seek to better understand the challenges of modern war and how to prepare our future leaders to win in a complex world.
Panels include faculty-run discussions on the future of land power on the European continent, the difficulty of fighting in urban environments, and the challenge military academies have fostering innovative and creative thinkers. Other panel topics include military strategy on Iran, which will feature Columbia University professor Dr. Gary Sick, and a discussion on the risk of cyber-war, which will include faculty from West Point’s Army Cyber Institute.
In the afternoon, there will be faculty-only breakout discussions on pedagogical best practices on the use of technology in the classroom, how to teach cadets outside of the classroom, and how to encourage critical thinking thru the use of interdisciplinary and multi-methods coursework.
The closing panel of the conference will feature a cadet-run debate on U.S. military options against ISIS and will be moderated by MAJ Adam Scher, a SOSH instructor who advises the West Point debate club. The audience will vote on the winning team.

Conference Schedule

This year’s conference is made possible through the generosity of the USMA Class of 1999

Vatican to host first-ever conference to reevaluate just war theory, justifications for violence

TOPICS:Holy SeeJust WarRoman CatholicVatican

Posted By: admin April 5, 2016

Vatican to host first-ever conference to reevaluate just war theory, justifications for violence | National Catholic Reporter

and see/listen to:

Kresta in the Afternoon, April 6, 2016:

Vatican will host a conference next week to evaluate the Church’s longstanding teaching on Just War Theory. Cohosted by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International, the conference will feature some 80 experts who are engaged in global nonviolent struggles. Will this conference change or update Church teaching on the Catholic response to war? We’ll talk about it with Kevin Govern.

But see:

And see:

This Day In History – Assisting the Iraqi Kurds in Operation PROVIDE COMFORT, 1991

TOPICS:Humanitarian InterventionIraqPROVIDE COMFORTRefugeeSpecial ForcesSpecial OperationsTurkey

Posted By: admin April 6, 2016

“The telephone woke General Potter at two o’clock in the morning on Saturday, 6 April 1991. He was at a guesthouse in Bad Tolz, Germany, where the preceding day he had visited the 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group. Potter and the battalion had just returned from Turkey. The alert notice indicated that they were going back. After passing it on to the battalion, Potter drove to Stuttgart. Arriving at six o’clock that morning, he found his SOCEUR staff packing for deployment. Alert calls had already gone out to Colonel Hooten’s 39th Special Operations Wing, Colonel Tangney’s 10th Special Forces Group, and Colonel Katz’s 7th Special Operations Support Command.”

-Chapter 3, Crisis in the Mountains, Gordon W. Rudd, Humanitarian Intervention, Assisting the Iraqi Kurds in Operation Provide Comfort, Center for Military History, 2004

Film Premiere – “Thank You For Your Service”

TOPICS:moral injuryPTSDThank You For Your Servicetraumaveterans

Posted By: admin April 19, 2016


The Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law


Thank You for Your Service
A Film by Tom Donahue
Wednesday, April 20
4:30 p.m.
Fitts Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania Law School
3501 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Please join us for a screening of Thank You for Your Service followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with the film’s director, Tom Donahue, and others.

Thank You for Your Service makes a powerful statement about our insufficient understanding of combat trauma, moral injury, and how the impact of trauma should figure in the costs of war. Director Tom Donahue interweaves the stories of four struggling Iraq War veterans with candid interviews of top military and civilian leaders. Observing the systemic neglect of trauma victims, the film argues for significant internal change and offers a roadmap of hope.

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Screening of Thank You for Your Service

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Panel discussion and Q&A with:

Tom Donahue, Director, Thank You for Your Service
Dr. Stephen Xenakis, Brigadier Gen. (ret.), U.S. Army, combat trauma expert
Ben Richards, Major (ret.), U.S. Army
Dr. Mark Russell, Commander (ret.), U.S. Navy, military clinical psychologist

Professor Claire Finkelstein, Penn Law, Director and Founder, Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Public cocktail reception

Please RSVP here | Website
This is event is free and open to the public.
A public reception will follow.

This program has been approved for 2.5 ethics CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers.
CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit
should bring separate payment in the amount of $50.00 ($25.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys)
cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

NYTimes: ISIS Targeted by Cyberattacks in a New U.S. Line of Combat – 26 APR 16

TOPICS:Cyber CommandCyberwarDaeshISISIslamic State

Posted By: admin April 24, 2016

LONDON — The United States has opened a new line of combat against the Islamic State, directing the military’s six-year-old Cyber Command for the first time to mount computer-network attacks that are now being used alongside more traditional weapons

See also:

Colonel tapped to become West Point’s first female dean

TOPICS:Class of 1982DeanleadershipUSMAWest Point

Posted By: admin April 30, 2016

A department head at the U.S. Military Academy could become the first female dean in the school’s 200-plus-year history, if the Senate endorses her selection.

Col. Cindy Jebb has been tapped by President Obama to succeed Brig. Gen. Tim Trainor in the post, the school announced Friday. Jebb, a member of West Point’s Class of 1982, has been head of the academy’s social sciences department since 2013.

“I am honored to have been nominated to serve as the dean of West Point,” Jebb said in the release. “Should Congress confirm my nomination, I will be privileged to lead a team of professionals who are dedicated to academic excellence in support of our mission to graduate leaders of character.”

The school’s first female commandant of cadets, Brig. Gen. Diana Holland, assumed command Jan. 5. A three-day conference celebrating the 40th anniversary of female cadets attending West Point began Thursday at the school.

Trainor has held the post since 2010 and plans to retire in June, according to the release.

“I am extremely happy for the Army, the academy, and most of all for our cadets to hear about Col. Jebb’s nomination,” Trainor said in the release. “She has a wealth of experience, and a breadth and depth of perspective on the needs of the Army and on higher education.”

Jebb holds a masters and doctoral degree in political science from Duke University and a masters in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. She served as a senior adviser to the Chief of the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq in summer 2015, according to her West Point bio, and has traveled to Iraq, Djibouti and Afghanistan as part of academic projects. She’s also listed as the school’s faculty athletic representative in this year’s Cadet-Athlete Handbook.

Prior to her department-head duties at West Point, she served as deputy commander of 704th Military Intelligence Brigade.

May 1, 2015 – 5th Year Retrospective of the Targeted Killing of Bin Laden

TOPICS:al Qaedabin LadenInternational Humanitarian LawLaw of Armed Conflictlaw of warTargeted Killing

Posted By: admin May 1, 2016

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:

and see:

Happy Law Day 2016!

TOPICS:ConstitutionLaw Day

Posted By: admin May 1, 2016

and see:

and see:

 Modern War Institute: The Importance of Distance in Modern Warfare – 16 May 2016

TOPICS:DroneEthicsModern WarfareMoralRemote Weapons SystemsTargeted KillingUAVUCAV

Posted By: admin May 17, 2016

by John Govern | May 16, 2016 |


In the face of combat, an impasse is encountered, one presented all too often throughout history: to have the mental strength to overcome fear and to kill. The development of warfare has made this common problem less obvious over time. The nature of killing in hand-to-hand combat, whether it be with swords, spears, or bayonets, has become increasingly elusive as the distance between the soldier and his enemy increases. Projectile weaponry has made the act of taking a life a matter of accuracy and precision on the part of the soldier, more so than the strength and skill required of close combat. This dilemma, the most human element of warfare, was previously unsolved by advances in technology. Even the disconnection of artillery and aerial bombing failed to eliminate the need for infantry on the ground, and for these soldiers to bear witness to the act of killing. Up to now, man adapted to warfare. The aspects of war, be it the constant threat to life, the physical demands of combat, and the mental strife of witnessing death, were once held inviolable. Military innovations have reversed these facts of war; remote weapons systems have adapted warfare to man. We are witnessing the advent of a new era of warfare, where the cold knowledge of killing is learned from computer screens and monitors.

Remote weapon systems, or unmanned weapons and weaponized vehicles that are remotely controlled, represent a fundamental change in the nature of the battlefield. Indeed, hereto all military operations carried risk assessments in terms of potential casualties; the likelihood of an operation occurring traditionally decreases as potential losses increase in estimation. Warfare is strongly influenced not only by a desire to maximize the enemy’s losses, but a need to limit your own. Remote weapon systems eliminate the latter concern. Technological materiel, while valuable in its own right, is not as valuable as human life, in every operational scenario. To remove this element, then, is a major shift in how military operations are planned and considered. The ability to operate without concern for the lives of your own soldiers lessens logistical and maximizes operational priorities. In warfare without concern for personnel losses, significant pragmatic and moral barriers to total unimpeded conflict are removed.

Up to now, man adapted to warfare. The aspects of war, be it the constant threat to life, the physical demands of combat, and the mental strife of witnessing death, were once held inviolable. Military innovations have reversed these facts of war; remote weapons systems have adapted warfare to man.

This technology has already been put into practice in the U.S. Army, with dramatic effects. Remote weapon systems like Predator drones have broadened the scope of what was previously believed possible without combat troops on the ground. From within a trailer at an Air Force Base in Nevada, a pilot can take out a group of insurgents 8,000 miles away with the push of a button on a joystick. A remotely operated turret on an armored vehicle allows an operator to deliver effective and devastating fire without ever removing himself from the relative safety of his personnel carrier. The most crucial fighting vehicles in our Armed Forces’ inventory, including helicopters and submarines, are undergoing development to produce unmanned variants. The soldier using a remote weapons system operates with impunity; he is the unseen, unassailable combatant, omnipresent and untouchable to the enemy.

The moral implications of this technological development are immense. Military operations planning has traditionally been restrained by concern for losses and casualties among one’s own soldiers and civilians. Remote weapons systems breaks down this ethical barrier. The practical concern, eliminating the enemy, remains the same, yet the means by which one does so is significantly streamlined. The drone pilot does not concern himself with the possibility of dying in combat; the unmanned armored fighting vehicle operator neglects the possibility of personal physical harm. The trauma of war becomes one-sided as the pain and misery of death afflicts only those on the battlefield itself, and as remote weapons systems slowly take the place of entire armies in the field, the word “deploy” comes to take on a significantly different meaning. There remains death and destruction, but such tragedies become unique to whatever party is without this technological development. The most human elements of warfare become absent for those utilizing remote weapons systems. The moral dilemma of killing becomes distinctly diminished as human lives become blinking dots on a screen, extinguished forever by the touch of a button.

The quest to distance oneself further and further from the most basic act of war, killing, is nearing its apex. The notion of hand-to-hand combat, ancient yet incredibly relevant, warped as swords and spears grew longer, bows and guns shot faster, and artillery and bombers shelled further. To remove oneself entirely from the battlefield, however, represents a shift of monumental significance, one that all those who practice the art of war must note. If battles are to be decided by soldiers operating a continent or ocean away from the killing zone, we must come to redefine what constitutes soldiery and warfare. We are witnessing warfare change in ways that our tactics, operations, and strategy have not yet come to comprehend. As we continue to use and develop remote weapons systems, the nature of our battlefield will bear witness to a new kind of warfare.


John Govern is a West Point cadet of the class of 2019. He is an active member of Model United Nations and contributor to The Millennial News, a youth-oriented news website. The views here are his own and do not reflect those of the U.S. government, U.S. Army, or U.S. Military Academy at West Point.


BBC News: Montenegro: Nato’s newest and last member? – 19 May 2016

TOPICS:Collective DefenseMontenegroNational DefenseNATONorth Atlantic Treaty Organization

Posted By: admin May 19, 2016

Nato will celebrate the arrival of its latest member, Montenegro, as a sign of the alliance’s continuing relevance at a time of renewed tensions in Europe – but could this be the end of its expansion?

NYTimes: Vietnam Arms Embargo to Be Fully Lifted, Obama Says in Hanoi – 23 May 2016

TOPICS:Arms SalesAsiaInternational RelationsU.S.United StatesVietnam

Posted By: admin May 23, 2016

HANOI, Vietnam — The United States is rescinding a decades-old ban on sales of lethal military equipment to Vietnam, President Obama announced at a news conference in Hanoi on Monday, ending one of the last legal vestiges of the Vietnam War.

NYTimes: Obama Confirms Death of Mullah Mansour, Taliban Leader, in U.S. Strike – 23 May 2016

TOPICS:AfghanistanTalibanTargetwd KillingU.S.United States

Posted By: admin May 23, 2016

An American drone strike in a restive province of Pakistan killed Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, the leader of the Afghan Taliban, the White House confirmed on Monday.
Calling the death “an important milestone,” President Obama said in a statement, released just as he was meeting with top officials in Vietnam, that the United States had “removed the leader of an organization that has continued to plot against and unleash attacks on American and coalition forces.”

And for more on Targeted Killing, see:

Modern War Institute: The Efficacy of Landpower: Landpower and American Credibility – 23 May 2016

TOPICS:LandpowerModern War InstituteNational SecurityU.S. Army

Posted By: admin May 24, 2016

Modern War Institute Non-Resident Fellow Michael Allen Hunzeker and Dartmouth College post-doctoral fellow Alexander Lanoszka argue American landpower helps make America’s conventional and nuclear security guarantees credible. Since these guarantees stabilize alliances, deter aggression, and curb nuclear proliferation, landpower’s relative decline could have serious implications for the broader security situation of the United States. Their article was recently awarded the Elihu Root prize by the Army War College for best article written on strategic landpower in the past year.

Modern War Institute: The State of Military Leadership in the 21st Century – 24 May 2016

TOPICS:Military Leadership

Posted By: admin May 25, 2016

MWI non-resident fellow Nathan Finney led a team of authors and editors in the creation of a volume on Military Leadership in the 21st Century, published on The Bridge . The articles in this document assess the current state of leadership in the military and identify key elements that will be required of leaders in the future, MWI has collected dozens of articles from leaders across the services and from academics steeped in the theories of leadership.

NYTimes: Body Count Points to a Mexican Military Out of Control – 26 May 2016

TOPICS:ArmyCounterdrugCounterterrorismMexicoTargeted Killing

Posted By: admin May 26, 2016

The statistics on deaths, which the government has stopped reporting, offer a rare glimpse into the Mexican military’s role in the war on organized crime.

And see also:

Govern, Kevin H., Reinforcing the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Mexico through U.S. Special Operations Forces Missions (Fall, 2013). NAFTA: Law and Business Review of the Americas, Vol. 19, No. 4, 2013. Available at SSRN:

NYTimes: U.S. Increases Antiterrorism Exercises With African Militaries and Long Emphasis on Terror May Hurt U.S. in Conventional War, Army Chief Says – 26 May and 15 May 2016

TOPICS:AfricaAFRICOMal QaedaConventional WarfareCounterterrorismDaeshGuerilla WarfareIslamic StateReadinessUS Africa Command

Posted By: admin May 26, 2016

The training focuses on how to defend civilian targets on a continent that has become a significant battleground in the war against militant Islam.

And see:

See also:

Govern, Kevin H., Smart Power for Hard Problems: The Role of Special Operation Forces Strengthening the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Africa (July 10, 2013). 1 U. Balt. J. Int’l L. 154 et. seq. (2013). Available at SSRN:

Govern, Kevin H., Drone Operations in Current US Counterterrorism Strategy in Africa (February 11, 2013). JURIST – Forum, February 2013 . Available at SSRN:

Govern, Kevin H., 21st Century Africa as an ‘Arc of (In)Stability’: U.S. And African Economic, Security, and Development Policies Advanced Through U.S. Africa Command Initiatives (2011). Connecticut Journal of International Law, Vol. 26, No. 281, 2011. Available at SSRN:

ICRC: Is the law of armed conflict in crisis and how to recommit to its respect? – 21 April 2016

TOPICS:ICRCIHLInternational Humanitarian LawLaw of Armed ConflictLOAC

Posted By: admin June 3, 2016

On 21 April 2016, the ICRC hosted a panel at the Humanitarium to discuss whether adherence to international humanitarian law (IHL) has been eroding in today’s armed conflicts and if so, how to rebuild respect for it. The panel also provided an opportunity to reflect on the role of actors such as the ICRC in upholding IHL. The event was part of the Conference Cycle on “Generating Respect for the Law” and was organized on the occasion the meeting of the Editorial Board of the International Review of the Red Cross.

NYTimes: It’s Rucksacks and Foxholes as Army Goes Old School for New Conflicts – 5 June 2016

TOPICS:ArmyCOINcounterinsurgencyDATEDecisive Action Training Environment

Posted By: admin June 5, 2016


NYTimes: Senate Votes to Require Women to Register for the Draft – 14 June 2016

TOPICS:DraftGender and ServicemembersNational SecurityNational Service

Posted By: admin June 15, 2016

World Refugee Day and Modern Warfare – Modern War Institute – 21 June 2016

TOPICS:armed conflictDoDHumanitarian InterventionInternational Humanitarian LawLaw of Armed Conflict

Syrian refugees having rest at the floor of Keleti railway station. Refugee crisis. Budapest, Hungary, Central Europe, 5 September 2015.

Posted By: admin June 21, 2016

and see, e.g.,

and see:


NYTimes: The Security Consequences of Brexit – 26 June 2016

TOPICS:CoalitionConflict AvoidanceDefense Support to Civil AuthoritiesNational Security

Posted By: admin June 26, 2016
The alliances that have helped keep the peace in Europe have been shaken by Britain’s stunning vote.

Select Committee on Benghazi Releases Proposed Report – 27 June 2016

TOPICS:BenghaziConflict AvoidanceCounterterrorismDoDIn The NewsInternational Humanitarian LawLibyaNational SecuritySecurityterrorismU.S.United States

Posted By: admin June 27, 2016

And see

“Democrats on Monday (27 June 2016)pre-empted the upcoming release of a Republican-led House Select Committee report on Benghazi by issuing their own version of a probe into the 2012 terror attack that killed four Americans on Hillary Clinton’s watch as secretary of state.”….pdf

And see

“NEWS DESK – The New Yorker
By Robin Wright , JUNE 28, 2016


CBS / WINK News: Interview On Homeland Security In The Wake Of Istanbul Bombings – 29 June 2016

TOPICS:CounterterrorismDefense Support to Civil AuthoritiesDepartment of Homeland SecurityHomeland SecurityIn The NewsNational SecuritySecurityUnited States

Posted By: admin June 29, 2016

RSW fliers notice higher security after European attacks
June 29, 2016 7:32 PM EDT

NYTimes: Drone Strike Statistics Answer Few Questions, and Raise Many – 4 July 2016

TOPICS:al Qaedaarmed conflictCounterterrorismDaeshDoDDroneHumanitarian InterventionIHLIn The NewsInternational Humanitarian LawIslamic Statelaw of warLOACLOWMilitaryNational SecurityTargeted KillingUAVsUCAVsUnited StatesUnmanned Aerial VehiclesUnmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles

Posted By: admin July 4, 2016

see also:

FACT SHEET: Executive Order on the US Policy on Pre & Post-Strike Measures to Address Civilian Casualties in the US Operations Involving the Use of Force & the DNI Release of Aggregate Data on Strike Outside Area of Active Hostilities

MWI – It’s time for the military to take pandemics seriously – 5 July 2016

TOPICS:Defense Support to Civil AuthoritiesDepartment of DefenseDepartment of Homeland SecurityDisasterEpidemicIntelligenceMedical IntelligencePandemic

In this photo provided by the Spanish Defense Ministry, aid workers and doctors transfer Miguel Pajares, a Spanish priest who was infected with the Ebola virus while working in Liberia, from a plane to an ambulance as he leaves the Torrejon de Ardoz military airbase, near Madrid, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. A Spanish missionary priest who tested positive for the Ebola virus was in stable condition at a Madrid hospital on Thursday after being evacuated from Liberia, health officials said. (AP Photo/Spanish Defense Ministry)

Posted By: admin July 6, 2016

It’s time for the military to take pandemics seriously. MWI Non-Resident Fellow ML Cavanaugh argues for the military to take pandemics seriously.

The Report of the Iraq Inquiry (Chilcot Report) – 6 July 2016.

TOPICS:armed conflictChilcot ReportConflict AvoidanceHumanitarian InterventionIHLIn The NewsInternational Humanitarian LawIraqIraq InquiryLaw of Armed Conflictlaw of warLOACLOWMilitaryterrorismUnited KingdomUnited StatesWar

Posted By: admin July 6, 2016

and see:

and see:

Govern, Kevin H., Rethinking Rule of Law Efforts in Iraq (2007). JURIST Forum (, February 26, 2007. Available at SSRN:

Modern War Institute (MWI) – War on the Rocks: A Military Guide to Accessing Research on Fragile States – 22 June 2016

TOPICS:armed conflictArmyCoalitionConflict AvoidanceCounterterrorismDoDHumanitarian InterventionIHLIn The NewsIntelligenceInternational Humanitarian LawLaw of Armed Conflictlaw of warLOACLOWMilitaryModern War InstituteNational SecurityUnited StatesWarWar on the Rocks

Posted By: admin July 7, 2016

see also:

The Fund for Peace is an independent, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that works to prevent violent conflict and promote sustainable security.

The twelfth annual Fragile States Index (FSI) focuses on the indicators of risk and is based on thousands of articles and reports that are processed by CAST Software from electronically available sources.

South China Sea – Territorial Dispute

TOPICS:armed conflictBruneiChinaConflict AvoidanceDoDFreedom of NavigationIHLIn The NewsIntelligenceInternational Humanitarian LawLaw of Armed ConflictLaw of the Sealaw of warLOACLOWMalaysiaMilitaryNational SecurityPhilippinesUN Convention on the Law of the SeaUNCLOSUnited StatesVietnam

Posted By: adminJuly 13, 2016

The links provided are a partial, work-in-progress webliography of recent media coverage and strategic thought regarding maritime territorial disputes in East Asia, particularly the South China Sea:

MWI – Japan’s July 10 upper-house election: implications on US national security – 19 July 2016

TOPICS:AsiaJapanNational SecurityNational ServiceReadinessSecurityterrorismUnited States

Posted By: admin July 20, 2016

Nori Katagiri writes that “the July 10 upper-house election in Japan will have important implications for the US-Japan alliance and the stability of East Asia, but the effect should not be exaggerated.”

For more on US-Japan relations:

BBC – The 2016 Coup in Turkey News Items

TOPICS:al Qaedaarmed conflictArmyCounterterrorismCoupDaeshIntelligenceIraqIslamic StateNational ServiceTurkeyU.S.United States

Posted By: admin July 20, 2016

See also:

BBC News: Panama launches investigation into 1989 US invasion – 22 July 2016

TOPICS:armed conflictArmyDoDIn The NewsIntelligenceInternational Humanitarian LawLaw of Armed Conflictlaw of warLOWNational SecurityPanamaU.S.United States

Posted By: admin July 22, 2016


The government in Panama has launched an investigation into the US invasion in 1989 that overthrew military strongman General Manuel Noriega

and see:

Govern, Kevin H., Sorting the Wolves from the Sheep (October 1, 2004). Military Police – PB 19-04-2, 2004. Available at SSRN:

MWI – To Study Modern War There is No Substitute For Going – 27 July 2016

TOPICS:armed conflictConflict AvoidanceEducationleadershipMilitary HistoryModern War InstituteMWIReadinessTrainingWar on the RocksWOTR

Posted By: admin July 27, 2016

Our Nation’s future leaders are fortunate indeed to have seasoned, sage leader-mentors at West Point, especially the Modern War Institute! Generations of commissioned officers have done what is known as the “staff ride” with the goal of studying and learning from war. First Printed in 1987, most recently reprinted in 2014, the US Army Center for Military History Publication The Staff Ride by William G. Robertson, gives more perspective on this excellent article from ML Cavanaugh. See:…/CMH_Pub_70-21(2014).pdf

The Intercept – Leaked Data Reveals How the U.S. Trains Vast Numbers of Foreign Soldiers and Police With Little Oversight – 13 July 2016

TOPICS:Conflict AvoidanceDoDHuman RightsIHLlaw of warleadershipLOACLOWNational SecurityReadinessSecurityUnited StatesVettingWar

Posted By: admin July 28, 2016

And see, e.g.,

Weapons Given to Iraq Are Missing

By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 6, 2007

And see:

Stabilizing Iraq:
DOD Cannot Ensure That U.S.-Funded Equipment Has Reached Iraqi Security Forces

GAO-07-711, Published: Jul 31, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 31, 2007.

But see:

NYTimes: U.S. Wrestles With How to Fight Back Against Cyberattacks – 30 July 2016

TOPICS:armed conflictCoalitionConflict AvoidanceCyberspaceCyberwarDefense Support to Civil AuthoritiesIHLIn The NewsIntelligenceLaw of Armed ConflictLOACSecurityWar

Posted By: admin July 30, 2016

The hacking into Democratic campaign computer systems is forcing the White House to confront a new question: whether, and if so how, to retaliate.

MWI – Cyberwarfare a Double-edged Sword for Authoritarian States – 1 August 2016

TOPICS:armed conflictCoalitionConflict AvoidanceCyberspaceCyberwarDefense Support to Civil AuthoritiesDoDEthicsHumanitarian InterventionIHLInternational Humanitarian LawLawLaw of Armed Conflictlaw of warLOACLOWMilitaryNational SecurityReadinessSecurityWar

SHANGHAI, CHINA – MAY 20: Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jingping (R) attend a welcoming ceremony on May 20, 2014 in Shanghai, China. Putin is on a two day visit to China (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)

Posted By: admin August 1, 2016

MWI Contributor Robert Potter argues that authoritarian states are more vulnerable to the impacts of cyberwarfare than democracies in today’s War Council Blog.

For more on cyberwar, see:

MWI – Charting a Course for our Professional Writing – 1 August 2016

TOPICS:leadershipModern War InstituteNational ServiceProfessional WritingReadinessSecurity

090918-A-5406P-500 The Col. Christopher Gibson, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, introduces Brig. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Director of Concept Development and Experimentation at U.S. Army Training & Doctrine Command, prior to McMaster’s presentation as the first guest lecturer in the 2nd BCT’s Distinguished Lecturer Series, at the Hall of Heroes Sep. 18. In the foreground is Brig. Gen. Nicolas Matern, XVIII Airborne Corps Deputy Commanding General for Operations. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mike Pryor, 2nd BCT, 82nd Abn. Div. Public Affairs)

Posted By: admin August 2, 2016

and please consider competing in and contributing to Military Legitimacy Review and being rewarded for your effort through:


CNN – Newly released US drone policy explains how targets can be chosen – 7 August 2016

TOPICS:armed conflictCounterterrorismDoDEthicsIHLIn The NewsInternational Humanitarian LawIslamic StateLaw of Armed Conflictlaw of warleadershipLOACLOWNational SecurityTargeted KillingterrorismU.S.UAVsUCAVsUnited StatesUnmanned Aerial VehiclesUnmanned Combat Aerial VehiclesWar

Posted By: admin August 7, 2016

“The Obama administration has released a previously [top] secret 18-page policy guidance document that lays out how potential drone targets may be chosen and approved and the President’s role in the decision-making process.” Read the full story:

For the actual, declassified document, see:

For a related policy, see:

And see especially:

War on the Rocks – MY DRONESKI JUST ATE YOUR ETHICS – 10 August 2016

TOPICS:armed conflictAutonomous Weapons SystemsAWSConflict AvoidanceCyberspaceDoDEthicsInternational Humanitarian LawLawLaw of Armed ConflictLOWNational SecurityWarWar on the Rocks

Posted By: admin August 11, 2016


BBC – Thai referendum: Military-written constitution ‘approved’ – 12 August 2016

TOPICS:Human RightsIn The NewsleadershipMilitaryNational SecurityReadinessSecurityThailand

Posted By: admin August 12, 2016

“Thai referendum voters appear to have backed a draft constitution written by an army-appointed committee, with partial results showing more than 60% in favour.”

September 2016

Military Legitimacy, Notable Websites and Blogs, This Day In History & Historical Perspectives

MWI’s Andrew Bacevich Criticizes U.S. Military Forays in Middle East – 29 September 2016

Military Legitimacy, Notable Websites and Blogs, Recent & Past Publications

MWI – How COIN (Counterinsurgency) Theory Explains Organizational Change: An MWI Report – 25 September 2016

In The News, Military Legitimacy, Recent & Past Publications

Defense Support to Civil Authorities in Wake of Unrest in Charlotte, NC – 22 September 2016

Articles, In The News, Notable Websites and Blogs

MWI – U.S. Cybersecurity Gets a New Cyber Warrior General – 20 September 2016

Articles, Career Opportunities, In The News, Military Legitimacy, Recent & Past Publications

The Atlantic – When Women Lead Soldiers Into Battle – 9 September 2016

Articles, Military Legitimacy

Joint Force Quarterly – What It Means to Be Expeditionary: A Look at the French Army in Africa – 3rd Quarter, July 2016

Military Legitimacy, Notable Websites and Blogs

MWI – Who Should We Save?: On Perilous Judgments and Military Moral Thought – 5 September 2016

In The News, Military Legitimacy

NYT – Air Force, Running Low on Drone Pilots, Turns to Contractors in Terror Fight – 5 September 2016

Conferences and Symposia, Military Legitimacy

CERL Event – Producing Leaders of Character and Integrity: Instilling Values into Public Life – 15 September 2016

October 2016

Conferences and Symposia, Military Legitimacy

Conference – Using Law to Fight Terror October 27-29, 2016

Articles, In The News, Notable Websites and Blogs, Recent & Past Publications

Gray Zone Challenges: Between The War And Peace Duality

November 2016

In The News, Television

CNN – War in Space: The Next Battlefield – 29 November 2016

Notable Websites and Blogs, This Day In History & Historical Perspectives

MWI – Thanksgiving: An American Holiday Forged in War – 24 November 2016

Conferences and Symposia, Military Legitimacy, Recent & Past Publications

Recent Publications and Conference – Preserving Art and Culture in Times of War – April 4-6, 2017

December 2016

Commemorative and Memorial

Happy New Year!

Commemorative and Memorial Events

Merry Christmas From Military Legitimacy Review’s Home in Naples, Florida

Podcast, Recent & Past Publications


Military Legitimacy, Presidential Policy

New Obama Administration Executive Action: Supporting New American Service Members, Veterans, and their Families – 22 December 2016

In The News, Military Legitimacy

NYT – U.S. Demands Return of Drone Seized by Chinese Warship – 16 December 2016

Military Legitimacy, Recent & Past Publications

Report on the Legal and Policy Frameworks Guiding the United States’ Use of Military Force and Related National Security Operations – December 2016

In The News, Military Legitimacy, This Day In History & Historical Perspectives

CNN – Trump: US doesn’t ‘have to be bound’ by ‘one China’ policy – 11 December 2016

In The News, Military Legitimacy

NYT: Obama Orders Intelligence Report on Russian Election Hacking – 10 December 2016

Ethics, In The News, Military Legitimacy

Guardian – Investigation into alleged abuses by British troops in Iraq could end after lawyer admits professional misconduct – 8 December 2016

In The News

Policy – President Obama Delivers Remarks on the Administration’s Approach to Counterterrorism – 6 December 2016

December 2016

Ethics, In The News, Military Legitimacy, Procurement Integrity

Washington Post – Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste – 6 December 2016

Commemorative and Memorial Events

Event – Ave Maria School of Law Library Rededicated as Veterans Memorial Law Library” – 7 December 2016

Career Opportunities, Military Legitimacy

CERL Announces Search for an Executive Director