Category Archives: Chesney’s National Security Law Listserv Archive

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nationalsecuritylaw forthcoming scholarship

* Forthcoming Scholarship

Drone Warfare and the Law of Armed Conflict

Ryan J. Vogel
Government of the United States of America – Department of Defense
Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2011

The United States has increasingly relied upon unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or "drones," to target and kill enemies in its current armed conflicts. Drone strikes have proven to be spectacularly successful – both in terms of finding and killing targeted enemies and in avoiding most of the challenges and controversies that accompany using traditional forces. However, critics have begun to challenge on a number of grounds the legality and morality of using drones to kill belligerents in the non-traditional conflicts in which the United States continues to fight. As drones become a growing fixture in the application of modern military force, it bears examining whether their use for lethal targeting operations violates the letter or spirit of the law of armed conflict. In this article I identify the legal framework and sources of law applicable to the current conflicts in which drones are employed; examine whether, and if so in what circumstances, using drones for targeting operations violates the jus in bello principles of proportionality, military necessity, distinction, and humanity; and determine what legal boundaries or limitations apply to the seemingly limitless capabilities of drone warfare. I then evaluate whether the law of armed conflict is adequate for dealing with the use of drones to target belligerents and terrorists in this nontraditional armed conflict and ascertain whether new rules or laws are needed to govern their use. I conclude by proposing legal and policy guidelines for the lawful use of drones in armed conflict.

Working Toward a Legally Enforceable Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime

Ronald J. Sievert

34 Fordham Int’l L. J. 93 (2010)

The article notes that the current Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty is not legally enforceable in part because the US cannot ever completely disarm in compliance with its part of the treaty “bargain” with the non-nuclear states. It proposes an enforceable treaty that recognizes existing nuclear powers, creates International Criminal violations for proliferation of nuclear weapons materials and first use of WMD absent an existential threat to the nation, and employs the ICJ and PCA to insure that non-nuclear states will receive the long promised benefits of peaceful nuclear energy.

The National Security Enterprise: Navigating the Labyrinth

Harvey Rishikof and Roger Z. George, eds.

(Georgetown University Press)

Recent breakdowns in American national security have exposed the weaknesses of the nation’s vast overlapping security and foreign policy bureaucracy and the often dysfunctional interagency process. In the literature of national security studies, however, surprisingly little attention is given to the specific dynamics or underlying organizational cultures that often drive the bureaucratic politics of U.S. security policy.

The National Security Enterprise offers a broad overview and analysis of the many government agencies involved in national security issues, the interagency process, Congressional checks and balances, and the influence of private sector organizations. The chapters cover the National Security Council, the Departments of Defense and State, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of Management and Budget. The book also focuses on the roles of Congress, the Supreme Court, and outside players in the national security process like the media, think tanks, and lobbyists. Each chapter details the organizational culture and personality of these institutions so that readers can better understand the mindsets that drive these organizations and their roles in the policy process.

Many of the contributors to this volume are long-time practitioners who have spent most of their careers working for these organizations. As such, they offer unique insights into how diplomats, military officers, civilian analysts, spies, and law enforcement officials are distinct breeds of policymakers and political actors. To illustrate how different agencies can behave in the face of a common challenge, contributors reflect in detail on their respective agency’s behavior during the Iraq War.

This impressive volume is suitable for academic studies at both the undergraduate and graduate level; ideal for U.S. government, military, and national security training programs; and useful for practitioners and specialists in national security studies.