- Professor Robert Turner, Virginia Law
“The law of war is of fundamental importance to the Armed Forces of the United States. The law of war is part of who we are.” So begins the new U.S. Department of Defense Law of War Manual, published last June, which had not been updated for nearly 60 years. At 1180 single-spaced pages and with 6,916 footnotes, the manual would seem to be thorough and exhaustive. Our experts will critique the Department of Defense Manual. Does it provide the guidance necessary to troops on the ground, commanders, and all actors in between? How does it address modern warfare, terrorism, and asymmetrical war? How does it define lawful and unlawful belligerents? What does it say about interrogation and detention? These and other questions were addressed by our experts.
Charlie Savage, the New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, has just released his new book, "Power Wars." The book is an examination of the legal issues surrounding the War on Terror as practiced in the Obama Administration. Following up on his earlier examination of the Bush White House, this book takes us behind the scenes into the heart of the legal debates. Readers get a front row seat to watch as President Obama and his lawyers consider whether it is lawful to send a SEAL team strike into Pakistan to hunt down Osama bin Laden. They see the cross currents at play in debates over NSA surveillance and drone strikes in Yemen, and much more.
The attacks by ISIS on the citizens of Paris and the world have again focused attention on the challenges of counterterrorism. In this Teleforum, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and prominent French lawyer Francois-Henri Briard addressed issues such as international cooperation on surveillance and intelligence sharing, whether policies on encryption of electronic communications need to be revised, what authorities or international institutions, if any, should be called upon in support of the use of force against ISIS, and the nature of the response from France, the U.S., Russia, and other nations.
Most would agree that the world is unsettled, with hotspots in the Middle East, North Korea, the South China Sea, and the Ukraine, to name but a few. Terrorism has complicated international relations. But exactly when, and how, should America act to maintain order? Is a muscular and expeditionary style of engagement to be favored over quiet diplomacy? Is more and faster better than less and slower? How contextual should the answers to these questions be?
International: When Should America Act to Maintain International Order?
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Mayflower Hotel