On March 18th, the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School held an all-day conference entitled “21st Century Warfare: Law, the Enemy, and the Battlefield."
March 18th, 9 A.M. - 5 P.M.
McNally Amphitheater at Fordham Law School
140 West 62nd Street, NYC
The conference explored the legal authorities for war, the expanding definitions of the ‘enemy’, the evolution of the battlefield, including drone killings and cyber warfare, and the implications of these changes going forward. The conference brought together political and military leaders, national security and cyber experts, leading journalists, and others and provided a platform for understanding the next phase of America’s international ‘war on terror’ and, in a larger sense, the future of warfare.
Video of this event is available below.
Keynote Speech - A 'Drone Court': The Pros and Cons
Jeh Johnson, Former General Counsel at the Department of Defense
9:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.
Panel #1 – 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. – Targeted Killing: Ethical, Political and Foreign Policy Implications
What are the ethical and civil liberties questions underlying the use of drones for killing? What are the implications for foreign policy and U.S. national security in terms of the potential for blowback and proliferation? Is the political consensus surrounding drone warfare greater than on detention and interrogation policies? What effect would a more transparent approach to targeted killing have?
Speakers: David Cole, Professor of Law at Georgetown University; Pir Zubair Shah, Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow for the Council on Foreign Relations; Hina Shamsi, Director of the ACLU's National Security Project; Gabor Rona, International Legal Director of Human Rights First; and Steve Coll (moderator), New Yorker Staff Writer and President and CEO of The New America Foundation.
Panel #2 – 11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. – The Laws Governing Targeted Killing and Non-traditional Warfare
What legal regime governs the rules for drone warfare? How does the evolving nature of the enemy and the expanding battlefield change the legal rationale for such killings? How will troop withdrawal in Afghanistan and the degradation of Al Qaeda affect the continued legal rationale for war? Does the law of armed conflict provide sufficient guidance in an era of low intensity warfare? Should the U.S. institute a targeted killing review court?
Speakers: Jen Daskal, Former Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the Department of Justice; Steve Vladeck, Professor and Associate Dean for Scholarship at American University Washington School of Law; James Ross, Legal and Policy Director of Human Rights Watch; Robert Chesney, Charles I. Francis Professor of Law at University of Texas School of Law; and Martin Flaherty (moderator), Co-Director of The Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law.
Panel #3 – 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. – A Conversation on Cyber
What is the difference between cyber crime, cyber espionage, and cyber war? When is appropriate for the military to attack or defend civilian targets? Do traditional laws of armed conflict apply to cyber conflicts? In what ways are cyber conflicts different than traditional conflicts?
Speakers: Robert O'Harrow, Investigative Reporter at The Washington Post; Scott Handler, Assistant Professor of International Relations at West Point and Executive Officer of the 782nd Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Gordon, GA; and Karen Greenberg (moderator), Director, Center on National Security at Fordham Law.
Panel #4 – 2:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. – Understanding Today’s Wars
What will the U.S. presence in Afghanistan look like as we wind down that war? How can we assess and best address the security threats in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and other regions? What are the appropriate roles for the military and for the CIA in the new era of warfare?
Speakers: Doug Ollivant, Former Director for Iraq on the National Security Council under President Bush and President Obama; Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst and Journalist; David Barno, Former Commander for Military Operations in Afghanistan; Candace Rondeaux, Former Senior Analyst for the International Crisis Group; Jon Lee Anderson, International Investigative Reporter for The New Yorker; and Phil Carter (moderator), Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.