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Borderless Wars
Civil Military Disorder and Legal Uncertainty


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  • Author: Antonia Chayes, Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
  • Date Published: August 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107521506

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About the Authors
  • In 2011, Nasser Al-Awlaki, a terrorist on the US 'kill list' in Yemen, was targeted by the CIA. A week later, a military strike killed his son. The following year, the US Ambassador to Pakistan resigned, undermined by CIA-conducted drone strikes of which he had no knowledge or control. The demands of the new, borderless 'gray area' conflict have cast civilians and military into unaccustomed roles with inadequate legal underpinning. As the Department of Homeland Security defends against cyber threats and civilian contractors work in paramilitary roles abroad, the legal boundaries of war demand to be outlined. In this book, former Under Secretary of the Air Force Antonia Chayes examines these new 'gray areas' in counterinsurgency, counter-terrorism and cyber warfare. Her innovative solutions for role definition and transparency will establish new guidelines in a rapidly evolving military-legal environment.

    • Provides suggestions for improved policy approaches which will be of use to scholars and lawmakers
    • By drawing connections between legal and military gray areas, this book establishes a new conceptual framework for understanding the war on terror
    • Gives an up-to-date review of the debate over the legality of drone strikes
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    • Winner, 2016 PROSE Award for Law and Legal Studies

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Finally, someone has provided the framework that eluded President Bush and Congress after 9/11. Looking back, we could have done much better had this book existed. As some flawed policies are being reshaped, Antonia Chayes' extraordinary book should be required reading.' Jane Harman, former Congresswoman, Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (2002–2006), and Director, President and CEO, The Wilson Center

    'War and security issues cross borders of nations and also borders between civilian and military lives and actions, yet neither law nor politics supply guideposts or criteria. Professor Chayes tracks this crucial feature of our age across the challenges and practices of counterinsurgency, counterterrorism and cyber security. This important book exposes missed opportunities for effective collaboration as well as confusion about the competencies and limits of military and nonmilitary resources of government, industry, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals. It also offers a framework for a better future. The result is a work that should be read by leaders and citizens - indeed, by anyone who [cares] about security or democracy.' Martha Minow, Dean, Harvard Law School, and author of Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History After Genocide and Mass Violence

    'This is a book that deserves the widest distribution and attention in the hands of global leaders. It will make an enormous positive difference in our approach.' James Stavridis, former Admiral, US Navy, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO (2009–2013) and Dean, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

    'Drawing on a lifetime of academic erudition and Beltway savvy, Toni Chayes explores the blurring of traditional lines in [the] twenty-first-century war between the civilian and military, real and virtual, counterinsurgency and counterterrorism, and law and politics. Those in the national security arena should heed her call for stronger transparency, role definition, and legal standards.' Harold Hongju Koh, Sterling Professor of International Law, Yale University, and Legal Adviser, US Department of State (2009–13)

    'Toni Chayes pulls no punches in her hard-hitting assessment of how the United States grapples with the complex security environment of today. Borderless Wars is a 'must-read' for serious practitioners, students and critics of national security matters.' Carter F. Ham, General and former Commander, US Africa Command

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107521506
    • length: 212 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 138 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.27kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Civil-military relations: from theory to policy
    3. The counterinsurgency dilemma
    4. Civil-military implications: the demands of a counterinsurgency strategy
    5. Legal implications of counterinsurgency: opportunities missed but not lost
    6. Counterterrorism: the unquiet warfare of targeted killings
    7. Civil-military policy issues in targeted killing by UAVs
    8. The legal underpinnings for targeted killing by UAV: framing the issues
    9. Opportunities for stepping forward
    10. Cyber attacks and cyber war: framing the issues
    11. Implications for civil-military relations in cyber attacks and cyber war
    12. Legal implications of cyber attacks and cyber war
    13. International cooperation on training wheels
    14. Conclusion: the end is the beginning.

  • Author

    Antonia Chayes, Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
    Antonia Chayes, former Under Secretary of the US Air Force, is Professor of Practice of International Politics and Law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Massachusetts. Author of numerous articles, co-author of The New Sovereignty, Chayes has served on several government Commissions and on the Board of United Technologies Corporation.


    • Winner, 2016 PROSE Award for Law and Legal Studies

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