On Wednesday October 8th I will be presenting part of my paper “War Against Transnational Organized Crime?” at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, Faculty Forum.

The SMU Law Faculty Forum is an ongoing series of presentations of works-in-progress by scholars from SMU Dedman School of Law and from law schools around the country and the world. The Faculty Forum provides an opportunity for new ideas to be explored through informal discussion between the presenter and SMU faculty. As part of its commitment to scholarship, SMU Dedman School of Law sponsors these forum presentations throughout the academic year.

Here is the introduction from the paper:

Over the past decade, the U.S. military has used surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in support of lethal actions directed against organized criminals. The public record reveals the U.S. military was involved in the killing of high value “narco-terrorists.” The U.S. Air Force supported the shoot-down or force-down of aircraft involved in illicit trafficking, resulting in seven aircraft seized or destroyed, and eight pilots dead on arrival, arrested, or missing. The Department of Defense has expanded their traditional focus from targeting terrorist groups and narcotics traffickers toward combating the national security threats posed by transnational criminal organizations. The shift in focus has meant that the Department of Defense is now providing support ranging from partnering with other U.S. government agencies, to assisting foreign militaries, building institutions and even engaging in direct military action against terrorists or insurgent groups that also engage in crime. 
Inside government, officials are struggling to find ways that DoD can support law enforcement agencies while still complying with limits placed by defense appropriations — which oftentimes only allow for the use of funds to support law enforcement activity against drug traffickers or drug traffickers where there is a clear counterterrorism nexus. This counterterrorism-counternarcotics nexus limitation is a significant one as it has prevented DoD from supporting other government agencies in their fight against traffickers whose operations may end up supporting terrorism, but whose connection to narcotics trafficking is weak or not provable. While this limitation has in some instances prevented DoD from supporting other government agencies, it is also believed that in some instances, agencies are loosely interpreting the counternarcotics-counterterrorism nexus to make an end run around the law.

As the Department of Defense begins to shift focus to countering transnational criminal organizations, a few significant issues become immediately important. Is the trend towards militarization a positive development? Might such a trend displace more effective “non-kinetic” means of dealing with law enforcement problems? Is it possible that the trend towards militarization will increase violence as TCOs see themselves pitted in an arms race against well armed enforcers? Might the trend towards militarization challenge international law and threaten human rights. Specifically may we see sovereignty violated through abductions or lethal action against suspected TOCs? Might military readiness suffer as armed forces trained and equipped for combat, shift to law enforcement type missions. What resource constraints might be raised by such a development? Is this an appropriate use of resources? What will the impact be on readiness for major combat operations? Does a shift toward militarized law enforcement (or the military engaged in law enforcement) undermine traditional approaches to policing? Will line drawing become increasingly difficult? Will such a shift even work? If it does work, what costs might be associated with success? How will success be measured? This paper addresses each of these questions in turn, and suggests a path forward for future actions to counter transnational organized crime.

Militarizing the Fight Against Transnational Organized Crime with Professor Gregory McNeal

Militarizing the Fight Against Transnational Organized Crime with Professor Gregory McNeal

On October 1, 2014 I will be presenting at the New York University School of Law’s Hauser Colloquium.  My paper is entitled “War Against Transnational Organized Crime?”  From the introduction:

Over the past decade, the U.S. military has used surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in support of lethal actions directed against organized criminals. The public record reveals the U.S. military was involved in the killing of high value “narco-terrorists.” The U.S. Air Force supported the shoot-down or force-down of aircraft involved in illicit trafficking, resulting in seven aircraft seized or destroyed, and eight pilots dead on arrival, arrested, or missing. The Department of Defense has expanded their traditional focus from targeting terrorist groups and narcotics traffickers toward combating the national security threats posed by transnational criminal organizations. The shift in focus has meant that the Department of Defense is now providing support ranging from partnering with other U.S. government agencies, to assisting foreign militaries, building institutions and even engaging in direct military action against terrorists or insurgent groups that also engage in crime.

Inside government, officials are struggling to find ways that DoD can support law enforcement agencies while still complying with limits placed by defense appropriations — which oftentimes only allow for the use of funds to support law enforcement activity against drug traffickers or drug traffickers where there is a clear counterterrorism nexus. This counterterrorism-counternarcotics nexus limitation is a significant one as it has prevented DoD from supporting other government agencies in their fight against traffickers whose operations may end up supporting terrorism, but whose connection to narcotics trafficking is weak or not provable. While this limitation has in some instances prevented DoD from supporting other government agencies, it is also believed that in some instances, agencies are loosely interpreting the counternarcotics-counterterrorism nexus to make an end run around the law.

As the Department of Defense begins to shift focus to countering transnational criminal organizations, a few significant issues become immediately important.  Is the trend towards militarization a positive development? Might such a trend displace more effective “non-kinetic” means of dealing with law enforcement problems?  Is it possible that the trend towards militarization will increase violence as TCOs see themselves pitted in an arms race against well armed enforcers?  Might the trend towards militarization challenge international law and threaten human rights. Specifically may we see sovereignty violated through abductions or lethal action against suspected TOCs?  Might military readiness suffer as armed forces trained and equipped for combat, shift to law enforcement type missions. What resource constraints might be raised by such a development? Is this an appropriate use of resources? What will the impact be on readiness for major combat operations?  Does a shift toward militarized law enforcement (or the military engaged in law enforcement) undermine traditional approaches to policing? Will line drawing become increasingly difficult? Will such a shift even work? If it does work, what costs might be associated with success? How will success be measured?

 

On Tuesday September 30, 2014 I will be participating in an event “Drone Warfare and Constitutional Accountability” at Columbia Law School.  In the event I will be presenting excerpts from my paper “Targeted Killing and Accountability.”

Drone Warfare and Accountability with drone expert Professor Gregory McNeal

 

On Monday, September 29, 2014 I’ll be discussing the role of the lawyer in advising start-up companies and explaining how regulation impacts innovation.  The presentation is entitled “Uber and Driverless Cars- Innovation vs. Regulation.”

Regulation versus Innovation featuring Professor Gregory McNeal

Regulation versus Innovation featuring Professor Gregory McNeal

Regulation Versus Innovation Gregory McNeal

 

 

 

“Domestic Drones: FAA Regulations, Privacy, Property, Tort and Other Emergent Issues” sponsored by the Minnesota Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society.

Domestic Drones: FAA Regulations, Privacy, Property, Tort and Other Emergent Issues featuring Professor Gregory S. McNeal

Domestic Drones: FAA Regulations, Privacy, Property, Tort and Other Emergent Issues featuring Professor Gregory S. McNeal

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 2.13.38 PM“Surveillance Drones On The Homefront – Privacy At Risk?” a discussion at the University of Minnesota School of Law featuring drone expert, Professor Gregory S. McNeal.

 

Surveillance Drones On The Homefront - Privacy At Risk? featuring drone expert Professor Gregory S. McNeal

Surveillance Drones On The Homefront – Privacy At Risk? featuring drone expert Professor Gregory S. McNeal

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With rapid advances in the field of robotics, the future possibilities seem endless: driverless cars on the roads, police forces using drones for surveillance, wearable technologies that integrate human and machine, and robots in the workplace – all of which raise questions of human acceptance of robotics in everyday life. The development of drones – along with other forms of robotics for commercial and personal use – in the civilian sector bring up many civil liberties, privacy, legal, and regulatory issues. While innovations in robotics are moving at a rapid pace, the law and regulatory guidelines around these technologies have not. Who will regulate the integration of these technologies into our societies? How will we allocate risk and liability for accidents? And how will the economic benefits of this innovative technology be maximized?

On September 15, Governance Studies at Brookings held a forum focused on the constantly changing landscape of civilian robotics in the United States. A panel of experts shared observations on the differing aspects of legal and regulatory policy surrounding civilian robotics. Event site here.

 

The Future of Civilian Robotics and Drones

 

I’ll be presenting at Boston College Law School on Tuesday September 9th.  The title of my presentation is “Domestic Drones and the First Amendment.”  The event will take place at 12:30pm in East Wing 115A and is open to the public.

Drones and the First Amendment

 

 

On Monday, September 8th at 1:00pm I’ll be making a presentation at Boston University School of Law.  The title of the presentation is Due Process and the Targeted Killing of American Citizens.  The flier for this event appears below.

Due Process and Targeted Killing of American Citizens

Due Process and Targeted Killing of Americans

 
Big Business Is Ready for Drones, but What about the Feds?

Big Business Is Ready for Drones, but What about the Feds?

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