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Robert Chesney

Biography: 

Robert Chesney is a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, a nonresident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution, and a distinguished scholar at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. He is a cofounder and contributor to the Lawfare blog and writes frequently on topics relating to US counterterrorism policy and law.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Updating The 2001 AUMF At Long Last? On The Flake-Kaine Bill

by Robert Chesney, Jack Goldsmith, Matthew Waxman, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

It is past time for Congress to update the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), explicitly authorizing the armed conflict with the Islamic State while also adding further important reforms to that foundational instrument. The bill that Senators Flake (R-AZ) and Kaine (D-VA) introduced this week would serve that purpose well.

Analysis and Commentary

Quick Question For Apple HR

by Robert Chesney, Susan Hennessey, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Friday, April 15, 2016

In the “going dark” discussion, it is a kind of orthodoxy that back doors are inherently insecure. Build in a means of someone other than the user accessing his data and you create unacceptable risk that someone will exploit that means; you also make the code unacceptably complicated and increase the attack surface for hackers to play with.

A Tale of Two NSA Leaks: One is unsurprising, and damaging. The other is worth debating.

by Benjamin Wittes, Robert Chesneyvia New Republic
Monday, June 10, 2013

Former NSA contractor Edwards Snowden sure does know how to change the subject. Only a few days ago, everyone was talking about the excesses of leak investigations. But now, as a result of his set of disclosures to the Guardian and The Washington Post, we’re back on the surveillance state—and the dangers of the leaks themselves.

Analysis and Commentary

Is the "War on Terror" Lawful?

by Robert Chesney, Jack Goldsmith, Matthew Waxman, Benjamin Wittesvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Monday, February 25, 2013
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Is the "War on Terror" Lawful?

by Robert Chesney, Jack Goldsmith, Matthew Waxman, Benjamin Wittesvia Defining Ideas
Monday, February 25, 2013

The "Authorization to Use Military Force" serves as the primary legal foundation for the ongoing conflict, but it is now obsolete. What should replace it?