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Dan Maurer

MWI Non-Resident Fellow Dan Maurer is an active duty Judge Advocate and former combat engineer officer, with service in Iraq during Operations Iraqi Freedom I and New Dawn, as well as in Italy, Africa, and varied stateside assignments. He was the first military or civilian lawyer to be selected as a Strategy Fellow for the Army chief of staff’s Strategic Studies Group, and has served as a prosecutor, appellate counsel, chief of military justice for a large Midwestern installation, and chief of operational law for an Army Service Component Command/Theater Army. Dan is the author of Crisis, Agency, and Law in US Civil-Military Relations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), Clash of the Trinities: a New Theoretical Analysis of the General Nature of War (US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute Press, 2017), a chapter about civil-military relations theory in Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict (Potomac Books, 2018), and several peer-reviewed law review/journal articles about military justice, and has published widely at Small Wars Journal, Lawfare, and MWI. He earned his law degree from The Ohio State University, his LL.M. from the Army’s JAG School (recipient of the award for best thesis), and his B.A. from James Madison University, where he was an Army ROTC Distinguished Military...

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Class of 2006 War Studies Conference – November 2018

Class of 2006 War Studies Conference Potential Disruptors of the ‘American Way of War’ The Modern War Institute hosted its third annual Class of 2006 War Studies Conference in November 2018. Over three days at the United States Military Academy at West Point, the conference brought together distinguished representatives from the private sector, government, academia, the think-tank community, and the joint military services to debate and discuss issues related to modern war and warfare. This year’s conference explored the issue of next-generation warfare and potential disruptors to the “American way of war.” On this page, you can find videos of keynote speakers and panel discussions, links to the conference program and post-conference report, detailed descriptions of each of the conference’s five panel discussions, and a list of conference participants. Official Conference Registration Book Click to view Official Conference Report Click to view Conference Videos Keynote Addresses Emerging Technologies and Megatrends Affecting Military Effectiveness Speakers Assistant Secretary of the Army Bruce Jette Former Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin Moderator Dr. Nina Kollars, US Naval War College Click to watch Can ‘Deep Thinking’ Defeat Tomorrow’s Adversaries? Speaker Garry Kasparov Moderator Mr. Nicholas Schmidle, The New Yorker Click to watch How Geography Will Reshape Great Power Conflictn Speaker Mr. Robert Kaplan, author of The Revenge of Geography Moderator Mr. Jonathan Tepperman, Foreign Policy Click to watch Spurring Innovation between the...

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Moral Culpability and Autonomous Military Systems: Is Human Responsibility Accentuated or Attenuated by a Reliance on AI?

Note: This essay adapts and slightly expands remarks the author made at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London, on November 7, 2018, at its “Lethal AI and Autonomy Conference.”1 Forewarning to the reader: the nature of that brief presentation left the author with little choice but to raise more questions than he could answer in a short time, hoping instead to spur lively debate and discussion amongst the conference attendees. This essay retains that strategy and embraces a fair amount of uncertainty; the author hopes this caveat will avoid claims of what his fellow lawyers would call a “void...

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What Precision Strikes in Syria Mean for Civil-Military Relations

This spring, for the second time, President Donald Trump ordered a precision air strike against another nation’s sovereign territory on the ground that it had used unlawful chemical weapons against its own civilian population, warranting a “strong deterrent” message to uphold international laws and norms. He did so without the explicit authorization of Congress, acting only on his executive powers under Article II of the Constitution. Moreover, his action was based on ill-defined and much debated principles of jus cogens norms and the evolving international legal standard that purports to authorize states to intervene in each other’s sovereign territory where such norms are...

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