Looking Forward to the Days Ahead
First and foremost, I express my sincere appreciation to all of the Opinio Juris contributors (as well as special thanks to Peggy for the generous introduction). Their hard work and keen intellects have made this site one of the preeminent public forums for discussing international legal issues and related matters. Though I have been an active commenter and occasional guest blogger here in the past, I am very pleased to join my OJ friends and colleagues as a regular contributor, if only temporarily.
Before I begin posting what I hope will be some thought-provoking ruminations of mine, I want to clarify something from Peggy’s introduction. While I am still an active duty Army judge advocate, I joined West Point’s Center for the Rule of Law as a Senior Fellow in my unofficial/personal capacity. I did so not only because of my loyalty to the leaders and members of the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy, but also due to my avid devotion to the education of the future U.S. Army officers it serves. Simply put, the institution responsible for educating the future leaders of what is still the most powerful military in the world must have a profound respect for and commitment to the rule of law. West Point’s Center for the Rule of Law endeavors to more deeply instill these values by providing a wealth of opportunities for West Point cadets to experience the rule of law outside the classrooms of the Academy.
I suspect that my appointment as a Senior Fellow stems from the fact that much of my current scholarship seeks to more carefully distill the legal framework of war for the United States. It does so with the goal of more completely articulating its proper influence on the conduct of individual military and other executive branch officials, particularly those faced with orders or authorizations that might result in individual criminal responsibility under domestic, foreign or international law if followed. Our government leaders at all levels deserve as much clarity and balanced legal analysis in this area as possible. I hope to provide just that.
In the coming days, I will be sharing some thoughts in these and related areas. My years of following this blog lead me to believe that its readership is well equipped to provide observations that will improve the quality of my work and conclusions. I look forward to receiving your insights.