From U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
Dec. 13, 2012

Professor Stephen Downes-Martin, Warfare Analysis & Research department, was recently invited by II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) to brief Major General W. Lee Miller and his Staff on "Operations Assessment in Afghanistan" in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, prior to II MEF taking over Regional Command (South West), Helmand.  Downes-Martin’s briefing, titled "Operations Assessment: Lies, Damned Lies or Statistics", was followed by discussions on the topic with the CG and his primary Staff.

Professor Martin L. Cook, College of Operational & Strategic Leadership and Adm. James B. Stockdale Professor of Professional Military Ethics, was recently a guest lecturer at the Air War College in Montgomery, Ala. on Dec. 3-4.  During Cook’s visit, he spoke at an elective course as well as having the opportunity to address the entire class of the Air War College.

Professor Milan Vego, Joint Military Operations department, visited Naval Higher Command Course (NHCC) 25 at the Indian Naval War College, located in Goa, India from Nov. 26-30.  Rear Adm. R. Hari Kumar, Commandant of the Indian Naval War College specifically requested Professor Vego for this five-day Operational Warfare Workshop in which he delivered 23 60-minute lectures on various aspects of operational warfare.  His audience included 26 navy captains, four army colonels, two group air force captains, as well as the admiral and several other faculty members. The lectures were followed by lively Q&A sessions, largely due to the high level of preparedness of the students, in tandem with Professor Vego’s book, “Joint Operational Warfare: Theory and Practice,” being assigned reading at the Indian War College.

Professor Walter Berbrick, War Gaming department, recently participated in an Arctic panel during the 9th Marine Law Symposium at Roger Williams University. The panel discussed the implications of an ice-free Arctic on access to oil, gas and fishery resources, naval operations and maritime commerce. Berbrick's discussion focused on the security and policy implications for the United States as a result of the opening of the Arctic. The symposium examined the laws and policies that are implicated as climate change impacts coastal and ocean environments. Various experts and legal practitioners from governmental bodies as well as private industry, academia and non-profit organizations explored the state of domestic and international law, how disputes have been handled to date, and what may be on the horizon.  Berbrick’s presentation is available online at

Professor Pete Pedrozo, College of Operational and Strategic Leadership, recently participated in an Arctic workshop, “The Arctic Council in Transition: Nordic to North American Leadership,” hosted by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. The workshop was attended by representatives of the eight Arctic nations, as well as representatives from industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, and non-Arctic states. The panel discussed a variety of issues, including lessons learned from the Nordic chairmanships of the Council, the role of non-Arctic states and observer states in the Council, and the role for the Council in discussing military security issues in the Arctic.  Pedrozo's discussion focused on whether the Arctic Council should revisit its decision to exclude military security issues from the mandate of the Council.

Military professor Robert M. Cassidy, Joint Military Operations department, guest lectured at the Baltic Defence College in Tartu, Estonia on Dec. 3-4.  Cassidy's initial lecture explained the evolution of counterinsurgency practice and doctrine.  His second lecture explored the strategic risks to the campaign in Afghanistan as a consequence of the harmful effects from sanctuaries in Pakistan.  The Baltic Defence College educates and professionally develops military officers from Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, as well as other NATO states.  

Cassidy also gave a talk on the strategic and operational momentum and impediments in Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Birmingham Committee on Foreign Relations on Nov. 29.  The aim of the American Committees on Foreign Relations is to stimulate discourse on international issues among the public.  

Portions of both events derived from Cassidy's 2012 book, “War, Will, and Warlords: Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001-2011,”  published by Marine Corps University Press this year.

Professor Michael Schmitt, Chairman of the International Law department, spoke at the Swedish Defence College's Symposium on the legal aspects of cyberwarfare on Dec. 7.  His presentation focused on the technical meaning of "cyber attack" in the law of war.  The issue is of significance since many of the law of war's prohibitions, such as that on attacking civilians, are framed in terms of "attacks."  The conference also included a panel focusing on the “Tallinn Manual on the International Law of Cyber Warfare,” the result of an international project for which Schmitt served as director.  Professor Wolff Heintschel von Heinnegg, the Stockton Professor of Law at the War College, was also one of the drafters of the manual, due for publication in February by Cambridge University Press.

Professor Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg, Stockton Professor of Law in the International Law department, delivered a series of presentations on the legal impacts of naval weapons systems at the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) workshop on weapons law in Geneva, Switzerland on Dec. 3-7.  The aim of the workshop was to provide an in-depth insight into the rules and principles of international law governing the lawfulness of weapons and to identify the legal issues involved in weapons review processes.  The participants included officers, legal advisors and judges from more than ten different countries.

Military professor David O'Connell, International Law department, recently contributed to a chapter of a new book published by Brill titled "Evidence From Earth Observation and Satellites."  The Book, which was edited by Ray Purdy, Senior Research Fellow in Law at the University College of London and Denise Leung, Research Analyst at the World Resources Institute in Washington D.C., analyses whether data from satellite technologies can be a legally reliable, effective evidential tool in contemporary legal systems. The interdisciplinary volume brings together leading experts from academia, government, international institutions, industry and the judiciary to consider many emerging issues surrounding the use of these technologies in legal strategies.  O'Connell was previously detailed to the Department of Justice's Environmental Crimes Section where he worked on prosecuting vessel pollution cases.  His chapter was co-authored with several former colleges of the Department of Justice and is titled "The Use of Satellite Imagery in Environmental Crimes Prosecutions in the United States: A Developing Area," and focuses on among other things the use of satellite data to enforce international pollution prevention treaties dealing with shipping.

Read the latest faculty articles and quotes at “NWC in the Headlines” on the college’s website at

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Posted by Cmdr. Carla M. McCarthy
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