Defense Contracting

A DPA for the 21st Century

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By the Hon. James E. Baker

Some commentators say the field of artificial intelligence is ungovernable. It covers many fields and capabilities, they note, and involves a breadth of private and academic actors, many working in secrecy to protect intellectual property and profit potentials. But it is an overstatement to call AI ungovernable.

Several existing laws and executive orders give various agencies and elected officials tools to regulate the national security development of AI, as does the Constitution. Policymakers should become familiar with these tools, examine their strengths and shortcomings, and become involved in efforts to modify and improve the AI governance architecture. As with other “ungovernable” areas, like nonproliferation, where there are also myriad actors and challenges, we can design an effective governance architecture if we are purposeful about doing so. This paper considers one of the most important potential tools in this effort, the Defense Production Act (DPA); however, it would be a more effective tool if updated and used to its full effect.

AI development depends on hardware, data, talent, algorithms, and computational capacity.1 Thus, any law that can (1) help ensure an adequate supply of these assets and in appropriate form; and (2) prioritize the use of these assets to achieve national security policy objectives is an important national security tool. That is not to say the DPA’s full authority should be used at this time. Extraordinary tools, such as the DPA’s allocation authority, might more appropriately be used at a moment of emergency, for example, in time of conflict or should another nation achieve an AI breakout creating decisive security advantage.

Thus, at this time, the most important function a debate about the use of the DPA for AI purposes can serve is to shape and condition expectations and understandings about the role such authorities should, or could, play, as well as to identify essential legislative gaps so that we do not learn of these gaps (and are not hesitant to use the authority we have) when the authority is needed. However, in less dramatic manner, the DPA’s other authorities might well be used, or more fully used at this time to shore up America’s AI supply line, as illustrated with the examples below.

While obscure to the public, the DPA got a burst of national attention in early 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic began overwhelming U.S. hospitals, first in New York City and then elsewhere. In the absence of federal leadership, in March 2020 national security specialists familiar with the DPA urged its full use to mobilize the nation’s capacity to provide medical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) to address COVID-19.

In April 2020, as the spreading virus was depleting national supplies of ventilators and PPE for health workers, President Donald Trump generated headlines by invoking the DPA, ostensibly to compel businesses to manufacture such equipment. A second order authorized the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to “use any and all authority available” under the DPA to acquire N95 respirator masks from 3M. By mid-July, however, CNN noted that “the Trump administration has made only sparing use of its authorities [under DPA], leaving front-line workers in dire need of supplies like masks, gowns and gloves.”2

The Trump Administration did eventually use the DPA during the second half of 2020 to prioritize contracts (eighteen times to channel raw materials to the manufacture of vaccines and therapeutics) and to incentivize the production of medical supplies like testing swabs; however, the DPA was never used to full effect, nor in a strategic and transparent manner.

In contrast, as a candidate for the White House, President Biden promised full use of the DPA to put the United States on a “war time” footing to meet COVID supply chain challenges. Since assuming office, the Biden Administration has used the DPA, and other laws, to address bottlenecks in the supply chain for components needed for vaccine manufacture and to prioritize supply contracts to allow Merck to assist in making Johnson & Johnson vaccines. In addition, the Biden Administration has used Title III financing authorities to incentivize the building of factories and supply lines for COVID tests and rubber plants for medical gloves.

What is significant here, is not just that the Biden Administration used the DPA to provide vaccine capacity to plug supply chain gaps, it did so after the president-elect and then president conditioned industry for its use in this manner and directed the federal government to lean into the law. It also made “friendly” use of the DPA, identifying needs in consultation and partnership with industry, with a focus on the result rather than the means. These are lessons worth noting in the AI context going forward. With COVID, as with AI, the legal policy question is not whether and how to use the DPA to accomplish a task but how to use the full range of available law effectively, purposefully to meet the nation’s needs, and in a manner consistent with our values. With COVID, it turned out, the DPA was one of several laws that could be used to harness America’s industrial capacity to address the pandemic.

The government’s handling of the pandemic is a topic for another day. The point here is that the mere mention of the DPA’s potential clout reinforced the view, in some people’s eyes at least, that the law is a vehicle to “nationalize” industry, a “commandeering” authority, which empowers the government to take over and run the nation’s defense industries. This fed into an already existing narrative about government regulation and opposition from the Chamber of Commerce.

In fact, as this paper shows, the DPA contains many different authorities, some narrow and others potentially broad in scope. It is important for policymakers to understand that the DPA is not limited to military equipment and actions, and its powers are not solely addressed to, or limited to, “commandeering.” Rather, the law establishes a national mobilization capacity to bring the industrial might of the U.S. to bear on broader national security challenges, including technology challenges and public health challenges. Thus, the DPA is both a potential macro tool and a micro tool. Its application to artificial intelligence can be substantial.

  1. Ben Buchanan, “The AI Triad and What It Means for National Security Strategy” (Center for Security and Emerging Technology, August 2020),
  2. Priscilla Alvarez, Curt Devine, Drew Griffin, and Kristen Holmes, “Trump administration’s delayed use of 1950s law leads to critical supplies shortages,” CNN, July 14, 2020,

Why Is Trump So Timid With the Defense Production Act?

By the Hon. James E. Baker

“Why isn’t the government bringing its full arsenal to the fight?”

(The New York Times | April 3, 2020) Every Marine knows better than to pull a knife in a gunfight. But so far, that appears to be the federal government’s approach to battling Covid-19. The president has “invoked” the Defense Production Act, but the government has not used the full authority of the act. There is a difference between invoking a law and using it, just as there is a difference between talk and action.

Governors and health officials tell us that there is a profound gap between the protective equipment, hospital equipment and testing resources that are needed (and will be needed) and what is available (or in the pipeline). Bill Gates reminds us that we will need to produce millions, perhaps billions, of doses of vaccine in 12 to 18 months. This isn’t a passing crisis; we will need more of everything in two months, six months and maybe years.

Don’t let debate over the details of General Motors’ and Ventec’s honorable effort to build more ventilators hide the bottom line: The federal government has all the authority it needs to close the supply gap, allocate resources among states, and prepare for the production and distribution of the vaccine to come. Until the federal government demonstrates — with statistics, contracts and timelines — that the gap is closed and the vaccine pipeline is ready, we should ask: Why isn’t the government bringing its full arsenal to the fight? …

Read the full article.


Amidst a Set-Back for Transparency, Citizen-Led Accountability in North Carolina

By David M. Crane & Catherine Reed

(Jurist | May 4, 2017) Last Monday, 24 April, it was easy to miss the important news that the Supreme Court denied cert in the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to make public the full Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s use of torture. The news was lost in the frenzied media analysis of Trump’s first 100 days, new opinion polls on his performance, and a looming possible government shutdown over the border wall.

“The Supreme Court’s denial of public access to the full Senate report means we will be forced to continue wondering how much torture was used, the level of damage it did to the US, and which private entities may have been involved.”

The ACLU is to be commended for their leadership both in this FOIA request, and in the ground-breaking lawsuit Salim v. Mitchell. That suit was brought by torture victims and the family of a man tortured to death by the CIA, and fortunately is moving forward in a Spokane federal court.

But this Supreme Court decision on the Senate report is a blow to efforts at accountability for this dark chapter in US history, and bad news for Americans who want open government and transparency. From the declassified but heavily-redacted executive summary that is available, we know that the CIA’s interrogation tactics were both more brutal and less effective than was acknowledged publicly. The CIA did not provide oversight at the black sites it maintained, and it lied to Congress and the public about the number of detainees it held and tortured during the period following 9/11.

The Supreme Court’s denial of public access to the full Senate report means we will be forced to continue wondering how much torture was used, the level of damage it did to the US, and which private entities may have been involved. Most disturbingly, the decision blocks the robust public debate that release of the full report would stimulate. It continues the shielding of responsible officials from any form of accountability, and keeps the American public and our elected leaders from learning lessons from the failed tactics of the past.

One of President Obama’s final acts in office was to preserve the report under the Presidential Records Act — a positive step given that many elected officials, including Senate Select Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-N.C.), have advocated destroying all classified versions. But this step also meant that the report would remain hidden from the public for at least twelve years, and perhaps much longer.

Our current President has, at best, easily influenced and inconsistent views on torture. President Trump, both while campaigning and even after taking office, has openly supported and endorsed resuming torture, although he has also backtracked on his own statements. His appointment of Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel, who once oversaw a CIA black site in Thailand and was physically present during torture sessions, further underscores that more information about the torture, rendition and detention program must be revealed.

The lack of government transparency and public accountability—reinforced by this week’s Supreme Court decision—makes the work of organizations pushing for accountability all the more vital. One such initiative worth noting is the recently launched non-governmental North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture (NCCIT).

NCCIT was established to investigate and bring about public accountability for the specific role that North Carolina’s state and local governments played in supporting the US torture program …

To read the full article, call here.

INSCT Affiliated Faculty Member David M. Crane was Founding Chief Prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone and currently is a Professor of Practice at Syracuse University College of Law. Catherine Read is Executive Director of the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture.

Future Missions Through the Lens of the US Army Operating Concept

By Octavian Manea

(Re-published from Small Wars Journal | May 29, 2016) A “future missions” discussion with Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster, Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center and Deputy Commanding General, Futures, US Army Training and Doctrine Command. McMaster served previously as Commanding General, Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning from June 2012 to July 2014. From 2010 to 2012, he commanded Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force Shafafiyat (Transparency) in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1984. He holds a Ph.D. in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam.

SWJ: We’ve seen recently the major strategic challenges (mainly high-end adversaries) driving the DoD 2017 budget. From the perspective of the US Army Operating Concept what are the most relevant trends we need to keep in mind that are most likely to contribute to shaping and changing the character of armed conflict?

HRM: As we try to understand the problem of future armed conflict, we consider four main areas that exhibit both continuities in the nature of war and changes in the character of warfare. We make grounded projections into the future by first considering potential threats, enemies, and adversaries in future operating environments. We consider threats emerging from nation-states as well as non-state actors and so-called hybrid enemies that are non-state actors that enjoy state support.

These threats include Russia and its aggressive actions such as the invasion of Ukraine and their actions in the Middle East where they’ve allied themselves with a murderous regime and with the Iranians in pursuit of a strategy that is perpetuating the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. Russia is waging limited war for limited objectives and conducting sophisticated campaigns that include the use of unconventional forces operating under the cover of very significant conventional force capability. Russia’s aim is not defensive; its actions since 2007 are part of a broader effort to collapse the post-World War II and post-Cold War security order in Europe. Russia has combined military force with other activities to change the geopolitical landscape on the Eurasian landmass. In Crimea and Ukraine Russia was able to accomplish goals at little to no cost, consolidate gains and portray the response of US and NATO allies and those supporting Ukraine as escalatory. What Russia has done highlights the need to revisit deterrence theory and make it relevant to the geostrategic problem set on the Eurasian landmass.

What we see with China is similar. China is also using conventional and unconventional capabilities to change realities in the South China Sea. China is building islands and positioning military capabilities there in an effort to intimidate the countries in the region and establish a degree of hegemony. China’s actions in the South China Sea lead to questions about its intentions and its commitment to uphold a rules based international system. In both China and Russia what you see is a renewed need for deterrence, especially a focus on deterrence by denial -the ability for nations to convince a potential adversary that he can’t accomplish his objectives. The military has a very important role along with diplomacy, economic policy, and informational efforts because an integrated campaign is necessary to counter those who are employing a sophisticated strategy. Countering propaganda, and disinformation, for example, is important. Russia has been particularly adept at sowing conspiracy theories in Europe and doing its best to undermine the NATO Alliance in particular.

And we should not forget about Iran which has been supporting proxies across the Arab world but especially in the Middle East in a way that I think, along with the rise of ISIS, set the conditions for this disastrous sectarian civil war and humanitarian crisis. They’ve done this by essentially applying the Hezbollah model to the Greater Middle East where they have weak governments in power that are dependent upon Iran for support while Iran grows militias and other illegal armed groups and supports them because they can be turned against those governments if those governments act against Iranian interests.

Potential threats, enemies, and adversaries are important for us to consider but we also need to consider the missions we need to conduct in the future. Army forces are essential to deterring conflict. As part of the Joint Force, they’ve prevented great power conflict for over 70 years now. Forces positioned forward are particularly important to deterrence. When facing countries that wage limited war for limited objectives it is important to ratchet up the cost at the frontier and also to let the enemy know they cannot accomplish their objectives. And the Army has an important role because, as Thomas Schelling wrote in the 1960s- the army gives you a brute force option which is the ability to compel outcomes without the cooperation of the enemy. Our stand-off capabilities will remain very important for our joint force and for multinational forces such as NATO. The role of land forces is becoming even more important, I think, to the deterrence mission.

Another mission that we need to conduct is what we call expeditionary maneuver: the ability to deploy rapidly into unexpected locations and transition quickly into operations and to do so with forces that have the mobility, protection and lethality to overmatch the enemy and operate in sufficient scale and ample duration to accomplish the mission. If you look how these forces will be employed it will be in the context of coping with a hostile nation-state’s capabilities, especially long range ballistic missile capabilities which today are analogous to the V1 and V2 threat to London in World War II. They are also important against groups like Daesh who has established a terrorist proto-state in Syria and Iraq. Army forces are critical in denying enemy safe havens and support bases, in defeating enemy organizations, in establishing control of territory to deny its use to the enemy, in protecting populations and in projecting power outward from land into the maritime, aero-space and cyber-space domains. For example, what we see today is that Russia has established air supremacy over Ukraine from the ground so Army forces have to be able to conduct joint multinational combined arms maneuver. And Army forces have always had the mission to integrate efforts of multiple partners to consolidate gains to translate military success into sustainable political outcomes.

The third thing we consider is technology that can improve our capabilities. We are very interested in demand reduction of logistics so we can maintain freedom of movement in action at the end of extended and contested lines of communications in austere environments. We are very interested in robotic and autonomy enable systems, both air and ground, to help us see and fight across wider areas, to help us make contact with the enemy under favorable conditions, and to help maintain freedom of movement and action along contested routes and in contested areas. We are looking to improve lethality, especially through a range of technologies like directed energy capabilities that can allow our forces to pack a greater punch and be more effective against a broad range of enemy threats. We are also looking at advanced protective systems for both air and ground forces that can protect forces from what we see in Eastern Ukraine such as the long-range ballistic missile threat capability, massed fires and maybe swarm UAS capabilities. And we’re focused on the cyber and electromagnetic capabilities to ensure our ability to communicate freely and restrict the ability of the enemy to communicate freely and also to assure some of our advanced capabilities. Finally, we should also consider the enemy’s technological counter-measures to whatever we develop and we have to be able to counter what we see as emerging threat capabilities.

And finally we look at history and lessons learned. For example, we can learn quite a bit from Russian operations during the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of Ukraine and from the ongoing fights in Syria and Iraq. Recent Israeli operations in Gaza can give important lessons on dense urban terrain. And French operations in Mali are also instructive.

So to understand what is changing in the character of warfare we look at threats, enemies, adversaries; missions; technology; and the lessons learned …

To read the full blog, click here.

Octavian Manea (MAIR ’13) was a Fulbright Junior Scholar at SU Maxwell School and a 2013 recipient of a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Security Studies through INSCT.

Van Slyke Named Associate Dean & Chair of Maxwell PAIA

David Van Slyke Portrait

SU Maxwell School Dean James B. Steinberg is pleased to announce that INSCT Faculty Member David M. Van Slyke, holder of the Louis A. Bantle Chair in Business and Government Policy, has been appointed associate dean and chair of the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs (PAIA).

Van Slyke, a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, has established himself as one of the leading scholars in the field of public policy and management. He received the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus in Public Administration and Policy Award from the University at Albany, is a two-time recipient of the Maxwell School’s Birkhead-Burkhead Professorship for Teaching Excellence Award (2006-2010 and 2014-2018), and earned best article awards from the Public Management Research Association (2007) and the Academy of Management (2002).

“I am delighted to have David Van Slyke, a leading figure in public administration, heading Maxwell’s top-ranked Department of Public Administration and International Affairs,” says Steinberg. “David’s deep expertise in public-private partnerships, working with governments, business leaders, and NGOs around the world, combined with his outstanding scholarship and his award-winning teaching, makes him the perfect choice to lead the department to continued growth and success.”

Throughout his career Van Slyke has also been active in the community, serving as an adviser for the US Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, the World Bank, and the Russian government, among many others. Additionally, he has published two books, including the award-winning Complex Contracting: Government Purchasing in the Wake of the US Coast Guard’s Deepwater Program, which won the American Society for Public Administration’s Section on Public Administration Research (SPAR) annual book award for public administration scholarship …

To read the whole story, click here.

The Global View: National & International Security in the Year Ahead, with Robert Murrett

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WHAT: The Global View: National & International Security in the Year Ahead

WHO: VADM Robert B. Murrett (Ret.)

WHERE: Feinberg Lecture Hall (Dineen 360) | SU College of Law

WHEN: April 23, 2015 | 11:50 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.


VADM Robert B. Murrett (Ret.) is Deputy Director, INSCT; Professor of Practice SU Maxwell School; Former Director, US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; and Former Senior Officer, US Joint Chiefs of Staff. 


Public Service & Policy Analysis

Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law’s national and international security experts have extensive practical experience engaging complex and evolving security issues.

They have worked at the highest levels of government, law enforcement, and the military. They are regularly called upon to testify before Congress, the UN, and world governments; to appear in local, national, and international news forums; and to write reports for think tanks, law organizations, federal agencies, private sector firms, and non-profits.

SPL Projects

US Department of State’ Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships “Understanding Global Opportunity” Evaluation

“Understanding Global Opportunity” is the result of a 2014 grant to evaluate whether the US Department of State’s (DOS) Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships (S/GP) achievement in establishing public-private partnerships—most notably the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC)—can serve as a model for other DOS international aid and development initiatives.

The Prevention Project: Organizing Against Violent Extremism

In May 2016, continuing its collaboration with the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, SPL was invited to join The Prevention Project, directed by former US Department of State counterterrorism official Eric Rosand through the Global Center on Cooperative Security.

Student Projects

SPL guides graduate student capstone and similar projects that are developed for real-world clients, including federal committees, non-profit organizations, and private contractors.

May 2019: Maxwell School MPA students working on a Capstone Project for the Institute for Defense Analyses pose with IDA’s Paul Lowell and Ned Snead. Professor Murrett is also supervising a Capstone Project for RAND Corp.
RAND and IDA MPA Workshop Groups
RAND Corp. and Institute for Defense Analyses MPA Capstone students together in Washington, DC, June 2019.

Under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, SPL supported two capstone projects for clients the Institute for Defense Analyses and RAND Corporation. The student teams are pictured below, outside the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, in June 2018.

MPA Workshop 2018


Under the guidance of SPL Director William C. Banks and Director of Research Corri Zoli, students in the National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center, a working laboratory for law and other graduate students interested in contemporary security issues, worked on the following Countering Violent Extremist (CVE) projects:

  1. A multi-institutional partnership with Emory University, George Washington University, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to create recommendations for the DHS Secretary for Strategic Partnerships with Colleges and Universities and the K-12 Community with relation to CVE-related academic programs and research.
  2. A continuation of the collaboration with the UN Counterterrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED) examining member states’ implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014) to examine the domestic implementation of UNSCR 2178 and challenges among member states; to explore and compare emerging CVE laws and policies; and to track Foreign Terrorist Fighter (FTF) flows and returnees.

On April 28, 2017, students in SPL Director of Research Corri Zoli’s National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center presented research findings in the workshop “Understanding Interdisciplinary Responses to International Terrorism & Violent Extremisms” at SU College of Law. The students’ work was the culmination of a semester-long partnership with Emory University, George Washington University, and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Strategic Partnerships with Colleges and Universities.

Workshop topics included the role of the UN in crafting international counterterrorism policy; women’s leadership roles in terrorist organizations; the importance of anti-extremist K-12 educational programs; cross-cultural perspectives on CVE programs that work in other countries; the experience of vulnerable communities with CVE in the US; the challenge of implementing counterterrorist and counter-extremist laws and statutes; and the role of “hard” and “soft” power CVE mechanisms, including drones.

Under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, SPL supported three PAI 752 capstone projects for the Institute for Defense Analyses and RAND Corporation, as well as for the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s Spinal Cord Injury/Disorder Center (report prepared by students Chris Davis, Jason Mehta, Kristiana Nelsen, Kevin O’Brien, and Devon Seymour). The photo below shows students in Washington, DC, preparing to visit clients IDA and RAND.


Below, SPL alumna Jane Yoona Chung (MPA/MAIR ’16) leads a presentation by students in SPL’s National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center to their clients, representatives of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED)—including David Scharia, Senior Legal Officer, CTED (seated at right)—on May 2, 2016.

The students presented research on how UN member states from various regions are complying with UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014), which calls on member states to prevent the “recruiting, organizing, transporting, or equipping of individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning of, or participation in terrorist acts.”


Below, under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, SPL supported three capstone projects for clients the Institute for Defense Analyses, RAND Corporation, and Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center.


Under the guidance of Professor William C. Banks, students in the National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center, a working laboratory for law and other graduate students interested in contemporary security issues, created three interrelated reports that addressed criminal, administrative, and prosecutorial strategies to halt the international flow of terrorism, as well as countries’ compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014). The client was the UN CounterTerrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). In March 2015, 18 students representing SU Maxwell School and the College of Law presented their reports to the CTED at the UN headquarters in New York City.


Under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, SPL supported three capstone projects for clients the Institute for Defense Analyses, RAND Corporation, and Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center.


Under the guidance of SPL Faculty Member Ines Mergel, Maxwell School MPA students Alys Alley, Mariko Mori, Amanda Vitullo, and Janelle Wallace worked with the New York State Office of Emergency Management to produce a report called Social Media Monitoring for Emergency Managersconducting interviews with emergency management professionals throughout the US to extract current SM monitoring practices. In Spring 2015, students presented their findings to a meeting of emergency managers at the SU College of Law.



Under the guidance of Assistant Director Keli Perrin, SPL supported two projects:

  • Managing Cybersecurity Threats to the Smart Grid” for Iberdrola USA.
  • “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: The Regulatory Landscape (A State-by-State Comparison)” for the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs.

Under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, SPL supported three projects:

  • A report and briefing on the impact of 2012 and 2013 defense budget decisions (for the Institute for Defense Analysis).
  • A report and briefing on non-military support for security operations (for the RAND Corporation).
  • Data collection and analysis of Central New York veterans’ medical needs (in partnership with the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center).

Under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, SPL supported three projects:

  • A report and briefing on the impact of 2012 and 2013 defense budget decisions (for the Institute for Defense Analysis).
  • A report and briefing on non-military support for security operations (for the RAND Corporation).
  • Data collection and analysis of Central New York veterans’ medical needs (in partnership with the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center).

Building Police Capacity in Indonesia & The Philippines: An Analysis of Military and Civilian Models

Six MPA students (Amy Bonilla, Chris DeMure, Marineth Riano-Domingo, Pat Manley, Cesar Sevilla, and Quinn Warner)—advised by Professor William C. Banks, in collaboration with Dana Abro at the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICTAP), US Department of Justice, and the US Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI)—analyzed military and civilian policing models, developed a gap analysis for current police assistance programs in Indonesia and the Philippines, and drew from police reform efforts in both countries to recommend a list of best practices.


Assessing the Terrorist Threat

In this report of the New America Foundation’s National Security Preparedness Group by Peter Bergen of CNN and Bruce Hoffman, the authors note that although the threat of another attack by al-Qaeda is less severe than the catastrophic proportions of a 9/11-like attack, it is more complex and more diverse than at any time over the past nine years. Maxwell School M.P.A. students contributed to the research in this report.

“Post-9/11 Jihadist Terrorism Cases Involving US Citizens & Residents.”

Students worked with the New America Foundation and Peter Bergen of CNN to prepare this report and database.


Integrating USAID and DOS: The Future of Development and Diplomacy

A report for the Project on National Security Reform Issue Team examining how the foreign assistance function can be consolidated within the US Department of State, making it more effective.


Securing America’s Passenger Rails: Analyzing Current Challenges and Future Solutions

This report is included in the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s Homeland Security Digital Library, which is a targeted collection of documents that are expected to influence homeland security policy and strategy development.


Chemical Security in New Jersey: An Overview of Planning, Information Sharing, and Response.”

This study was submitted to the US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security to provide its members with an overview of New Jersey’s current state of preparedness for responding to a chemical catastrophe.

  • Appendices
  • The US House of Representatives passed HR1680 on Oct. 23, 2007, regulating sales of ammonium nitrate. The SPL/MPA Workshop “Legal Controls on Explosive Materials” (see below) also contributed to this effort.

Are We Ready: A Practical Examination of the Strategic National Stockpile in Response to Public Health Crises“Report prepared for US House of Representatives House Committee on Homeland Security, used in the drafting H.R. 3197, the Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate Act of 2006.

Other Projects

  • “National Security Leaks”
  • “Whistleblower Protection Act”
  • “Triage During Mass Casualty Events”
  • “Amending the HIPAA to Mandate Disclosure For the Creation of a National Health Alert Network

Legal Controls on Explosive Materials“A report prepared for US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security Democratic Staff.

Other Projects:

  • “Northern Border Security”
  • “US National Security Strategy”
  • “Terrorist Financing”
  • “Outsourcing War”
  • “National Security, Technology, and Expectations of Privacy”
  • “Responding to Disasters in the Homeland: The Role of the Military and Federal, State, and Local Government Actors”
  • “The USA PATRIOT Act: How Can We Prevent Terrorism and Protect Civil Liberties”
  • “Securing the US Homeland”
  • “Securing the US Border”
  • “The Treatment of Detainees in the War on Terrorism”
  • “Background Papers on the Information Sharing and Homeland Security Conference”
  • “Commentary on Enemy Combatant Cases”
  • “Commentary on Enemy Combatant Cases”
  • Conflict Behavior in Muslim States” (2013). By Carolyn Abdenour, Emily Schneider, and Courtney Schuster (all LAW ’13), with the assistance of SPL Research Assistant Professor Corri Zoli.
  • Libya in Conflict: Mapping the Libyan Conflict” (2012). By René Moya (LAW ’12) and Mikala Steenholdt (LAW ’12), with the assistance of professors David M. Crane and Corri Zoli.

Guiding Principles for Stabilization & Reconstruction, with Beth Cole

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WHAT: “Problem: World Disorder/Needed: Guiding Principles for Stabilization and Reconstruction”

WHO: Beth Cole, Director, Office of Civil-Military Cooperation, US Agency for International Development

WHEN: Oct. 30, 2014 | Noon

WHERE: Eggers 060 (Global Collaboratory)


Beth_ColeBeth Cole was appointed as the Director of the Office of Civil-Military Cooperation at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) by President Barack Obama in 2012.  In this capacity, she is responsible for managing the relationship between USAID and the US Department of Defense. Cole directs a 47-member staff of Senior Development Advisors posted to the five geographic combatant commands, Special Operations Command, and the Pentagon, as well as military liaisons posted to USAID from the Commands and the Services and a civil and foreign service planning and support staff.

Cole comes to USAID with more than 30 years of experience in the government and non-governmental sector working on stabilization and peacekeeping operations, arms control, non-proliferation, and civil-military relations. For eight years, she held senior positions at the US Institute of Peace (USIP), including Dean of Institutional Affairs in USIP’s Academy, Director of Intergovermental Affairs, and a Senior Program Officer in the former Peace and Stability Operations Division.

Cole chaired the USIP-hosted Working Group on Civil-Military Relations in Non-Permissive Environments, the only regular forum for the US armed forces, foreign affairs agencies, and non-governmental humanitarian assistance organizations. She was lead writer of the first interagency doctrine for stabilization operations—Guiding Principles for Stabilization and Reconstruction—developed with the US Army. She also served on the Civil-Military Cooperation Working Group of the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Assistance for USAID. In addition, she is an adjunct professor at the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

Among earlier posts, Cole was director of the Congressional Roundtable on Post-Cold War Relations in the US Congress and a senior fellow at George Mason University’s Program on Peacekeeping Policy. She is the co-author of RAND’s The Beginner’s Guide to Nation-Building (2007), and she co-authored a number of USIP Special Reports, including “Transitional Governance: From Bullets to Ballots” (2006) and “Building Civilian Capacity for US Stability Operations: The Rule of Law Component” (2004). Cole also has served in positions at the Congressional Research Service and the US Department of State, working on arms control treaty issues, and she has served as Executive Director of several non-governmental organizations, including the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and the Peace Through Law Education Fund.