Seating is Limited. Advance registration strongly encouraged via the Columbia or SIPA calendars. Register here.

The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies presents

Borderless Wars: Civil Military Disorder and Legal Uncertainty

Author Antonia Chayes, Professor of Practice of International Politics and Law, The Fletcher School, Tufts University, in conversation with Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics, member, SIWPS

Moderated by Dipali Mukhopadhyay, Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs, SIPA, and member, SIWPS

In 2011, Nasser Al-Awlaki, a terrorist on the U.S. “kill list” in Yemen, was targeted by the CIA. A week later, a military strike killed his son. The following year, the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan resigned, undermined by CIA-conducted drone strikes of which he had no knowledge or control. The demands of the new, borderless “gray area” conflict have cast civilians and military into unaccustomed roles with inadequate legal underpinning. As the Department of Homeland Security defends against cyber threats and civilian contractors work in paramilitary roles abroad, the legal boundaries of war demand to be outlined. In this book, former Under Secretary of the Air Force Antonia Chayes examines these new “gray areas” in counterinsurgency, counter-terrorism, and cyber warfare. Her innovative solutions for role definition and transparency will establish new guidelines in a rapidly evolving military-legal environment. 


“Finally, someone has provided the framework that eluded President Bush and Congress after 9/11. Looking back, we could have done much better had this book existed. As some flawed policies are being reshaped, Antonia Chayes’ extraordinary book should be required reading.”
Jane Harman, former Congresswoman, Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (2002–2006), and Director, President and CEO, The Wilson Center

“War and security issues cross borders of nations and also borders between civilian and military lives and actions, yet neither law nor politics supply guideposts or criteria. Professor Chayes tracks this crucial feature of our age across the challenges and practices of counterinsurgency, counterterrorism and cyber security. This important book exposes missed opportunities for effective collaboration as well as confusion about the competencies and limits of military and nonmilitary resources of government, industry, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals. It also offers a framework for a better future. The result is a work that should be read by leaders and citizens – indeed, by anyone who [cares] about security or democracy.”
Martha Minow, Dean, Harvard Law School, and author of Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History After Genocide and Mass Violence

“This is a book that deserves the widest distribution and attention in the hands of global leaders. It will make an enormous positive difference in our approach.”
James Stavridis, former Admiral, US Navy, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO (2009–2013) and Dean, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

“Drawing on a lifetime of academic erudition and Beltway savvy, Toni Chayes explores the blurring of traditional lines in [the] twenty-first-century war between the civilian and military, real and virtual, counterinsurgency and counterterrorism, and law and politics. Those in the national security arena should heed her call for stronger transparency, role definition, and legal standards.”
Harold Hongju Koh, Sterling Professor of International Law, Yale University, and Legal Adviser, US Department of State (2009–13)

“Toni Chayes pulls no punches in her hard-hitting assessment of how the United States grapples with the complex security environment of today. Borderless Wars is a ‘must-read’ for serious practitioners, students and critics of national security matters.”
Carter F. Ham, General and former Commander, US Africa Command


Antonia Chayes is Professor of Practice of International Politics and Law. Prior to her coming to The Fletcher School, she taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School and Law School. She chaired the Project on International Institutions and Conflict Management at the Program on Negotiation at the Harvard Law School. Her interests encompass international conflict, international law, and security. Her government experience is extensive, having served as Assistant and later Under Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, where she was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. She has served on several Federal Commissions, including the Vice President’s White House Aviation Safety and Security Commission, and the Commission on Roles and Missions of the U.S. States Armed Forces. As Board member of United Technologies Corporation for 21 years, she chaired its Public Issues Review Committee, and served on its Executive Committee until retiring in 2002. She also practiced law in a Boston law firm, and served as mediator at JAMS/Endispute. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; serves as a consultant to the Office of Compliance, Adviser, Ombudsman of IFC and MIGA of the World Bank. She was elected to the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law in 2009. She is the author of a number of books and articles. Her most recent publication is “How American Treaty Behavior Threatens National Security” in 33 International Security, 45 (2008). Most cited book: Chayes and Chayes, The New Sovereignty: Compliance with International Regulatory Agreement.


Robert Jervis is Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics at Columbia University. His most recent book is Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Iranian Revolution and the Iraq War (Cornell University Press, 2010). His System Effects: Complexity in Political Life (Princeton University Press, 1997) was a co-winner of the APSA’s Psychology Section Best Book Award, and The Meaning of the Nuclear Revolution (Cornell University Press, 1989) won the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. He is also the author of The Logic of Images in International Relations (Princeton University Press, 1970; 2d ed., Columbia University Press, 1989), Perception and Misperception in International Politics (Princeton University Press, 1976), The Illogic of American Nuclear Strategy (Cornell University Press, 1984), American Foreign Policy in a New Era (Routledge, 2005), and over 150 other publications. Jervis was President of the American Political Science Association in 2000-01 and has received career achievement awards from the International Society of Political Psychology and ISA’s Security Studies Section. In 2006 he received the National Academy of Science’s tri-annual award for behavioral sciences contributions to avoiding nuclear war and has received honorary degrees from Oberlin College and the University of Venice. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1978-79 and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Political and Social Science and the American Philosophical Society. Jervis chairs the Historical Review Panel for CIA and is an Intelligence Community associate. His current research includes the nature of beliefs, IR theory and the Cold War, and the links between signaling and perception.


Dipali Mukhopadhyay teaches international security at the School of International and Public Affairs, where she is a faculty affiliate of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. She recently published the book Warlords, Strongman Governors and State Building in Afghanistan (Cambridge, 2014). Prior to joining SIPA and Saltzman, Mukhopadhyay spent 2011 as a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University. She has been conducting research in Afghanistan since 2007 and made her first trip to the country for a project with the Aga Khan Development Network in 2004. She also conducted research along the Turkey-Syria border in 2013 and 2014. Mukhopadhyay’s research has been funded by the Carnegie Corporation, the Eisenhower Institute, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the U.S. Institute of Peace, Harvard Law School, and the U.S. Department of Education. Her writings have been published in academic books and journals as well as by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Foreign Policy, U.S. News & World Report, and the Washington Post‘s Monkey Cage Blog. She is a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations. Mukhopadhyay received her doctorate from Tufts University’s Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy in 2010.