By Andru E. Wall* —
Modern warfare requires close integration of military and intelligence forces. The Secretary of Defense possesses authorities under Title 10 and Title 50 and is best suited to lead US government operations against external unconventional and cyber threats. Titles 10 and 50 create mutually supporting, not mutually exclusive, authorities. Operations conducted under military command and control pursuant to a Secretary of Defense-issued execute order are military operations and not intelligence activities. Attempts by congressional overseers to redefine military preparatory operations as intelligence activities are legally and historically unsupportable. Congress should revise its antiquated oversight structure to reflect our integrated and interconnected world.
* Senior Associate with Alston & Bird LLP; former senior legal advisor for U.S. Special Operations Command Central (2007 to 2009). While this article was cleared for publication as required by my security clearance and nondisclosure agreements, the views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect the position of the U.S. government or Department of Defense.