Antonia Chayes

Borderless Wars

Civil-Military Disorder and Legal Uncertainty

Borderless Wars


The demands of the new, borderless “gray area” conflict have cast civilians and military into unaccustomed roles with inadequate legal underpinning. As the civilian Department of Homeland Security defends the United States against increasing cyber threats and armies of civilian contractors work in paramilitary roles in conflict areas, appropriate roles in wartime and legal boundaries of war demand clarification. In this book, former Under Secretary of the U.S. Air Force Antonia Chayes examines these new gray areas in counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, and cyber warfare. Her innovative soluions for role definition and transparency offer new approaches to a rapidly evolving civil-military-legal environment.

Read an exerpt in the Fletcher Secutiry Review

Borderless Wars
Civil Military Disorder and Legal Uncertainty
ntonia Chayes

“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.” 

- Former Congresswoman Jane Harman
Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence 2002-2006; Director, President & CEO, The Wilson Center

"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."

- -Admiral James Stavridis 
USN Retired, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, 2009–2013, Dean, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

“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.”

- General Carter F. Ham
former Commander, U.S. Africa Command

“Drawing on a lifetime of academic erudition and Beltway savvy, Toni Chayes explores the blurring of traditional lines in 21st 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, U.S. Department of State, 2009-13


“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 the 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 cards about security or democracy.” 

- Martha Minow 
Dean Harvard Law School and author of Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History After Genocide and Mass Violence

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