Robert F. Turner holds both professional and academic doctorates from the University of Virginia School of Law. He co-founded the Center for National Security Law with Professor John Norton Moore in April 1981 and has served as its Associate Director since then except for two periods of government service in the 1980s and during 1994-95, when he occupied the Charles H. Stockton Chair of International Law at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. A veteran of two Army tours in Vietnam, he served as a Research Associate and Public Affairs Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace before spending five years in the mid-1970s as national security adviser to Senator Robert P. Griffin, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has also served in the Pentagon as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, in the White House as Counsel to the President's Intelligence Oversight Board, at the State Department as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, and as the first President of the congressionally established United States Institute of Peace.
A former three-term chairman of the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security (and for many years editor of the ABA National Security Law Report), Turner has taught undergraduate courses at Virginia on international law, U.S. foreign policy, the Vietnam War, and foreign policy and the law in the Woodrow Wilson Department of Government and Foreign Affairs, in addition to co-teaching with Moore the law school seminars Advanced Topics in National Security Law I & II. The author or editor of more than a dozen books and monographs (including coeditor of the Center's National Security Law and National Security Law Documents) and numerous articles in law reviews and professional journals, Turner has also contributed articles to most of the major U.S. newspapers and has testified before more than a dozen different congressional committees on issues of international or constitutional law and related topics. Turner is a member of the Committee on the Present Danger, the Council on Foreign Relations, and other professional organizations.
Selected Presentations, papers, and documents:
"Parsing the Paradox: Understanding Thomas Jefferson and Slavery," November 2013
"Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory in Vietnam," November 2013
"War Powers Resolution and Military Operations," 8 Aug. 2013, Army JAG School
NSA database leaks discussion on "To the Point" NPR, 13 June, 2013 (Turner begins at 16 min. 52 sec., mp3 audio file)
"Cyberdeterrence" Harvard Law Review Forum, Vol. 126, 2013
"International Terrorism and the Lessons of Thomas Jefferson and the Barbary Pirates" presentation at Univ. of San Diego, April 15, 2013
Podcast (10/05/11) "Was it Constitutional to Kill bin Laden?"-Turner interviewed with John Bellinger (Turner interview begins 39 minutes, 30 seconds into the program)
"Rethinking Executive Power and Counterterrorism" Feb. 4, 2011
"Reflections on the Vietnam War" November 2010 presentation, Air Force Academy
Columbia Law School debate "Al-Aulaqi v. Obama" Sept. 20, 2010
"The Consquences of US Abandonment of Indochina " April 28 2010 presentation, Fall of Saigon conference
"How Political Warfare Caused America to Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory in Vietnam" in The Real Lessons of the Vietnam War, eds. Moore & Turner, 2002
"Contemporary Issues in the Struggle Against Terror" January 2010 presentation, Indiana U.
"Barrack Hussein Walker Bush: Is Obama Another 'Lawbreaking' President?" January 2010 presentation, Univ. of Cincinnati Federalist Society
JB Moore Society presentation "The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the 'Lone Wolf' Terrorist" October 28, 2009
"Space Law and Ballistic Missile Defense" June 2009 presentation
"'Executive Power' in Foreign Affairs," J.B. Moore Society PowerPoint presentation (Oct. 08)
"Authority of Congress and the President to Use Armed Force and the War Powers Resolution," PowerPoint presentation (Oct. 08)
"FISA vs. the Constitution," PowerPoint presentation (Oct. 07)
Professor Turner took part in a written debate with Erwin Chemerinsky, the Alston & Bird Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at Duke University. Sponsored by the Federalist Society, the 12/11/07 debate is linked here.
"Was Operation Iraqi Freedom Legal?" in Bush vs. the Beltway by Laurie Mylroie, 2003
Review of War By Other Means by John Yoo
Cambodia cable (re: orphans-1975)
Griffin-Senate Congressional Record, June 11, 1976