U.S. STRATCOM Advanced Operational Law Conference 2018

Defense Planning and Legal Practice in 21st Century Domains

5-7 September 2018

Col. Darren C. Huskisson, Staff Judge Advocate, U.S. Strategic Command, invites military members and select academic scholars to Nebraska for this third annual conference. The ongoing conference objective is to share best practices on strategic level international and operational law, with a focus on the legal challenges facing current practitioners. The conference is intended to be a forum to discuss the evolving space domain, nuclear weapons, and to increase the understanding of potential adversaries and issues relating to the law of war. The conference will provide an opportunity to develop professional relationships with counterparts within the U.S. government and the wider academic community.

This conference is presented by U.S. Strategic Command with support from the University of Nebraska College of Law Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law program and the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska. 

Conference topics and panels include "Manuals on the Military Use of Outer Space and The Law of War in Space: Woomera Manual and Beyond," "The Consequence of Nuclear Engagement in the Pacific," "Artificial Intelligence: The Third Offset Strategy?" and more!

View the Full Agenda (subject to change)


P.W. Singer HeadshotWe are proud to announce that author and scholar P.W. Singer will be keynoting the conference on 6 September. Mr. Singer is a strategist at New America and an editor at Popular Science magazine. He has been named by the Smithsonian as one of the nation's 100 leading innovators, by Defense News as one of the 100 most influential people in defense issues, by Foreign Policy to their Top 100 Global Thinkers List, as an official "Mad Scientist" for the U.S. Army's Training and Doctrine Command, and by Onalytica social media data analysis as one of the ten most influential voices in the world on cybersecurity and 25th most influential in the field of robotics. His award winning books include Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, Children at War, Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century; and Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know.

Mr. Singer's novel Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War, a technothriller crossed with nonfiction research, which has been endorsed by people who range from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to the co-inventor of the Internet to the writer of HBO Game of Thrones.

His past work include serving at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Harvard University, and as the founding director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings, where he was the youngest person named senior fellow in its 100 year history.

Brian Weeden HeadshotThe second conference keynote will be from Dr. Brian Weeden the afternoon of 6 September. Dr. Brian Weeden is the Director of Program Planning for Secure World Foundation and has nearly two decades of professional experience in space operations and policy. Dr. Weeden directs strategic planning for future-year projects to meet the Foundation's goals and objectives, and conducts research on space debris, global space situational awareness, space traffic management, protection of space assets, and space governance. Dr. Weeden also organizes national and international workshops to increase awareness of and facilitate dialogue on space security, stability, and sustainability topics. He is a member and former Chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Space Technologies, and is also a member of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing(ACCRES) to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Prior to joining SWF, Dr. Weeden served nine years on active duty as an officer in the United States Air Force working in space and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) operations. As part of U.S. Strategic Command's Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC), Dr. Weeden directed the orbital analyst training program and developed tactics, techniques and procedures for improving space situational awarenessRespected and recognized as an international expert, Dr. Weeden's research and analysis have been featured in The New York TimesThe Washington PostNational Public RadioUSA TodayThe BBCFox NewsChina Radio InternationalThe Economist, The World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, academic journals, presentations to the United Nations, and testimony before the U.S. Congress. 

Location + Travel Information


The first day of the conference will be held on Offutt AFB at the Dougherty Conference Center. Day one of the conference, 5 Sept, is CLASSIFIED. Details forthcoming on clearance levels and submitting information to verify and attend.

All other events will be held at the Beardmore Event Center of Bellevue attached to the conference hotel, Courtyard Omaha Bellevue, located at 3750 Raynor Parkway Bellevue, NE 68123.


A hotel room block for 4, 5, and 6 September has been created at the Courtyard Omaha Bellevue, located at 3750 Raynor Parkway Bellevue, NE 68123. To take advantage of the room block, at government rates, please call the front desk at (402) 408-5300 and request the STRATCOM Operational Law conference room block.

Traveling to Omaha:

Attendees should plan to fly into the Omaha Airport (OMA). 

Registration + Attendee Information

Register Here via UNL Marketplace
In the past, the javascript necessary to support the University Marketplace has tripped certain military and secured networks security settings. If you're unable to access the form please contact elsbeth@unl.edu to receive a PDF form.

In order to streamline a higher quality meal service for this event, attendees will be asked to pay a mandatory flat rate to attend which covers the costs of all meals. Attendees may pay with a credit card when registering online or select the option to pay with cash or check at the conference registration table. There are two fee options: 

$75 for all three days (5-7 Sept, includes 3 continental breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 appetizer reception)


$60 for the two UNCLASSIFIED days only (6-7 Sept, includes 2 continental breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 appetizer reception)

There is no other fee associated with conference registration. Line item receipts are available at the event. 

Security Requirements

5 September 2018, the first day of the AOLC, we will be covering classified information.  The first portion of the day will be Secret, with varying levels releasability, and the afternoon will be TS/SCI.  In order to attend any portion of the classified day of the conference your security manager will need to send a visit request through JPAS so that we can verify your access. 

POC name:   TSgt Kassandra Suggs

POC email:  kassandra.d.suggs.mil@mail.mil

POC Phone:  402-294-6321

Collateral SMO Code:  STRATJ006


SCI email:  stratcom.offutt.j2.mbx.sso-inbox@mail.mil

SCI phone:  402-294-3337

Alternatively, you can email TSgt Suggs your SSN and she can pull your information in JPAS.  We will not have easy access to JPAS the day of the conference, so if you intend on participating in the classified day please have your security information to us by 30 August 2018 so that we can compile an EAL.

You will only be permitted to attend the briefings for which you have appropriate accesses.  We will not be conducting read ins on site, so please confirm with your security manager that your accesses are up to date.

Uniforms + Dress

For military participants, normal working uniform at US Strategic Command is NWU/ACU/ABU.

Non-military attendees should dress in business attire. 


Elsbeth Magilton
College of Law, Executive Director of the Space, Cyber, and Telecom Law Program
E-mail: elsbeth@unl.edu
Phone: 402-472-1662

Cdr Gretchen Sosbee
Deputy Staff Judge Advocate
Phone: 402-294-6321
NIPR: gretchen.d.sosbee.mil@mail.mil
SIPR: gretchen.d.sosbee.mil@mail.smil.mil
JWICS: gretchen.d.sosbee@coe.ic.gov

A Message from Nebraska Law Space, Cyber, and Telecom Law Executive Director Elsbeth Magilton from the 2017 Conference:

I want to thank everyone who attended and contributed to the Advanced Operational Law Conference. I hope you found the presentations and the conversations that followed substantively rich, thought provoking, and at times challenging. I believe we are in a transformative moment in several domains and that conversations like these are vital to us as practitioners, researchers, and operators. 

I also want to extend a thank you to CDR Gretchen Sosbee and Chief Stephen Thaggard who were fundamental in the creation, development, and deployment of this conference and their team who helped with the many details. I also want to thank the team at NSRI who helped us manage registration and meals.

Conference Group Photo

Please don't hesitate to reach out for contacts and other questions. 

Elsbeth Magilton