Army General Counsel Speaks at RAND to Kick Off "RANDesq."

On November 1, 2000, the Hon. Charles Blanchard, the Army General Counsel, visited RAND's Arlington office to share his insights on his work as the Army's chief lawyer. Mr. Blanchard's visit kicked off "RANDesq.," a new seminar series that features leading practitioners, scholars and government counsels to discuss various legal topics of current interest with RAND staff in an informal setting.

In his presentation, Mr. Blanchard discussed the major challenges faced by his office, outlining how he is involved with legal aspects of personnel, fiscal, procurement, intelligence oversight, operations and environmental matters. He explained that his 30-attorney office gets excellent support from the Army's 1,500 member Judge Advocate General branch along with Army Corps of Engineers and Army Materiel Command legal staff. By way of example, he commented on his recent work in the environmental compliance area involving the Massachusetts Military Reservation and the National Training Center at Fort Irwin. He stressed that environmental compliance is a serious issue for the Army, noting that the Army must balance its need for realistic training with the Army's legal responsibility to comply with environmental law. Mr. Blanchard concluded that in addition to being a warfighter, the Army needs to be a good biologist as well.

Mr. Blanchard then opened the floor to questions and entertained comments from the RAND staff. Topics raised included "Homeland Security" consequence management issues, Army operations in an extended peacekeeping situation like Kosovo, the changing nature of Army relations with host nations, the Army's use of public-private partnerships, and current litigation concerns involving affirmative action in personnel promotion policies.

In introducing Mr. Blanchard, Dr. David Chu, the Arroyo Center Director, called attention to Mr. Blanchard's service in all three branches of government -- as a judicial clerk to Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, as an Arizona State Senator and as Director, Office of Legal Counsel, Office of National Drug Control Policy, his immediate position before being named Army General Counsel since August 1999. The next RANDesq. speaker is John P. Elwood, a constitutional law expert, who will discuss "The Supreme Court's October 2000 Term: A Roadmap of the Constitutional Terrain" on Wednesday, December 6, 2000.