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Blogs

Why it Might Matter Whether the Islamic State Was AUMF-able Last Year

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, September 30, 2014

In February, Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller wrote a story in the WP about how Al-Qaeda’s then-recent expulsion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, now Islamic State, or IS) raised questions about whether the AUMF “still applies” to ISIS. 

Blogs

Readings: An International Legal Framework for Surveillance, a New Article by Ashley Deeks

by Kenneth Andersonvia Lawfare
Friday, September 26, 2014

Lawfare’s own Ashley Deeks (University of Virginia School of Law) has released a new article, “An International Legal Framework for Surveillance,” available on SSRN and forthcoming in the Virginia Journal of International Law (Vol. 55, 2015). 

Speaking the Law book cover
Featured Commentary

Speaking the Law: Chapters 4 and 5

by Kenneth Anderson, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Hoover Institution has released Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 of our serialized book: Speaking the Law: The Obama Administration’s Addresses on National Security Law. Here are the Introduction and Chapter 1Chapter 2,  and Chapter 3.

Speaking the Law: Chapter 5

by Kenneth Anderson, Benjamin Wittesvia Analysis
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

In chapter 5, the authors look at the criticisms of the Obama administration’s legal policies on counterterrorism from both the political Right and the political Left—and explain why they largely reject both. They assert that although the framework of law and legitimacy that the administration has laid out is not without its problems, the legal, ethical, and policy framework is far more robust, as a matter of law, morality, and legitimacy, than the critics acknowledge. Moreover, in the view of the authors, it compares favorably with all the alternatives the various strains of critics have proposed in its stead.

Speaking the Law: Chapter 4

by Kenneth Anderson, Benjamin Wittesvia Analysis
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

In chapter 4, the authors discuss the Obama administration’s speeches in response to the NSA revelations made public by Edward Snowden and review the involvement of other branches of government in the legal framework described in the administration’s national security speeches. They explore the degree to which each branch is implicated in major aspects of the administration’s position. They also look at the degree to which the international system and its actors—other countries and international nongovernmental organizations—have had their voices heard, even though outsiders to the government, and have exerted leverage to influence it.

Blogs

The Financial Costs of Guantanamo

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jessica Schulberg, writing at the New Republic, has a good piece about the financial costs of Congress’s insistence on maintaining the detention facility at Guantanamo:

Blogs

Are We Facing an ISIS Detention Mess?

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Monday, September 22, 2014

Over at Newsweek, Jeff Stein wonders: “What Will U.S. Forces Do With ISIS Prisoners?

Blogs

Ongoing “Covert” Training of Syrian Rebels: But Is It Still Covert . . . , And, If So, Why?

by Jack Goldsmith, Marty Ledermanvia Lawfare
Monday, September 22, 2014

Last week Congress approved, and the President signed, legislation that authorizes the Secretary of Defense (see section 149) to “provide assistance, including training, equipment, supplies, and sustainment, to appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition and other appropriately vetted Syrian groups and individuals,” for three specified purposes, including “defending the Syrian people from attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and securing territory controlled by the Syrian opposition.”

Blogs

Readings: Adapting the Law of Armed Conflict to Autonomous Weapon Systems

by Kenneth Anderson, Matthew Waxmanvia Lawfare
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

We are pleased to share our recently published article on law and autonomous weapons, on which we teamed up with our good friend Daniel Reisner (formerly head of the Israel Defense Forces International Law Department). The article, “Adapting the Law of Armed Conflict to Autonomous Weapon Systems,” appears as 90 International Law Studies 386 (2014), available online at SSRN (free pdf download).

Blogs

Further Reflections on the Legal Rationale For Using Force Against the Islamic State

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Friday, September 12, 2014

I had a pretty harsh reaction to the administration’s claim that Congress in the 2001 AUMF authorized force against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.  (For a different view, see Marty Lederman’s post.)  While I think the administration’s interpretation of the 2001 AUMF is unconvincing, I do not believe (as Bruce Ackerman appears to say today in the NYT) that military action against the Islamic State — to date or in the future — is unlawful under the Constitution.  

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The Briefing

The Briefing provides perspectives on national security under the auspices of the rule of law and US constitutional law.

Lawfare Blog

Privacy, Security, and the National Security Agency (NSA)

Hoover hosts Intelligence Challenges Workshop

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hoover senior fellow Amy Zegart and National Security Affairs Fellow Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Atkins hosted thirty five experts from government, the military, academia, and the private sector for a day-long workshop examining key current and emerging intelligence challenges. 

Event
The Briefing: Second Term Challenges - header

Second Term Challenges

Thursday, January 24, 2013

As Barack Obama begins his second term as president of the United States, the nation faces a range of formidable challenges at the intersection of which are national security and law.

News
Jeremy Rabkin (left) and Ariel Rabkin

New essay concerning cyber threats from the National Security and Law Task Force

Monday, May 21, 2012

The newest essay, “To Confront Cyber Threats, We Must Rethink the Law of Armed Conflict,” by Jeremy and Ariel Rabkin, is available on the Emerging Threats essay series page.

News
Living with the UN: American Responsibilities and International Order

International Law Expert Defines Ideal United States-United Nations Relationship Living with the UN: American Responsibilities and International Order

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Stanford

Hoover Institution Press today released Living with the UN: American Responsibilities and International Order by Ken Anderson. In this book, Anderson examines the relationship between the United States and the United Nations and analyzes their interaction on issues including security, human rights, and development.

Press Releases
Israel and the Struggle over the International Laws of War

Politics and Law Scholar Peter Berkowitz Examines the Politicization of the Laws of War in Israel and the Struggle over the International Laws of War (Hoover Institution Press)

Monday, April 9, 2012
Stanford

Hoover Institution Press released Israel and the Struggle over the International Laws of War by Hoover senior fellow Peter Berkowitz. Berkowitz defends the international laws of war by exposing the flawed assumptions and defective claims that have gained currency from The Goldstone Report (2009 Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission) and the Gaza Flotilla controversy. In both instances, Berkowitz argues, accusations of unlawful conduct directed at Israel by official bodies of the United Nations, European states, Arab states, and Turkey that relied more on bluster and the determination to gain political advantage than on sound legal analysis. In both cases those accusations worked to criminalize not only Israel’s legitimate right of self-defense but all liberal democracies’ right to defend themselves against transnational terror.

Press Releases
National Security and Law Task Force meeting, January 2012.

Hoover Institution hosts National Security and Law Task Force meeting

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Koret-Taube Task Force on National Security and Law met at the Hoover Institution on Thursday, January 5, 2012, to discuss the pressing challenges the United States confronts as it seeks, consistent with the Constitution and the international laws of war, to defend the nation and, where necessary, wage war.

News
Eyes on Spies: Congress and the United States Intelligence Community

Hoover Institution Press Releases Book Highlighting Why America's Post-9/11 Intelligence System Remains Dysfunctional

Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Stanford

Hoover Institution Press today released Eyes on Spies: Congress and the United States Intelligence Community by Hoover senior fellow Amy Zegart. Zegart's commentary is especially poignant in light of tenth anniversary of 9/11. As the nation evaluates whether we are safer today than we were ten years ago, Zegart examines surprising reasons for weaknesses in the US intelligence community and sheds light on why deficiencies continue to persist.

Press Releases
The Hoover Institution’s Koret-Taube Task Force on National Security and Law met June 10 and 11.

Hoover's National Security and Law Task Force Hosts Meeting

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Hoover Institution’s Koret-Taube Task Force on National Security and Law, which examines the rule of law, the laws of war, and American constitutional law with a view to promoting proposals that strike an optimal balance between individual freedom and the vigorous defense of the nation against terrorists both abroad and at home, met June 10 and 11.

News
Stewart A. Baker

Stewart Baker, former Homeland Security official, addressed Hoover’s Koret-Taube Task Force on National Security and Law

Thursday, January 7, 2010

On January 7, 2010, Stewart Baker, former assistant secretary of Homeland Security, explained how exponential advances in technology improve the quality of life while at the same time provide terrorists unprecedented powers to wreak death and destruction.

News
Ruth Wedgewood

Task Force on National Security and Law Dinner

Thursday, June 11, 2009
Hoover

The Hoover Institution’s Koret-Taube Task Force on National Security and Law dinner was held in the Nicolas de Basily Room of the Hoover Tower on June 11. Task force member Ruth Wedgewood delivered before-dinner remarks titled “Piracy and the Law Adrift.”

Event

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The National Security and Law Task Force examines the rule of law, the laws of war, and American constitutional law with a view to making proposals that strike an optimal balance between individual freedom and the vigorous defense of the nation against terrorists both abroad and at home.

The task force’s focus is the rule of law and its role in Western civilization, as well as the roles of international law and organizations, the laws of war, and U.S. criminal law. Those goals will be accomplished by systematically studying the constellation of issues—social, economic, and political—on which striking a balance depends.

Peter Berkowitz serves as chair of the National Security and Law Task Force.