National Security & Law Task Force

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Analysis and Commentary

Bruce Riedel on the Origins of the Islamic State

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A brief history of the Islamic State in the form of an animated video from my Brookings colleague Bruce Riedel. Bruce is the director of The Intelligence Project at Brookings, and he spent 30 years at the Central Intelligence Agency.

Analysis and Commentary

Bret Stephens' Call for Robust U.S. Foreign Policy

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics
Sunday, November 16, 2014

The disarray of American foreign policy has perilous consequences that are global in reach.

War Plane
Analysis and Commentary

Five Principles That Should Govern Any U.S. Authorization Of Force

by Jack Goldsmith, Ryan Goodman, Steve Vladeck via Washington Post
Friday, November 14, 2014

President Obama has stated that he wants “to begin engaging Congress” over a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic State and also that he wants to “right-size and update” the 2001 AUMF “to suit the current fight, rather than previous fights.”

Analysis and Commentary

Pew Study Says Exactly What You’d Expect on Privacy

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Pew Research Internet Project has released a new public opinion study that shows exactly what you would expect the public believes about privacy, surveillance, and related matters. The study seems to have involved a major effort, and I read it yesterday expecting to find some new insight into public opinion about privacy.

Analysis and Commentary

The U.S.-China Climate “Deal” Does Less Than Has Been Hyped

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Thursday, November 13, 2014

I am (as I have previously noted) no expert on climate change.  But reading the text of the much-vaunted U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change makes me think there is a large gap between how the document is being spun and what it actually does. 

Analysis and Commentary

A New AUMF, The Lame-Duck Session, and the Meaning of Sunset Clauses

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Two quick reactions to John Bellinger’s post on a new ISIL AUMF:

Analysis and Commentary

Why A Substantively Neutral But Procedurally Constraining AUMF Makes Sense

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A few weeks ago Matthew Waxman and I ended our critical essay on President Obama’s war powers legacy by noting that “Obama’s legacy will look quite different if, after the midterm elections, he seeks and receives congressional authorization for the use of force against IS, especially if he also works with Congress on a framework statute that updates the 2001 AUMF to deal with the many emerging threats around the world in a principled, transparent manner with prudent limits.” 

Analysis and Commentary

A Response to Steve Vladeck on the AUMF Principles

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I am a little perplexed by Steve’s response to my critique of the AUMF principles he helped write. Steve accuses me of “hiding the ball.” But he seems to me, rather, to be moving the goalposts. He may have moved them into a position that, as he suggests, gives rise to less disagreement on my part with the principles he is advancing.

War Plane
Analysis and Commentary

The Lawfare Podcast, Episode #99: Jack Goldsmith on “Obama’s War Powers Legacy”

by Benjamin Wittesfeaturing Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Saturday, November 8, 2014

Last month, Jack gave a talk at the Hoover Institution on President Obama’s war powers legacy. It’s a remarkable address: hard-hitting, clear, and sure to discomfort Obama’s defenders on war powers issues. In essence, Jack argues that Obama has gone way beyond President Bush in the aggressiveness of his approach vis a vis Congress to initiating overseas conflict.

Analysis and Commentary

The Complexities in an Islamic State AUMF

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Friday, November 7, 2014

In August I described a politically palatable AUMF against the Islamic State (IS).  What was politically palatable in August is not necessarily politically palatable after three months of air strikes, however, and will likely be even less so when a new and different-looking Congress comes to power next year. 

Pages

The Hoover Institution Jean Perkins National Security & Law Task Force is no longer active as of August 31, 2015. This page will not be updated with future posts.

The Briefing

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

Lawfare Blog

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.