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Real Spies, Fake Spies, NSA, and More: What My 2012 and 2013 National Polls Reveal

by Amy Zegartvia Lawfare
Thursday, November 7, 2013

In August 2012, thanks to YouGov, I launched my first national survey to probe more deeply about what Americans know about intelligence agencies, what they think about controversial intelligence programs, and where those attitudes come from. In light of th


Lawfare Podcast Episode #46: Speaking on “Speaking the Law”

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Sunday, November 3, 2013

On October 25, the Hoover Institution held a terrific day-long media colloquium out at Stanford University for a first-rate group of journalists focused on national security legal issues and the work of Hoover's Jean Perkins Task Force on National Security

Featured Commentary

Killer Robots and the Laws of War

by Kenneth Anderson, Matthew Waxmanvia Wall Street Journal
Sunday, November 3, 2013

With each new drone strike by the United States military, anger over the program mounts. On Friday, in one of the most significant U.S. strikes, a drone killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud in the lawless North Waziristan region bordering Afghanistan.

Featured Commentary

The NSA's Image Problem

by Amy Zegart, Marshall Erwinvia Los Angeles Times
Thursday, October 31, 2013

In the wake of Edward Snowden 's ongoing revelations about U.S. surveillance programs, the National Security Agency is facing the worst crisis in its 60-year history. Today, too many Americans mistakenly believe the NSA is listening to their phone calls and reading their emails. But misperception is only part of the agency's problem. In an Oct. 5-7 YouGov national poll we commissioned, we also found the more that Americans understand the NSA's activities, the less they support the agency.

Book Review: 'Treasury's War,' by Juan Zarate

by Stewart Bakervia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

In "Treasury's War," Juan Zarate relates how, after 9/11, he and a band of "guerrillas in gray suits" turned the Treasury Department's authority over the world's financial system into a powerful and creative weapon against America's enemies.

Other Media

Nearly 6 Months Into Snowden Affair, Opinion Still Split on Motives

with Philip Bobbitt, Amy Zegart, Benjamin Wittes, Hoover Institutionvia Los Angeles Times
Monday, October 28, 2013

James Costos, the U.S. ambassador to Spain, was called on the Foreign Ministry carpet Monday to be informed of the Madrid government's anger over reports that U.S. intelligence spied on 60 million phone calls in Spain in one month alone.


The Debt Ceiling as a National Security Issue

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Wednesday, October 16, 2013

If a body other than the Congress of the United States were actively contemplating a step that would, by the accounts of virtually all economists, tank the U.S. economy, cause interest rates to shoot up, and trigger a financial crisis, we would talk about


Drones Are the Future for Dull or Dangerous Missions

by Kenneth Andersonvia Lawfare
Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The splendidly quotable title quote - "Clearly, drones are the future for dull or dangerous missions" - comes from Dan Jangblad , chief strategy officer for Sweden's aerospace company, Saab AB, by way of an article in today's Wall Street Journal (David Pea

Featured Commentary

Zegart Joins Scholars at NSA for Rare Briefing on Spy Agency's Woes

with Amy Zegartvia Center for International Security And Cooperation (CISAC)
Thursday, September 26, 2013

CISAC Co-Director Amy Zegart joins other intelligence scholars for a rare briefing with high-ranking NSA officials to discuss the spy agency's policies and plummeting public trust.

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The Path to Peace in the Holy Land

by Peter Berkowitzvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, September 26, 2013

Israelis and Palestinians must recognize each other’s national claims and human rights.


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.