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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.  

Blogs

Yet Another Iraq War Powers Letter, and a Response to Lederman

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Yesterday the President sent his seventh Iraq-related War Powers Resolution (WPR) letter since June, and the fourth in about a month.  The new letter concerns U.S. Armed Forces using “targeted airstrikes in the vicinity of the Haditha Dam in support of Iraqi forces in their efforts to retain control of and defend this critical infrastructure site from ISIL.” 

Barack Obama
Interviews

Jack Goldsmith on the John Batchelor Show (29:37)

via John Batchelor Show
Monday, September 8, 2014

Senior Fellow Jack Goldsmith discusses Iraq and war powers on the John Batchelor Show.

Other Media

The War Powers Clock(s) in Iraq

mentioning Jack Goldsmithvia Just Security
Monday, September 8, 2014

Jack Goldsmith has a very helpful post up on Lawfare, explaining that the President had issued three separate War Powers notifications to Congress over the past month with respect to U.S. uses of force in Iraq against ISIL. 

Blogs

Bone-Crushing Zombie Action

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Here at Lawfare, we try to spot critical legal issues impacting national security before they’re really upon us . . . and eating our brains. Too often, American policymakers have not taken emerging threats seriously, only to find themselves on the wrong side of finger-pointing national commissions after tragedy strikes.

Blogs

A New Tactic to Avoid War Powers Resolution Time Limits?

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Yesterday President Obama sent a War Powers Resolution (WPR) letter to Congress concerning U.S. airstrikes “in support of an operation to deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians in the town of Amirli, Iraq.”  This is the third Iraq WPR letter to Congress in a month, and the sixth this summer. 

Blogs

The Case for a Broader ISIS AUMF

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, August 28, 2014

Like all red-blooded national security law nerds, I have been following Jack’s excellent posts over the past week on the politics and the advisability of a potential ISIS AUMF—the last of which post, which ran yesterday, offered strategies for narrowing a potential authorization to make it more politically doable.

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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

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.