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War Plane
Featured 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.”

Blogs

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.

Blogs

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. 

Blogs

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:

Blogs

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.” 

Blogs

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
Blogs

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.

Blogs

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. 

Blogs

So What Does the New Republican Majority Mean for National Security Issues In Congress?

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, November 6, 2014

The result is no surprise: Republicans now control both houses of Congress—or, at least, they will come January. I’ll leave it to others to dissect how we should understand last night’s electoral results in political terms, what it means for President Obama, the 2016 election, or the future of American politics.

Blogs

End of Forever War Watch, Election Day Edition

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The wise Walter Pincus had a good piece yesterday in the WP that makes two points: (1) the United States’ fight “against the so-called Islamic State has just begun and will last for years,” and (2) “Iraqi boots on the ground are the only ones that can defeat the Islamic State in Iraq.

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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.