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A Friendship Scathed

interview with Peter Berkowitzvia Secure Freedom Radio
Friday, October 31, 2014

Secure Freedom Radio's Frank Gaffney interviews Hoover fellow Peter Berkowitz about Israel and the struggle over the international laws of war.

The Supreme Court

How the Supreme Court Should Resolve Zivotofsky

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Thursday, October 30, 2014

Zivotofsky is an important case because it appears to require the Supreme Court to address the scope of the President’s exclusive foreign relations power vis a vis Congress.  This is a very hard question, rarely addressed by the Court, about which the relevant sources (text, original meaning, historical practice) are, in my view, unclear.

American Flags

Susan Rice Did Not Consult DOD When She Urged Repeal of 2002 AUMF That DOD (Correctly) Thought Was “Still Needed”

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, October 27, 2014

Michael Hirsh has a piece at Politico on the disorganized, uncoordinated crafting and implementation of the administration’s strategy to defeat the Islamic State.  Of particular interest to Lawfare readers is the news that National Security Advisor Susan Rice failed to consult with DOD when she wrote a letter to Congress last summer asking for the repeal of the 2002 AUMF.


President Obama Is Right

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, October 23, 2014

President Obama is right.

He was right when he said, as a presidential candidate in 2007, that “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”


North Korean Ambassador to the UN Talks at CFR

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

In case you need a macabre laugh. Transcript is available here if you can’t stand watching Jang Il Hun compare human rights in his country favorably to those in South Korea.

US-Iran Relations

Some Implications of President Obama’s Plans to Sidestep Congress on Iranian Sanctions

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

David Sanger recently reported that the Executive branch thinks it can suspend “the vast majority” of congressional sanctions unilaterally if it reaches a deal with Iran to forestall that nation’s nuclear weapons program. 

Barack Obama

Obama’s Surprising War Powers Legacy

by Jack Goldsmith, Matthew Waxmanvia Lawfare
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We have an essay in The New Republic titled Obama, Not Bush, Is the Master of Unilateral War.  It argues that President Obama, ironically in light of his own lofty rhetoric about lodging war decisions with “the people’s representatives” in Congress, has through his practices created new precedents that push outward the boundaries of unilateral presidential powers to initiate military conflict.

Featured Commentary

Obama, Not Bush, Is the Master of Unilateral War

by Jack Goldsmith, Matthew Waxmanvia New Republic
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Late in the summer of 2013, President Barack Obama pulled back from his announced plans to use unilateral military force against Syria and stated that he would instead seek Congress’s approval. “I believe our democracy is stronger when the president acts with the support of Congress,” and “America acts more effectively abroad when we stand together,” he said.


Hawk v. Drone

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Sunday, October 12, 2014



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.