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There Is a Recent Silver Lining for Gitmo Policy – But It’s Not What People Have Been Talking About

by Matthew Waxmanvia Lawfare
Monday, December 8, 2014

The new National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is likely to extend the ban on any transfers of Guantanamo detainees into the United States but ease restrictions on transfers to other countries.


Senator Menendez’s Draft ISIL AUMF

by Wells C. Bennett, Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Sunday, December 7, 2014

Last Thursday, Bloomberg View’s Josh Rogin had a piece on a draft ISIL authorization put forth by Senator Bob Menendez, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Based on Rogin’s report, it seems Menendez’s legislation was offered as an alternative to a bill authored by Senator Rand Paul.


On Civil Liberties Groups, Threats and Free Speech (A Further Thought on Elonis)

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I might react to the Elonis case a bit less stridently than I did last night had I not recently been involved in a horrid case of online threats directed at someone I know over material she wrote for a website.


Threats, Terrorism, And Domestic Violence

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Monday, December 1, 2014

I confess that I don’t have a lot of patience for all of the very serious discussion people seem to be having about the case of Elonis v. U.S., which was argued today in the Supreme Court. The question before the court was whether conviction under a federal law banning interstate communication of threats requires that the communications be subjectively intended as threats, or whether it’s enough that a reasonable person would have received them as such.


Bruce Fein’s Revealing Defense Of Senator Paul’s Draft Declaration of War

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Friday, November 28, 2014

Earlier this week I analyzed Senator Paul’s proposed war declaration.  Bruce Fein has a spirited defense of Senator Paul’s draft (which includes a swipe at me for asking an “obtuse[e]” question).  But the defense contains two errors that reveal the limits of what the Senator proposes.


China’s ADIZ At One Year

by Matthew Waxmanvia Lawfare
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A year ago this week, China abruptly declared an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) covering a large area of the East China Sea, including islands the legal possession of which China disputes with Japan.


End Of Forever War Watch, Weekend Edition

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Saturday, November 22, 2014

Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt report:


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.

Featured 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
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.”


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.