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Barack Obama

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.

In the News

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. 

Analysis and Commentary

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.

Analysis and Commentary

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. 

Analysis and Commentary

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.

Barack Obama
Analysis and Commentary

Why the President Should Seek Congressional Authorization for the Use of Force Against The Islamic State [UPDATE on War Powers Resolution]

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Friday, August 22, 2014

A few days ago I discussed why President Obama is shying away from seeking congressional authorization to use force against The Islamic State (IS, or ISIS, or ISIL).  But as the aims and scope of U.S. military involvement against IS expand on a daily basis, the case for the President getting Congress formally on board continues to grow.  That case, as I see it, is as follows.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Chaos in Libya

by Matthew Waxmanvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

That humanitarian intervention may be tragically counter-productive.

Analysis and Commentary

Quick Thoughts on the (Domestic) Legal Basis for Air Strikes in Iraq

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Thursday, August 7, 2014

As Wells notes, the Obama administration is contemplating air strikes in Iraq to protect threatened religious minorities there. Setting aside the moral and strategic merits of such strikes, how might they be consistent with domestic law?

African Pictorial Collection, Box 2, Hoover Institution Archives.
Analysis and Commentary

What Libya Says About Intervention

by Matthew Waxmanvia Global Public Square (CNN)
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Last month, American diplomats and Marines were evacuated from Tripoli. The 2011 international coalition intervention in Libya was supposed to be a step forward for the Responsibility to Protect doctrine – the notion that if a state fails to protect its citizens from mass atrocities, it becomes the international community's responsibility to do so. Tragically, the current collapse of governance and bloody infighting among factional militias there will instead result in a step backwards for this important principle.

CIA Headquarters
Analysis and Commentary

On the CIA Inspector General’s Findings

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Friday, August 1, 2014

I have largely refrained, until now, from wading into the dispute between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA over the mutual hacking allegations, on the theory that the facts were all contested and I couldn’t make heads or tails of what had really happened.


The Hoover Institution Jean Perkins National Security & Law Task Force is no longer active as of August 31, 2015. This page will not be updated with future posts.

The Briefing

The Briefing provides perspectives on national security under the auspices of the rule of law and US constitutional law.

Lawfare Blog

Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow
Senior Fellow

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.