National Security & Law Task Force

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Analysis and Commentary

Don’t Try Terrorists, Lock Them Up

by Jack Goldsmithvia New York Times
Friday, October 8, 2010

The Obama administration wants to show that federal courts can handle trials of Guantánamo Bay detainees, and had therefore placed high hopes in the prosecution of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, accused in the 1998 bombings of American embassies in East Africa...

Analysis and Commentary

Two Thoughts on Judge Walton’s Al-Bihani Decision

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Friday, October 8, 2010

I have now read Judge Reggie Walton’s opinion affirming the detention of Guantanamo detainee Toffiq Nasser Awad Al-Bihani. In keeping with my usual practice, I will leave it to others to discuss the case’s effect on the “scorecard...

Analysis and Commentary

The Inevitability of Military Detention

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Thursday, October 7, 2010

Largely overlooked in Judge Kaplan’s Ghailani Order is his statement that Ghailani’s “status as an ‘enemy combatant’ probably would permit his detention as something akin to prisoner of war until hostilities between the United States and Al Qaeda and the Taliban end even if he were found not guilty in this case"...

An Orienting Principle for Foreign Policy

by Stephen D. Krasnervia Policy Review
Friday, October 1, 2010

The deficiencies of “Grand Strategy”

Analysis and Commentary

A way past the terrorist detention gridlock

by Jack Goldsmithvia Washington Post
Friday, September 10, 2010

Nine years after Sept. 11 and 20 months into the Obama presidency, our nation is still flummoxed about what to do with captured terrorists...

Analysis and Commentary

Why I Don’t Like the “Scorecard”

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It has become something of a convention in the copious journalism surrounding the Guantanamo habeas litigations to keep a win-loss scorecard...

Paul Kagame and Rwanda's Faux Democracy

by Ruth Wedgwoodvia The New Republic
Thursday, August 5, 2010

If you’re a betting person, here’s a safe bet: On August 9, the balloting in the east African state of Rwanda will give world-famous military leader Paul Kagame yet another seven-year term as president. The astonishing margin of victory will impress even the modern grand viziers of Central Asia. The outcome is quite easy to predict, when no other candidates are allowed to campaign.

Analysis and Commentary

Why does terrorism fascinate me? Because of the terror in my past.

by Jessica Sternvia Washington Post
Sunday, June 20, 2010

For the past 20 years, I have studied the causes of evil and violence. Until recently, I never questioned why I was drawn to this work or why I was able to do it. Now I finally have an answer to the questions...

Analysis and Commentary

Conservatism and the Spirit of Reform

by Peter Berkowitzvia Wall Street Journal
Saturday, June 19, 2010

Republicans squandered their hard-won reputation as the party of ideas. It's time to reclaim it...

Future Challenges: The Roots of Weak Congressional Intelligence Oversight

by Amy Zegart
Monday, June 14, 2010

This essay examines why, ten years after 9/11, the least reformed part of the US intelligence system is Congress, not the CIA or the FBI.


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.