National Security & Law Task Force

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Analysis and Commentary

The New Rules of Engagement

by Philip Bobbittvia Newsweek
Monday, January 11, 2010

Nine imperatives for our post-9/11 world. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

5 myths about who becomes a terrorist

by Jessica Sternvia Washington Post
Sunday, January 10, 2010

By now, more than eight years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, we should be better at plucking a terrorist out of an airport security line. . . .

Mind Over Martyr

by Jessica Sternvia Foreign Affairs
Friday, January 1, 2010

Is it possible to deradicalize terrorists and their potential recruits? Saudi Arabia, a pioneer in rehabilitation efforts, claims that it is. Since 2004, more than 4,000 militants have gone through Saudi Arabia's programs, and the graduates have been reintegrated into mainstream society much more successfully than ordinary criminals.

Analysis and Commentary

No place to write detention policy

by Jack Goldsmith, Benjamin Wittesvia Washington Post
Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Since U.S. forces started taking alleged terrorists to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the task of crafting American detention policy has migrated decisively from the executive branch to federal judges. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Moving Gitmo to America

by Kenneth Andersonvia New York Times
Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Obama administration announced on Tuesday its decision to transfer terrorism suspects held at Guantánamo Bay to an empty state prison in Illinois. . . .

The KSM Trial Will Be Fair Enough

by Jack Goldsmithvia Slate
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The Obama administration's decision to prosecute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court has brought charges from across the political spectrum that his trial will be unfair and thus illegitimate. Critics have articulated three separate concerns.
Analysis and Commentary

Going Backwards in Beirut

by Peter Berkowitzvia Weekly Standard
Monday, November 30, 2009

Hezbollah still holds power despite losing the election. . . .

The Use of Force Against States that 'Might' Have Weapons of Mass Destruction

by Matthew Waxmanvia Michigan Journal of International Law, Vol. 31, No. 1, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
The Iraq war rekindled debate - a debate now further inflamed in discussions of Iran and North Korea - about the legal use of force to disarm an adversary state believed to pose a threat of catastrophic attack, including with weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Colliding with this debate is the stark fact that intelligence about hostile states’ WMD capabilities is and will remain limited and uncertain. This Article examines the following question: How should international legal rules on the use of force handle this intelligence gap?
In the News

As robots become more common, Stanford experts consider the legal challenges

with Kenneth Andersonvia Stanford News
Monday, November 23, 2009

Stanford scholars are among the first in the country to ponder the potential legal questions facing the emerging field of personal robotics. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Holder's reasonable decision

by Jack Goldsmithvia Washington Post
Friday, November 20, 2009

Reasonable minds can disagree about Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to prosecute Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other alleged Sept. 11 perpetrators in a Manhattan federal court. . . .


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.