National Security & Law Task Force

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Analysis and Commentary

Peter Galbraith's $100M Oil Patch

by Ruth Wedgwoodvia Forbes
Thursday, November 19, 2009

A glimpse at globe-trotting diplomats and conflicting interests. . . .

Guantánamo, Habeas Corpus, and Standards of Proof: Viewing the Law Through Multiple Lenses

by Matthew Waxmanvia Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Vol. 42, p. 245, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Supreme Court held in Boumediene v. Bush that Guantánamo detainees have a constitutional right to habeas corpus review of their detention, but it left to district courts in the first instance responsibility for working through the appropriate standard of proof and related evidentiary principles imposed on the government to justify continued detention. This article argues that embedded in seemingly straightforward judicial standard-setting with respect to proof and evidence are significant policy questions about competing risks and their distribution.

Analysis and Commentary

Bombing The Moon

by Kenneth Andersonvia Forbes
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The rocket that NASA aimed at the Moon last week did not produce the public relations bonanza the agency was hoping for--a cloud of dust visible to amateur earth astronomers...

Intervention to Stop Genocide and Mass Atrocities: International Norms and U.S. Policy

by Matthew Waxmanvia Council on Foreign Relations
Thursday, October 1, 2009

On a stone wall at the memorial of the Dachau concentration camp, a promise is written in five languages: "Never Again." Yet in the decades since the Holocaust, in places from Cambodia to Rwanda to Darfur, international actors have failed to mount an effective response to mass atrocities.

Analysis and Commentary

Obama's Dick Cheney Moment

by Benjamin Wittesvia Washington Post
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

President Obama's decision not to go to Congress for help in establishing reasonable standards for the continued detention of Guantanamo detainees is a failure of leadership in the project of putting American law on a sound basis for a long-term confrontation with terrorism.

Comptence and Charm - In Defense of Ban Ki-Moon

by Ruth Wedgwoodvia Forbes
Thursday, September 24, 2009

The grand opening of a United Nations General Assembly has its moral hazards. The flamboyant arrival of extravagant personalities–such as Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi–can make a democratic leader quiver, worrying that the paparazzi might capture a common moment in the hallway.

Legislating the War on Terror - book cover

Legislating the War on Terror: An Agenda for Reform

by Benjamin Wittesvia Brookings Institution Press
Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Editor Wittes heads an authoritative lineup of legal experts and former government officials; together they present an agenda for reforming the statutory law governing this new battle, balancing the need for security, the rule of law, and the constitutional rights of freedom.

Analysis and Commentary

Releasing Al-Megrahi Bodes Ill

by Ruth Wedgwoodvia Forbes
Friday, August 21, 2009

At every turn, Libya has probed the weakness of the West...

Analysis and Commentary

Calculus and Compassion

by Philip Bobbittvia New York Times
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

FOR Christmas in 1963 we gathered at the ranch that had belonged to my great-grandfather, a few miles outside the town — Johnson City — named for our family...

Analysis and Commentary

Defend America, One Laptop at a Time

by Jack Goldsmithvia New York Times
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

OUR economy, energy supply, means of transportation and military defenses are dependent on vast, interconnected computer and telecommunications networks...


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.