Skip to content

Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Deteriorating U.S.-Russian Relations and Treaty Compliance

By
Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Proceeding in lockstep with a general chill in relations brought about by the Ukraine crisis, the United States and the Russian Federation are currently at odds over compliance with international arms treaties, most notably the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Agreement (INF). Reuters reported that American and Russian officials will meet in Moscow today to discuss allegations . . .
Read more »

Obama’s Foreign Policy and the Nirvana Fallacy

By
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 1:03 PM

President Obama’s foreign policy appears in shambles.  Many of his major decisions – decisions to act, and not to act – seem to have turned out badly.  To take a few examples of prominent criticisms: If the President had not intervened in Libya, we would not now face the large terrorist threats and related disorder . . .
Read more »

Vice News Coverage of The Islamic State

By
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 10:26 AM

We have flagged this remarkable, five-part Vice series before, in our news roundup; to be sure it came to readers’ attention, we opted to note report Medyan Dairieh’s up-close examination of the Islamic State in a standalone post.  Have a look.

My Twitter Exchange with Glenn Greenwald this Morning

By
Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 8:39 AM

The thing kind of speaks for itself: [View the story "My Twitter Exchange with Glenn Greenwald " on Storify]

U.K. Independent Reviewer on British Terrorism Legislation

By
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 3:18 PM

David Anderson, the U.K.’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, has released his annual report on British terrorism laws. The report covers several broad topics: ethnic or community bias in the use of police powers; the worldwide reach of U.K. counter-terrorism law; the difficulties posed by counter-terrorism law to the operation of aid agencies in conflict zones; and . . .
Read more »

A Primer on Legal Developments Regarding Private Military Contractors

By
Friday, July 18, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Recent events again have raised the issue of accountability for alleged human rights violations by Blackwater, the most notorious of the private contractors deployed by the United States in the Iraq war. On June 11, trial finally got underway of four Blackwater guards accused of shooting indiscriminately into traffic in Nisour Square in Baghdad, in . . .
Read more »

The Loss of MH17 Over Ukraine

By
Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Much will, no doubt, be written about the destruction of Malaysian Flight 17 today over Ukraine.  Early speculation is that the plane may have been destroyed by Ukrainian separatists, who deny the charge.  War on the Rocks (a generally useful military blog) has collected many of the most relevant bits of data that form the . . .
Read more »

Opinion from D.C. Circuit in Ralls v. CFIUS

By
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Here it is; you’ll find some background here and here. Today’s ruling from a panel of the D.C. Circuit opens as follows: KAREN LECRAFT HENDERSON, Circuit Judge: In March 2012, Appellant Ralls Corporation (Ralls) purchased four American limited liability companies (Project Companies) previously formed to develop windfarms in north-central Oregon. The transaction quickly came under scrutiny . . .
Read more »

Happy Fourth of July

By
Friday, July 4, 2014 at 12:04 PM

A great version from the Gaither Vocal Band:

Blue Force Tracker

By
Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 11:58 AM

For those who follow events relating to armed conflict, including the laws of war, there is a new resource available — Blue Force Tracker.  BFT is an app now available free download on the Apple or Google Play stores. From the announcement (full disclosure:  the founder, Nolan Peterson, is a former student of mine): Blue . . .
Read more »

The Centennial of the Guns of August and the Great War

By
Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Some years ago, I happened to be in London mid-November and had lunch with a dear friend, my long-time editor at the Times Literary Supplement. I noted he wore a small felt flower–a poppy, I realized–in his jacket lapel and asked him about it. He smiled somewhat ruefully and said, it’s true, Americans have never . . .
Read more »

Military Contractor Liability Returns to the Supreme Court

By
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Whatever the merits of the increasing reliance upon private military contractors (PMCs) for tasks that have historically been the province of the U.S. military, one of the major issues such reliance has raised is the accountability mechanisms for those contractors, especially through civil and criminal litigation. I’ve written at length in the past about the . . .
Read more »

The CIA Joins Twitter

By
Friday, June 6, 2014 at 10:01 PM

And it’s first tweet is, well, pretty amusing: We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet. — CIA (@CIA) June 6, 2014

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Freed in Exchange for Transfer of Five GTMO Detainees

By
Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Some wonderful (and quite NDAA-relevant) news, here reported by Talking Points Memo:  WASHINGTON (AP) — The only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan has been freed and is back in U.S. custody after nearly five years of captivity, U.S. officials said Saturday. The officials said the Taliban agreed to turn over Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for . . .
Read more »

Incredible Photographs of World War I Battlefields a Century Later

By
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 10:09 PM

From Smithsonian magazine and Irish landscape photographer, Michael St. Maur Sheil—who has a new exhibition on World War I battlefields a century on. A taste of a truly astounding collection of photographs: I highly recommend the whole series.

Memorial Day Thought by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

By
Monday, May 26, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Robert Samuelson reminds us today of the Civil War origins of Memorial Day in this lovely piece in the Washington Post, which contains a long excerpt from James McPherson’s terrific Battle Cry of Freedom.  And a friend who serves in the Army writes to me today with another thought appropriate for Memorial Day.  It comes from a . . .
Read more »

Bangkok Blues III: Thailand’s Impossible Military

By
Friday, May 23, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Yesterday, Thailand saw its twelfth successful coup d’état since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932. After almost half a year of escalating political turmoil in the country, about which I have written, the Thai military finally intervened in the current political crisis—a disappointing, but relatively unsurprising move considering the military’s frequent and blithe resort to such measures. There have been more military coups and coup . . .
Read more »

More Bangkok Blues: An Update on Thailand’s Political Crisis

By
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 1:45 PM

I woke up this morning to text messages and Facebook posts about the Thai Constitutional Court’s verdict ousting Thailand’s Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra. The messages ranged from the exuberant “Yeeaaahh! Bye Yingluck!” to the snide. “So I guess the Prime Minister’s [planned] official trips to USA and Canada will no longer happen.” It seems safe . . .
Read more »

Focusing on Law Facilitating Technological Innovation

By
Monday, May 5, 2014 at 4:02 PM

As has been reported widely, the White House Big Data review was released last week. Paul provided initial analysis. While the report does not seem to counsel dramatic action, several of the recommendations suggest that there will be increased consideration of regulating the U.S. technology industry than there has been, at least, to date. Relatedly, . . .
Read more »

Blogging MILOPS: Bringing to Readers a Most Unusual Conference

By
Monday, April 28, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Tuesday morning, Philippines time, finds me in Manila—not with President Obama, but at the U.S. Pacific Command’s 27th annual MILOPS conference. I normally avoid conferences when I can, and I certainly don’t normally look forward to flying around the world and fighting off ferocious jet lag to give a speech. But MILOPS is different from any other . . .
Read more »