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Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Happy Fourth of July

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Friday, July 4, 2014 at 12:04 PM

A great version from the Gaither Vocal Band:

Blue Force Tracker

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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 . . .
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The Centennial of the Guns of August and the Great War

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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 . . .
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Military Contractor Liability Returns to the Supreme Court

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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 . . .
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The CIA Joins Twitter

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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

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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 . . .
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Incredible Photographs of World War I Battlefields a Century Later

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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

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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 . . .
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Bangkok Blues III: Thailand’s Impossible Military

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

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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 . . .
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Focusing on Law Facilitating Technological Innovation

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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, . . .
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Blogging MILOPS: Bringing to Readers a Most Unusual Conference

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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 . . .
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HPSCI in the Next Congress

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Friday, April 25, 2014 at 1:14 PM

What follows is rank speculation.  It is teasing out a trend from some isolated facts and it may well be completely in error.  But, that having been said, the tea leaves tell me that the future holds a far more confrontational relationship between the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the intelligence community which . . .
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Supreme Court Grants Cert. in Zivotofsky

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Monday, April 21, 2014 at 3:43 PM

The Supreme Court granted cert. today in Zivotofsky v. Clinton.  In that case the D.C. Circuit, on remand from the Supreme Court, held that Section 214(d) of the 2003 Foreign Relations Authorization Act, which requires the Secretary of State to record “Israel” as the place of birth on a U.S. citizen’s passport, is an unconstitutional intrusion on . . .
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Metadata, Cellphone Geolocation Tracking, and Innocence

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 7:49 AM

In the current discussions of NSA surveillance, we often talk as though metadata and cell phone tracking are simple creatures of government power. It is government, after all, that collects bulk metadata. And it is government that runs the surveillance programs that scare us most. But it is worth remembering that actual use of this . . .
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Foreign Purchases of U.S. Businesses, Presidential Power, and National Security: Ralls Corp. v. CFIUS

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Friday, April 11, 2014 at 11:00 AM

When then-Representative Barney Frank contemplated the ability of foreign interests to acquire American companies at the expense of national security, he made the following statement: There is no right to buy.  You do not have to file [with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), but by not filing, you do not immunize . . .
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Brookings Event on Afghanistan Elections and Security

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 8:31 AM

I haven’t listened to this event yet, but I certainly plan to. Here’s how Brookings describes it: Today, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings hosted a discussion on the upcoming elections in Afghanistan as well as the planned drawdown of foreign troops by the end of 2014. Participants included General John Allen (USMC, Ret.), . . .
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Exclusive: NSA Program Can Target Thoughts of Millions of Targets, Thousands of Americans

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM

The National Security Agency has developed the capability to mine the thought patterns of millions of people simultaneously, collection that may involve thousands of Americans, according to the latest disclosure from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. An NSA Powerpoint slide refers to the classified program, code-named “MINDPRISM,” as “The Ultimate in Upstream Collection.” A combination . . .
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The James Madison of Our Times ?!

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Monday, March 31, 2014 at 2:32 PM

I was on a panel at American University on Friday to discuss cyber and the role of corporations.  Ben was on the same panel and the moderator (Dan Marcus) introduced Ben as the “James Madison of the Lawfare blog.”  I thought that was kind of neat and it made me think of this picture: BTW, . . .
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On Talbiya, Israel and Palestine

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Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Israelis are a politically vocal bunch.  So I wasn’t particularly surprised to encounter a mass of protestors gathered before the Prime Minister’s house, as I meandered through Jerusalem’s affluent Talbiya neighborhood. Not many people have much hope for the current round of peace talks. And to the average Israeli and Palestinian, made cynical by decades . . .
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