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Category Archives: Reviews

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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John Witt’s “Lincoln’s Code”

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Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 11:27 AM

As many Lawfare readers know, John Witt has recently published a book called Lincoln’s Code.  The book is about, among many other things, the history of the laws of war in the United States, especially in its first century, and the persistent tensions between idealism and pragmatism (my terms, not John’s) in crafting and complying . . .
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Shane Harris on How Mark Owen Can Stay Out of Prison

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Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Shane Harris at Washingtonian has this snarky little piece about what Mark Owen aka the “squealing SEAL” can do to stay out of prison—since the Pentagon has decided that the book does, in fact, reveal classified information and is debating whether to take legal action. It begins: Dear Mark Owen (a.k.a. Mike Bissonnette), On Tuesday, . . .
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Amy Zegart’s New Column

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Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Amy Zegart of the Hoover Institution, author of several terrific books on intelligence, now has a regular column on intelligence matters at Foreign Policy that should be of great interest to Lawfare readers.  Her first piece uses the kerfuffle over the publication of No Easy Day, the book by Navy Seal Mark Owen (a pseudonym) . . .
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Shane Harris on "No Easy Day"

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Shane Harris at Washingtonian has this review of ex-Navy SEAL Matt Bissonette’s book on the Osama bin Laden raid. It begins: “Let me be clear, I do not consider this to be my story,” writes retired Navy Seal Mark Owen in his firsthand account of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, No Easy Day, . . .
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The Fairness and Effectiveness of Military Commissions: A Response to Jack

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Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 9:42 AM

In a characteristically thougtful essay over at Slate, and building on themes in his new book, Jack returns to a familiar argument–that the extent to which the Obama Administration has embraced military commissions is a telling example in continuity with, and validation of, the policies of the (later part of the) Bush Administration. Moreover, Jack writes, “The . . .
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Readings: Shane Harris, The Human-Free Future of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Journalist Shane Harris (senior writer for Washingtonian magazine and author of the well-received 2010 book, The Watchers) has written a briefing paper for the Hoover Institution’s Task Force on National Security and Law’s Emerging Threats series, Out of the Loop: The Human-Free Future of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.  (Benjamin Wittes, Jack Goldsmith, and I are members . . .
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My Review of William Shawcross’s “Justice and the Enemy”

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Friday, January 20, 2012 at 12:04 PM

It can be found here (and Wells’s review for Lawfare can be found here.)  I liked the book, which uses the dilemmas and compromises of Nuremburg as a lens for Shawcross’s empathetic and fair-minded account of the cross-cutting pressures and difficult trade-offs the Bush administration (and later the Obama administration) faced in deciding how to bring . . .
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Reviews: Thomas Nachbar on Executive Order 13567

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Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 1:00 AM

Thomas B. Nachbar is a most remarkable law professor.  A few years ago, after having achieved wide recognition as a senior University of Virginia scholar known for his work in technology and regulation, he joined the US Army Reserve as a judge advocate. Captain Nachbar works on detention and counterinsurgency law issues: He is a . . .
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Readings: Drones in Civilian Airspace

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Friday, January 13, 2012 at 6:14 PM

As drone aircraft become commonplace in civilian settings – everything from police surveillance to environmental groups tracking whaling vessels to hobbyists and much, much more – and as they become more varied in size and pretty much everything else, well, issues of airspace rapidly crop up.  We tend to focus on the most controversial issues, . . .
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Reviews: CRS Report on U.S. Unmanned Aerial Systems

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:07 PM

The headline news from this Congressional Research Service report (which comes courtesy of Wired’s Danger Room, in a very handy article by Spencer Ackerman) is that, today, nearly one in three US warplanes is a drone: Remember when the military actually put human beings in the cockpits of its planes? They still do, but in . . .
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Reviews: New Reports from CRS

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Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Over at Secrecy News, Steve Aftergood has posted a bunch of new CRS reports of interest to readers of this blog: With the formal ending of the U.S. war in Iraq on December 15, 2011, the Congressional Research Service has produced an updated report on U.S. Periods of War and Dates of Current Conflicts (pdf). “Confusion can occur . . .
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Reviews: Amicus Scholars’ Briefs – Two Views

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 10:30 PM

Last October 2011, Harvard Law School’s Richard Fallon posted to SSRN an essay entitled, “Scholars’ Briefs and the Vocation of  a Law Professor,” which raised serious questions about the ethics of law professors signing onto amicus briefs in a wide variety of cases, particularly those with political, policy, and ideological implications.  He expressed serious reservations . . .
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Reviews: UK House of Commons Library Publishes Briefing on Al-Aulaqi

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Lawfare readers who followed our coverage and analysis of the al-Aulaqi drone strike last fall (archived here) may be interested to see the UK House of Commons Library’s recently released research briefing on the matter (with citations including Jack’s influential post on Lawfare calling for the release of the al-Aulaqi OLC memo or its reasoning, . . .
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The Reviews

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Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Happy New Year to all Lawfare readers.  Starting this month, Lawfare will be offering a new feature, which I will be editing alongside the Book Reviews.  This new feature (tentatively titled just plain “Reviews”) will bring to Lawfare readers a variety of articles, reports, essays, websites, organizations, and other sources that we – well, mostly . . .
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