Skip to content

Tag Archives: Barack Obama

The Lawfare Podcast: Natan Sachs on Bibi’s Big Day in Washington

By
Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 1:55 PM

This week, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a controversial address to a joint session of Congress in a move not coordinated with President Barack Obama. The speech, repeatedly interrupted by thunderous applause, focused on the nature of the developing nuclear accord between the P5+1 and Iran and insisted a better deal was possible. The speech . . .
Read more »

Will President Obama Go Where He Promised He Wouldn’t?

By
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 8:16 AM

Over at Just Security, Steve Vladeck and a group of scholars have posted a letter to President Obama asking him to include in his AUMF proposal not merely a sunset for the new ISIS AUMF but one for the underlying 2001 AUMF too. “We think it is . . . vitally important that any statute . . .
Read more »

What Would it Actually Take to Close Guantanamo?

By
Monday, February 2, 2015 at 10:31 PM

Obama reiterated in his State of the Union address that he is committed to closing Guantanamo: “Since I’ve been President, we’ve worked responsibly to cut the population of Gitmo in half.  Now it is time to finish the job.  And I will not relent in my determination to shut it down.  It is not who . . .
Read more »

The Arguments About Guantanamo are Nearly All Wrong, Disingenuous, Irrelevant, or Just Plain Dumb

By
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 9:25 AM

Last night, President Obama restated his long-standing desire to close Guantanamo: “As Americans, we have a profound commitment to justice—so it makes no sense to spend three million dollars per prisoner to keep open a prison that the world condemns and terrorists use to recruit.  Since I’ve been President, we’ve worked responsibly to cut the population of . . .
Read more »

Relevant Passages of President Obama’s State of the Union Address

By
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 9:32 PM

The following are the passages of tonight’s State of the Union address that seem to me most relevant to the Lawfare readership: Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.  Six years ago, nearly 180,000 American troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Today, fewer than 15,000 remain.  And we salute the courage . . .
Read more »

President Obama Comments on Back-doors in Encryption

By
Friday, January 16, 2015 at 5:50 PM

We’ve yet to find a transcript of President Obama’s remarks during today’s press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, but according to several news outlets, the President made a number of interesting statements regarding cybersecurity and data encryption. “If we get into a situation which the technologies do not allow us at all to track . . .
Read more »

ISIL as al Qaeda: Three Reactions

By
Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 1:52 AM

Like Bobby, Wells, and Ben, I, too, was surprised to discover that the Obama Administration’s legal theory (for the moment) appears to be that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) can be targeted under the 2001 AUMF despite its very public split from al Qaeda. That said, I think all three of my friends miss the animating premise of the . . .
Read more »

Why the President Should Seek Congressional Authorization for the Use of Force Against The Islamic State [UPDATE on War Powers Resolution]

By
Friday, August 22, 2014 at 9:10 AM

A few days ago I discussed why President Obama is shying away from seeking congressional authorization to use force against The Islamic State (IS, or ISIS, or ISIL).  But as the aims and scope of U.S. military involvement against IS expand on a daily basis, the case for the President getting Congress formally on board . . .
Read more »

So Where Do War Powers Reports Come From?

By
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 11:26 PM

Over the last nine weeks, President Obama has sent five war powers notices to Congress in what may be the most concentrated period of Presidential war powers reporting in history.  These notices include four notices regarding Iraq (on June 16 and June 30, and August 8 and 17) and one notice regarding Libya (on July 27). So, . . .
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 »

The Case for Seeking Congressional Authorization for Iraq Strikes Just Grew Stronger

By
Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 12:28 PM

In his WPR notification yesterday, President Obama stated that military operations in Iraq “will be limited in their scope and duration.”   But today, according to the NYT, President Obama “sought to prepare Americans for an extended presence in the skies over Iraq, telling reporters on Saturday that the airstrikes he ordered this week could go on . . .
Read more »

President Obama’s War Powers Letter to Congress on Iraq

By
Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Here is the letter.  Two points of note. First, the President makes clear that he is authorizing military force in Iraq “pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.”  This is a standard formulation in this context for inherent Article II power.  The President is not . . .
Read more »

The Case for Seeking Congressional Authorization for the Iraq Strikes – Made by President Obama

By
Friday, August 8, 2014 at 8:16 PM

It is pretty clear that President Obama today relied on Article II to attack the Islamist State (IS) in Iraq.  I have addressed the legality of such unilateral military action here and here.  I have also argued that the 2002 AUMF could be used as a basis for attacks in Iraq now.  But the administration appears . . .
Read more »

U.S. Air Strikes in Iraq Begin

By
Friday, August 8, 2014 at 9:44 AM

The Pentagon tweets that the U.S. military has begun airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) positions in Iraq.  Precisely, force has been deployed against IS artillery that was used “against Kurdish forces defending Erbil, near US personnel.”  I have not yet seen a clear explanation of the domestic legal basis for the strikes, but the mention . . .
Read more »

The Administration Needs a Confirmed Legal Adviser

By
Monday, July 28, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Six months ago today, I wondered aloud on this blog when President Obama might nominate a new Legal Adviser.   At that point, the position had been vacant for over a year since Harold Koh stepped down in January 2013.  The Administration has now been without a Legal Adviser and the Legal Adviser’s office has been . . .
Read more »

Holder on “Something That Gives Us Really Extreme, Extreme Concern”

By
Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 2:01 PM

President Obama, in his NDU speech last year, stated: “[T]his war, like all wars, must end.  That’s what history advises.  That’s what our democracy demands.” Attorney General Holder, in a conversation today (scroll down) with Pierre Thomas on ABC’s “This Week” about the threat from Americans and Europeans in Syria, stated: HOLDER: “In some ways, it’s more frightening . . .
Read more »

Obama’s Blueprint for Fighting Terrorism Collides With Reality in Iraq

By
Friday, July 4, 2014 at 8:42 AM

That is the title of a NYT story this morning by Landler, Gordon, and Mazzetti.  The “Blueprint” they have in mind is the one the President laid out at West Point, which (in their words) “relies less on American soldiers . . . and more on training troops in countries where those threats had taken . . .
Read more »

Whence Imminence in that Drone Memo? A Puzzle and a Theory

By
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 11:19 AM

On May 27, a unanimous Supreme Court—to little notice from just about anyone—handed down a case called Plumhoff v. Rickard, which dealt with a police shooting and a claim of excessive force during a high-speed car chase. Donald Rickard had led police in Arkansas on a highway chase, at the end of which officers shot him and . . .
Read more »

Statement by the President on Iraq

By
Friday, June 13, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Ben posted the video of his remarks and the short Q and A that followed. Here is the transcript: THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everybody.  I wanted to take some time to give you a quick update about the situation in Iraq. Yesterday, I convened a meeting with my National Security Council to discuss the situation . . .
Read more »

President Obama to Issue a Statement on Iraq

By
Friday, June 13, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Here it is: