A 1962 Justice Department memo offers a rare glimpse of the legal rationale for covert warfare.
Matthew Waxman is a law professor at Columbia Law School, where he co-chairs the Program on Law and National Security. He is also co-chair of the Cybersecurity Center at Columbia University’s Data Science Institute, as well as Adjunct Senior Fellow for Law and Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. He previously served in senior policy positions at the State Department, Defense Department, and National Security Council. After graduating from Yale Law School, he clerked for Judge Joel M. Flaum of the U.S. Court of Appeals and Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter
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In 1957, Congress granted President Eisenhower authorization to use force in the Middle East. The law is still on the books 62 years later.
Eisenhower believed that a congressional authorization of force, including the possible use of nuclear weapons, to protect Taiwan from Communist China would help prevent all-out war from breaking out across the Taiwan Strait.
Jan. 10 marks 81 years since Congress defeated a proposed constitutional amendment to add a referendum requirement to the war declaration power.
The Monroe Doctrine is a momentous example of the president’s vast constitutional power to set and communicate U.S. foreign policy—to include threatening war.
A review of Michael Beschloss, “Presidents of War” (Crown Books, 2018).