Foreign Policy Essay

Introducing "The Foreign Policy Essay"

By Benjamin Wittes
Sunday, November 24, 2013, 9:58 AM

As I mentioned the other day, I have asked my Brookings colleague Daniel Byman to curate a new feature on Lawfare: A weekly essay, to run on Sundays, on foreign and military affairs topics of interest to national security legal practitioners and scholars but not specifically dealing with legal matters. The first, a piece by Afshon Ostovar on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps., goes live this morning.

A few brief words about both the feature and about Dan.

We have always conceived of the field of national security law broadly. One of the things that makes it so interesting is that to practice it well, one needs to draw on a great diversity of expertise. Depending on what you're doing, you need to know technical fields like communications technologies and robotics, and you need to know a lot about different areas of the world. We have come to envision Lawfare not just as a home for serious discussion of the legal questions our readers work on but, more broadly, as one-stop shopping for the kind of information and analytic work product they need to do their jobs well.

Toward that end, the Brookings Institution---in cooperation with which we publish Lawfare---provides a remarkable resource. Its scholars have diverse expertise in matters of interest to this site's readership---everything from cybersecurity to Pakistan to military affairs to the Middle East. Dan is a paradigmatic example. A terrorism expert who has written widely on the substantive matters with which national security lawyers have to wrestle as they try to think through legal questions, his work has appeared numerous times on Lawfare already. He's one most penetrating and insightful analysts I know---not to mention a good friend and sometime coauthor. I've asked him to use his extensive network of thinkers on matters that should concern this readership to bring us a weekly essay that goes beyond law into the policy and strategic realm that lawyers have to live in.