James Mattis

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Documents

Document: Trump Administration Seeks Emergency Stay of Order to Produce Privilege Log in Transgender Servicemember Ban Litigation

On Monday, the Trump administration applied to the Supreme Court for an emergency stay of a district court order in litigation related to the transgender servicemember ban. A district court ordered the government to produce a log of evidence it believes is subject to presidential communications privilege. The government argues that a 2004 case should protect the government from doing so. The full application is below.

Executive Power

What if President Trump Orders Secretary of Defense Mattis to Do Something Deeply Unwise?

Plausible hypotheticals sparked by recent events raise the question whether the Secretary of Defense or someone else high up in the chain of command must obey a presidential order he or she deems deeply unwise. May the Secretary of Defense refuse an order to initiate preemptive war against North Korea because he believes it is a terrible idea that will result in hundreds of thousands of deaths? What steps might the Secretary take to immunize the U.S. Armed Forces from carrying out such presidential commands?

Foreign Policy Essay

Can the COINdinistas Save Iraq from Trump?

Editor’s Note: When the United States invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003, it found itself woefully unprepared for the insurgency that followed. It took years—and many lives lost—for the U.S. military to relearn how to fight insurgents, but the results were stunning. By the end of the decade, al-Qaeda in Iraq and other violent groups were on the run, and it looked like Iraq was on the path to stability. Zach Abels at the National Interest, however, warns that much of this valuable knowledge is being lost.

Omphalos

Turkey’s Referendum Pushes Country Toward Authoritarianism, Attack Targets Civilians in Syrian Ceasefire Deal, New U.S. Escalation in Yemen Takes Shape

Erdogan Strengthens His Authority with Passage of Constitutional Reforms

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan achieved a major victory on Sunday in his years-long effort to apportion his executive office more authority. Unofficial results from a referendum that changes the constitution to grant Erdogan sweeping powers and diminish the role of the parliament show Erdogan eking out a narrow victory that opponents of the measures have already called into question.

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