State Department

Latest in State Department

Iran

Parsing the State Department’s Letter on the Use of Force Against Iran

Recent tensions between the United States and Iran have led many members of Congress to speculate about what legal authority the Trump administration may claim it has to go to war without congressional authorization. On June 28, the State Department gave a partial answer to these questions, at least insofar as they relate to the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs).

Cyber & Technology

The Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2017: Giving Cyber the Importance It Needs at the State Department

A bill from a strong bipartisan group of House members may reinstate and elevate a version of the cyber coordinator position eliminated as part of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s controversial “redesign” in July. The bill recognizes the degree to which protecting security in cyberspace and promoting digital communications as a vital economic, social, and political bridge have become critical to the mission of the U.S. government.

Cybersecurity

Is the State Department Reorganization Undermining Cyber Diplomacy?

The Trump administration seems to want it both ways on cybersecurity policy. On one hand, the White House has ordered the State Department to study and report on the United States’s “international engagement strategy” for cyber issues, signalling it takes the issue seriously. Yet Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s ongoing State Department reorganization hobbles U.S. cyber diplomacy by downgrading the central coordination office for international outreach on cyber issues.

Appointments, Confirmations & Budgets

Should the Senate Give Advice and Consent on Special Envoys?

Last month the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Department of State Authorities Act, Fiscal Year 2018, part of which would effect a major change in the law of foreign affairs appointments. With Congress’s summer recess now coming to an end, it’s worth considering the constitutionality of the proposed change and contemplating the Trump Administration’s potential response.

Refugees

Government Watchdogs Request Investigation into Spicer's Comments on State Dissent Memo

Two good government groups, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the Government Accountability Project, have written to the Office of Special Counsel requesting an investigation into White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's comments on the draft State Department dissent memo regarding the President'

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