War Powers

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War Powers

War Powers and the Su-22 Episode: Third-Party Defense of Coalition Partners

Early Sunday evening, a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Air Force Su-22 that had just completed a bombing run targeting US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Raqqa region.  The episode raises important questions under the U.N. Charter (see Adil Ahmad Haque’s analysis here).  But what about U.S. domestic law?  

War Powers

The ISIS Lawsuit and the Perverse Effects of National Security Litigation

These kinds of advocacy lawsuits against the President in the national security arena often have perverse effects on the resulting law. The intent is generally to force constraints onto the executive branch, but the further along this lawsuit gets, the greater the risk it will result in less, rather than more, accountability and constraint on the Executive’s power.

War Powers

Do the Strikes on al Shabaab Stretch the AUMF or The Unit Self-defense Doctrine?

Charlie Savage’s piece on the legal basis for the March 5 U.S. strike against an al Shabaab training camp, which allegedly killed 150 fighters, raises the intriguing question of whether the AUMF has been stretched yet again, this time to justify U.S. operations against al Shabaab as a whole. 

War Powers

Psychology and War Powers

The common denominator of nettlesome war powers questions is who should make the difficult and freighted decisions about whether the nation goes to war, how it fights a war, and when it ends a war. Surprisingly, however, scholars and commentators rarely (if ever) discuss how psychological research on decisionmaking impacts the constitutional design  and doctrine around war powers issues. In the last four decades, psychologists have demonstrated systematic biases in individual and group decisionmaking processes.

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