Campaign 2012

Latest in Campaign 2012

Executive Power

Brookings Paper on Terrorism and the Election

My Brookings colleague Daniel Byman and I have a paper out on the Brookings web site on terrorism as an issue in the 2012 presidential campaign. The paper is high-altitude and not chiefly about law. It is is part of a larger Brookings project, which I direct, on the critical issues the next president will face. The introduction opens as follows:

At the dawn of the Obama administration, counterterrorism seemed to be one of the new president’s biggest weaknesses.

Campaign 2012

The Responsibilities of the Commander in Chief Focus the Mind

President Obama, at his press conference yesterday, in response to republican candidates’ hawkish calls for a more aggressive posture toward Iran:

Now, what’s said on the campaign trail -- those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities.  They’re not Commander-in-Chief.  And when I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk about war, I’m reminded of the costs involved in war.  I’m reminded that the decision that I have to make in terms of sending our young men and women int

Campaign 2012

It is Much Easier to Make Speeches Than to Make Judgments

Last week Charlie Savage had an interesting follow-up to his well-known 2007 questions to the presidential candidates about their views on executive power.  The most important line in Savage’s story is that Barack Obama’s “record in office shows how circumstances and the assumption of power can alter views e

Campaign 2012

Mitt Romney on Updating the AUMF

Today the Romney campaign issued a White Paper on Foreign Policy and National Defense.  I have only had time to skim it, but this passage stood out as of particular interest to Lawfare readers:

Update the AUMF: The chief source of statutory authority for the war on terrorism — the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress shortly after the attack of September 11, 2001 — is only a few sentenc

Campaign 2012

Marc Thiessen on a Perry-Romney National Security Debate

I often disagree with Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen, but this column strikes me as right on. Thiessen bewails the lack of serious debate in the Republican primaries on national security issues, and he suggests a series of questions the candidates should address. While the specific questions he proposes reveal his own views, and his own critique of current policy, he has a real point. It is not acceptable, given the level of U.S.

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