Latest in War Powers

Politics & National Security

Law and Public Intuition on the Use of Force, Part 1: An Introduction

Tensions with North Korea have reinvigorated long-standing debates over when and how the United States should use military force. Legal experts have offered sometimes conflicting views on how domestic and international law limit potential military action against the Kim Jong Un regime—but expert legal opinion is only a small part of the overall policy debate surrounding the use of force.

International Law

Is the U.N. Charter Law?

I think the question of whether the U.N. Charter is law is misleading or meaningless or both, for reasons that I hope this post will make apparent. But now that I have your attention, I want to sketch a few thoughts about the varied reactions to the airstrikes in Syria by the United States, Great Britain, and France.

International Law

The Trump Administration Should Do More to Explain the Legal Basis for the Syrian Airstrikes

In their post earlier today, Jack Goldsmith and Oona Hathaway argue that the Trump administration had no apparent domestic or international legal authority for last night’s air strikes against Syria. I had similarly questioned the legal basis, especially the international law basis, for the U.S. air strikes against Syria in April 2017. I would offer these additional thoughts now:

Executive Power

Transcript: President Trump's Remarks on Syria Airstrikes

Below is a transcript of President Trump's remarks announcing airstrikes in Syria this evening. The government has also released an assessment of the use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, also included below.


Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release April 13, 2018

War Powers

How Congress Should Respond to the White House’s Failures on Syria Transparency

Last week, one of us co-authored a summary of a new report on the legal and policy frameworks for the use of force and other national security operations required by Section 1264 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2018

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