Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was killed in a U.S. air strike over the weekend, throwing the Taliban into the second leadership shake-up in less than a year. Robert Chesney questioned if the AUMF was necessary for the strike in the first place.
Benjamin Wittes and the rest of the Rational Security team were all thankful that they weren’t Mullah Mansour. Check out their conversation in the newest Rational Security, the “At Least You’re Not Mullah Mansour” edition.
Meanwhile, the Islamic State faced two new assaults on its strongholds in Iraq and Syria this week. The battle for Fallujah began and forces around Raqqa began zeroing in on the self-declared caliphate’s capital. However, questions regarding U.S. troops’ role in the ISIS fight continue to arise. Phil Walter highlighted the “incongruence of the stated policy, legal underpinnings, and facts on the ground in the U.S. fight against ISIS.”
Nora Ellingsen discussed two criminal cases associated with ISIS to our attention, explaining the circumstances of both.
In Sunday’s Foreign Policy Essay, David Ucko examined why and how dictators often defeat insurgents despite the lessons of the United States and other democracies.
Natan Sachs noted that Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s former foreign minister and “least diplomatic” politician, will be the Israel’s next defense minister.
Suzanne Maloney argued that the Iran nuclear deal is working but that Tehran will have to give more to get more.
In cyber terms, Arun Mohan Sumukar asked where U.S.-India cyber relations are headed, arguing that the two countries must set their terms of cyber engagement.
Zoe Bedell provided an update on the right to be forgotten.
Michael Sulmeyer and Kate Miller commented on indicting hackers and what we can do to increase the chances that known vulnerabilities do not lead to the next big hack.
Isaac Park flagged that the ACLU is seeking to join Microsoft in the ECPA challenge.
Stewart Baker released the latest Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, featuring a conversation with Patrick Gray.
Turning to your favorite U.S. presidential cycle: Benjamin Wittes commented on Donald Trump and “a tale of two Washingtons.” He also shared the first part of his thoughts on Trump and the powers of the American presidency.
John Bellinger flagged the House of Representatives' rejection of an NDAA amendment that would have repealed the 2001 AUMF.
Jack Goldsmith and Oona Hathaway highlighted an “important first step by HPSCI on pre-publication review reform.”
Robert Loeb and Helen Klein flagged the similarities between the al Nashiri and Khadr cases.
Steve Vladeck considered how “misbegotten an experiment the Court of Military Commission Review has turned out to be.”
And that was the week that was.