The Week That Was

The Week that Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Rishabh Bhandari
Saturday, June 18, 2016, 10:59 AM

Like most publications, Lawfare this week was dominated by the horrific shooting in Orlando.

General John Allen and Michael O’Hanlon urged the United States to execute a holistic campaign to defeat the Islamic State both in the Middle East and at home. Amy Zegart drew from what we learned during the Fort Hood shooting to pose a series of questions we should ask as the investigation of the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, continues to unfold. As “lone wolf” became the buzzword around the national security community, Benjamin Wittes and the Rational Security team mused how we could have stopped Mateen from carrying out his heinous attack in the latest episode of Rational Security:

Mateen had previously been on the No-Fly List after drawing the FBI’s interest. Paul Rosenzweig explained for us how this list is handled and whether it makes sense to deprive the people on it of civil liberties. As we continue to debate the motives that drove Mateen’s behavior, Laura Dean reported a harrowing story of four young Iraqis who fled their families and country to escape the homophobia and abuse they experienced at the hands of their relatives and colleagues. Benjamin Wittes questioned our taxonomy of mass violence. Bruce Riedel suggested that wolf packs are a bigger terrorist threat than "lone wolves."

In non-Orlando material, Cody Poplin flagged CIA documents related to the agency’s interrogation and rendition practices during the Bush administration that were released earlier this week.

Jamil Jaffer and Daniel Rosenthal called on legislators on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation that balances privacy concerns with the needs of law enforcement agencies to access the communication of terrorists.

Bobby Chesney examined what role the CIA will play in drone strike operations after President Obama approved a long-promised plan to give the Pentagon the tactical lead.

Herb Lin drew our attention to the implications of NATO’s decision to designate cyber as a separate domain of conflict.

Walter Pincus looked back on his experiences in both journalism and the government to offer a nuanced view of the role and responsibilities of the press when covering issues of national security.

Kenneth Anderson reviewed Linda Fowler’s Watchdogs on the Hill: The Decline of Congressional Oversight of Foreign Relations, a book that traces how Congressional supervision over U.S. foreign policy decisions has receded in recent years. He also highlighted Rebecca Ingber's new article on international law constraints as a source of executive power.

Ellen Scholl scanned the world to see where natural resources could trigger turmoil in the latest installment of Hot Commodities.

Paul also filled Lawfare readers in on a cybersecurity conference that took place in New York on Thursday and the issues that the conference attendees may address in a forthcoming publication.

In this week's Foreign Policy Essay, Daniel Byman advised academics to follow five helpful tips to help ensure their research is relevant to contemporary policy debates.

Stewart Baker offered an inaugural “Europocrisy Prize” in the latest edition of the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast.

Ben interviewed Fred Kaplan on Wednesday evening about his new book, Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War, which documents the history of the U.S. government’s use of cyberespionage and cyberattacks. If you missed the event, which was the latest in Lawfare’s series of book soirees, then don’t worry. It's coming up on next week's Lawfare Podcast. And in the meantime, John Sipher has you covered with a review of Kaplan’s book.

In this week’s Lawfare Podcast, Ben also stayed in the cyber realm with an interview of Suzanne Spaulding, a top-ranking Department of Homeland Security official, on DHS’s growing cyber capabilities and what more needs to be done:

And Elena Chachko offered this analysis of Iran's action against the United States in the International Court of Justice.

And that was the week that was.