The Week That Was

The Week that Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Quinta Jurecic
Saturday, November 26, 2016, 10:00 AM

Ammar Abdulhamid kicked off a Trump-heavy week on the site with his perspective as a Syrian-American on the election of Donald Trump.

John Bellinger posted an excerpt from his Lloyd Cutler Rule of Law Lecture on "Law and the Use of Force: Challenges for the Next President.”

Susan Landau argued that the election of Donald Trump has made securing communications without exceptional access for law enforcement newly important.

Timothy Edgar warned about Trump’s proposal to “close that internet up.”

Daniel Byman evaluated Trump’s suggestion that the United States should work with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against the Islamic State.

Clara Hendrickson flagged a new episode of the Chess Clock Debates of interest to Lawfare readers, featuring a debate between Daniel Byman and David Luban on whether there is an obligation to serve in a Trump administration.

On that note, Benjamin Wittes pondered the relative morality of serving in a Trump administration for career officials, those considering taking a job, and possible political appointees.

Jane Chong argued that the Trump administration presents important security risks—both because of the appointments of General Michael Flynn and Steve Bannon, and because of Trump’s many conflicts of interest.

Stephanie Leutert pointed out that Trump's promise to deport two to three million criminal immigrants in the country is underpinned by an incorrect DHS statistic.

In an interesting epistemological twist, Jack Goldsmith argued that our collective “libertarian panic” over possible abuses of presidential power under Trump actually helps keep us safe from such abuses.

Quinta Jurecic argued that Trump’s propensity for bullshitting—in the philosophical sense—calls into question his ability to honor the Oath of Office.

Trump also featured heavily in this week’s Lawfare Podcast, in which Benjamin Wittes talked with Bill Banks about Bill’s book Soldiers on the Home Front and legal constraints on the domestic use of the American military.

Bobby Chesney continued his series on “Annals of the Trump Administration” with further thoughts on waterboarding and a note on the statutory waiver that would be needed for General James Mattis to become Secretary of Defense. Paul Rosenzweig also chimed in with a post on Trump’s (likely illegal) proposal to involve the Department of Defense in the protection of civilian cyber infrastructure.

Julian Ku wondered whether President Trump will launch a U.S.-China trade war.

Chris Mirasola provided a new edition of "Water Wars," noting how Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s new friendliness toward Beijing has upended the state of affairs in the South China Sea.

J. Dana Stuster updated the "Middle East Ticker," this week reviewing the bombing of hospitals in Aleppo, the Tunisian Truth and Dignity Commission, and the failed truce in Yemen.

Matthew Waxman responded to Dawn Johnsen’s essay on the Obama administration’s security legacy in Foreign Affairs, arguing that Johnsen misreads Obama’s mode of operating within the Youngstown framework.

Ben posted Rational Security, this week featuring a special Thanksgiving Object Lesson:

Walter Haydock suggested that the FBI should begin using artificial intelligence to conduct online investigations of violent extremists.

Quinta noted the release of an updated report on encryption from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Stewart Baker interviewed Betsy Cooper and Steve Weber on the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast.

Michael Gibbs reviewed Oleg Khlevniuk’s new book Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator.

Rick Houghton updated us on dispute resolution mechanisms under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

In the Foreign Policy Essay, Erik Lin-Greenberg wrote that new restrictions on drone exports will likely fail to reduce proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles.

David Kimball-Stanley ran through the issues at stake in the scuttled settlement to litigation regarding the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslims communities.

And that was the week that was.