On Monday, the White House released a major report on the legal and policy frameworks guiding U.S. use of military force. Benjamin Wittes provided his thoughts on the report, and Chris Mirasola and Helen Klein Murillo gave us a detailed summary of the document itself. Quinta Jurecic flagged President Obama’s follow-up to the report in his speech at MacDill Air Force Base later this week.
The report contains new information on the administration’s decision to begin targeting al-Shabaab under the AUMF, which was the subject of this week’s Lawfare Podcast:
On that note, Jack Goldsmith posted a transcript of Senator Tim Kaine’s speech calling for a revised AUMF.
Bobby Chesney noted an interesting provision in the NDAA expanding oversight of kill and capture operations outside areas of active hostilities.
Paul Rosenzweig also took a look at the NDAA and found a provision reducing rank requirements for members of the JAG corps.
Chris Mirasola updated us on Trump’s latest appointments, including General John Kelly for Secretary of Homeland Security and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for Ambassador to China. With news of Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Homeland Security, Paul Rosenzweig considered what it is that we really want in the leader of DHS. And Matthew Wein argued that it’s time for DHS to update the National Terrorism Advisory System.
Bobby Chesney flagged a GOP-introduced amendment to a continuing resolution that would smooth some procedural barriers to granting General James Mattis the waiver he needs to become Trump’s Secretary of Defense.
Chris Mirasola brought us this week’s edition of "Water Wars," reviewing Donald Trump’s confusing diplomatic moves in relation to China.
In response to President Obama’s announcement of an investigation into foreign influence in the presidential election, Susan Hennessey and Matt Tait argued that we must establish credible deterrence against similar efforts from Russia in the future. The topic of Russian efforts to influence the election also featured in this week’s Rational Security:
In the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, Stewart Baker interviewed Scott Charney, Corporate Vice President for Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft:
Herb Lin provided his thoughts on the recently-released report of the Presidential Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, which he was involved in writing.
Nicholas Weaver asked whether we’re facing the end of the FBI’s use of Network Investigative Techniques. And April Doss defended the 9th Circuit’s reading of the government’s ability to use information collected through 702 surveillance in U.S. v. Mohamed Mohamud.
This week saw another round of pre-trial hearings in the 9/11 case. Quinta Jurecic provided statements from Chief Prosecutor Brigadier General Mark Martins to bookend the hearings. She also wrote up coverage of all three days of hearings conducted in open court: here, here, and here.
Adham Sahloul argued that as his time in office comes to an end, Secretary of State John Kerry has a responsibility not to whitewash the Obama administration’s legacy in Syria. On that note, J. Dana Stuster updated us on the siege of Aleppo in this week’s "Middle East Ticker." He also took a closer look at the ongoing political upheaval in the Arab world.
Daniel Byman wrote that we should be aware of the limits of air power in fighting the Islamic State, while Sloane Speakman debunked myths about the Kurds that have spread during the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq. And Vanda Felbab-Brown took a look at U.S. efforts to build partner capacity and militias abroad.
Joseph Landau reviewed Peter Spiro’s book At Home in Two Countries and pondered the history of dual citizenship in the United States.
Quinta Jurecic asked one last time that our readers fill out a brief survey to help us rework "Today’s Headlines & Commentary." (The survey is still open. It's not too late!)
Jack noted an upcoming Yale conference of interest to Lawfare readers on bridging the divide between law, technology and business in cybersecurity, and Quinta Jurecic alerted us to a December 12th event at the Center for a New American Security on “Surveillance Policy: A Pragmatic Agenda for 2017 and Beyond.”
And that was the week that was.