The Week That Was

The Week that Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Jordan Brunner
Saturday, April 15, 2017, 10:00 AM

As the world continued to grapple with the fallout of President Trump’s airstrikes in Syria and turned its attention to North Korea, John Bellinger flagged the President’s War Powers report to Congress on last Thursday evening’s missile attacks on Syria.

Ingrid Wuerth explained how the Syrian airstrikes make the world less safe by putting pressure on the U.N. Charter-based international legal system, while Shane Reeves explained the problem of morally justifying the United States Strike in Syria.

Ammar Abdulhamid provided Part II to his analysis of Trump’s Syria conundrum.

Kenneth Anderson flagged an article from the Onion on frustration over Syria.

And the Rational Security gang discussed the airstrikes and more in the “Battle to the Death Watch” Edition of the podcast, which Benjamin Wittes posted:

Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes posted about the next Hoover Book Soiree, where Ben will join Russell Miller and Ralf Poscher to discuss a new book of essays, Privacy & Power: A Transatlantic Dialogue in the Shadow of the NSA-Affair.

Adam Klein explained that we shouldn't dismiss concerns about transition-period unmasking of American names until investigations are complete.

Emma Kohse and Chris Mirasola provided a brief primer on the future of the Cyber Command-NSA and Cyber Command-Strategic Command relationships.

Grayson Clary commented on the Shadow Brokers’ dump of the what ostensibly was the rest of their NSA documents, while Nicholas Weaver examined the Shadow Brokers’ latest dump of NSA tools, featuring operational notes on the NSA’s extracting of SWIFT data from Middle East banks.

Stewart Baker posted the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, featuring his interview with Nicholas Weaver:

Jordan Brunner discussed Microsoft’s release of a 2014 National Security Letter, situating it within the context of other tech companies’ releases. Dave Aitel critiqued elements of a recent paper by Tim Maurer, Ariel Levite, and George Perkovich, which they earlier flagged on Lawfare. And Sven Herpig and Stefan Heumann discussed Germany’s crypto past and hacking future.

In the Foreign Policy Essay, Ronald Krebs argued that our focus on Trump’s foreign policy is overstated: foreign policy has increasingly become driven by structural changes in American politics that go beyond the capacities of the modern president.

Jared Dummitt and Eliot Kim chronicled the “tremendous,” and underwhelming summit between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in “Water Wars.” Jennifer Harris asked if it’s time for new rules regarding Chinese investment in the United States.

Shannon Togawa Mercer flagged a new book on the legal implications of Brexit, of which she is one of the authors. Ingrid Wuerth asked whether international law has a “broken windows” problem.

Suzanne Maloney analyzed the implications of former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's entrance into the Iranian 2017 presidential race. J. Dana Stuster updated the Middle East Ticker.

Turning to terrorism, Nora Ellingsen and Lisa Daniels examined what the data really show about the terrorists who “came here" in Part I (Introductions), Part II (Country-by-Country Analysis), and Part III (Domestic Terrorism Cases) of a three-party essay.

Scott Roehm commented on the new High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group’s two reports on the best practices for interrogation, and Kenneth Anderson examined Justin Fox’s “Bathtub Fallacy” and the risks of terrorism.

Paul Salem and Randa Slim argued that the United States will need a “diplomatic surge,” in Iraq, akin to the “surge” of 2007 by the military, as it begins to wind down the fight against ISIS.

Kenneth Anderson flagged Professor Richard Armitage’s topic for this year’s 19th Annual Grotius Lecture at the ASIL Annual Meeting, and he also flagged the Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari in Jesner v. Arab Bank, a new Alien Tort Statute case.

Quinta Jurecic uploaded the third annual Triple Entente live-taped podcast, featuring the usual Rational Security gang and both Stewart Baker and Michael Vatis of the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast:

Kenneth Anderson contemplated whether advances in artificial intelligence and automation may pose challenges for continued globalization, while Ed Bates reviewed Marco Duranti's book, The Conservative Human Rights Revolution: European Identity, Transnational Politics, and the Origins of the European Convention.

Former White House Counsel Bob Bauer discussed a recent paper he authored dealing with executive transparency and a White House obligation to disclose, and Daphna Renan flagged her recent paper on structures of executive branch legal review at work in the presidential decision-making process.

And that was the week that was.