Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic, and Benjamin Wittes posted the Lawfare Readership Survey. Please take a moment to fill it out!
Ben kicked off the week by announcing his submission of three FOIA requests seeking information on Donald Trump’s statement to Congress that the majority of defendants convicted of terrorism in the United States are foreign-born. A recent Lawfare series by Nora Ellingsen and Lisa Daniels suggests that the data in fact show the opposite, so the question is: did the Justice Department support the President’s likely misstatement to Congress?
Stephanie Leutert updated us on Trump’s progress toward building the border wall. In short, there hasn’t been much of it.
Heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula made for a busy week in the Asia Pacific. Jimmy Chalk and Sarah Grant reviewed Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to the region in Water Wars, while Julian Ku and Chris Mirasola reminded us that China has promised to defend North Korea in the event of an armed attack—which may complicate U.S. calculations on the matter. On this week’s Rational Security, the gang discussed the looming North Korean crisis and the U.S. government’s possible misplacement of the USS Carl Vinson in the “Vinson Lose Some” Edition:
Chris Mirasola also examined a new Chinese policy guidance restricting the transfer of digital information.
On the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, Julian Sanchez and Gus Hurwit joined Stewart Baker to talk about the most recent Shadowbrokers dump:
And on the Lawfare Podcast, Susan Hennessey sat down with Jane Chong, Trey Herr, and Robert Lee to chat about Trey’s new edited volume on Cyber Insecurity:
This week saw the release of the second annual Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on Activities of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts, as required by the USA FREEDOM Act. Quinta posted the report and Helen Murillo provided a summary.
Carrie Cordero brought us video of a conference on Foreign Interference with Democratic Institutions hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Law School, featuring panel discussions on Russian interference in the U.S. election and the effect of online disinformation campaigns on national security, along with a keynote address by General Michael Hayden.
Two weeks after U.S. airstrikes hit a Syrian airbase, Elizabeth McElvein reviewed public opinion data on support for military action in Syria. Itamar Rabinovich proposed a path forward for U.S. intervention in the region, and Erik Gartzke argued that the airstrikes represent a surprising defense of international norms on the part of Donald Trump.
In the Middle East Ticker, Dana Stuster flagged Turkey’s recent referendum granting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expanded presidential powers, the decay of a ceasefire deal between rebel forces and government troops in Syria, and a possible escalation in Yemen. Kemal Kirişci warned about the dangers of the Turkish referendum, while Adel Abdel Ghafar and Anna Jacobs wondered whether Morocco’s recent political shakeup could lead to a radicalized opposition movement. And David Bosco pointed to a recent profile of Israel’s Military Advocate-General in the Jerusalem Post and what it might say about the country’s position toward the International Criminal Court.
Bobby Chesney noted the quiet end to a combat-equipped U.S. deployment to Uganda to assist in the effort against the Lord’s Resistance Army, which raised questions under the War Powers Resolution.
Barbara Keys reviewed Joe Renouard’s book Human Rights in American Foreign Policy: From the 1960s to the Soviet Collapse.
And finally, Kenneth Anderson gave us some advice on how to declare war—as of Anno Domini 1429.