Here’s a few recommended reads to get you through your afternoon (if the USA v. Belgium soccer match isn’t already capturing your attention):

  • Last week on Real Clear Defense, Marshall Erwin (who has guest posted with Just Security previously) wrote a thought-provoking essay asking if national security lawyers are a threat to national security.  Marshall writes, “[t]hese legal professionals and their counterparts in the civil liberties community have made compelling arguments for and against NSA surveillance programs. But they serve to distract us from important questions about national security and intelligence community efficacy. Taken in aggregate, this hurts America’s national security bottom line.”  Read the full essay here and look for a reply to Marshall from General Charlie Dunlap tomorrow here on the blog. 
  • Over on Foreign Policy, Micah Zenko writes that President Obama’s drone policy in Iraq risks mission creep. “Sending Reaper drones to provide armed overwatch for U.S. advisors is not controversial. But it is the sustained confusion over what other missions those drones could be called upon to do that demands clarity. Without guidelines, the United States could incrementally increase its engagement in Iraq by pursuing additional missions.”