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Executive & Military

Human Rights Law is the Legal Basis for Use of Force Against Non-State Armed Groups—But What Follows?

In recent weeks there have been two significant and related debates on Just Security about the justification for the use of force against non-state armed groups and the place of human rights in non-international armed conflict (NIAC). Both debates address aspects of a larger question that has remained unresolved throughout the years since 9/11: how should we understand the legal framework that defines and limits a state’s resort to military force  against an armed group that threatens its security or territorial integrity?…   continue »

The Newly Released National Security Framework Report: An Important Step Forward



On Tuesday, President Obama made the case in his final national security speech that staying true to American values is not a weakness, but the country’s greatest strength in the fight against terrorism. He argued that transparency and accountability serve American’s national security interests, including by allowing for a more informed public debate and serving as a potential check on unfettered executive power.…   continue »

Calling Mr. Trump


President-elect Donald Trump’s forays into foreign policy since the election have been controversial, to say the least.

Mr. Trump’s first meeting with a foreign official after the election was with the British politician Nigel Farage, a diplomatic slight to  British Prime Minister Theresa May and exacerbated by Mr.  continue »

The Bobbitt Version

Beginning in 2002 with the publication of The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History and continuing through Terror and Consent: the Wars for the Twenty First Century published in 2008, and The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World He Made (2014), I have tried to integrate law, strategy and history in an explanatory narrative that stresses the importance of law—international and constitutional—for war (and vice versa), and the imperative of adherence to law in the wars on terror.…   continue »

The Economic Incentives for International Cybersecurity Coordination

On Friday, the President’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity published its final report, making 16 recommendations and identifying 53 action items to improve cybersecurity in the United States. Established by Executive Order 13,718 last February, the nonpartisan Commission included 12 experts, some recommended by Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress and others selected by the Obama Administration.…   continue »