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Executive & Military

Hyping the Terrorist Threat: Trump Makes an Old Problem Worse


For the better part of two decades, American policymakers have struggled to explain the nature of the terrorist threat facing the United States. Mayors, governors, and members of Congress have confronted this challenge, but it falls most squarely on the Commander-in-Chief to stress vigilance while offering reassurance, a balance that has tripped up more than one U.S.…   continue »

Timeline of Escalation in Syria: U.S. vs. Iran, Russia, Syria and “Pro-Regime” Forces post January 20, 2017


April 4: Chemical attack

A rocket laced with the nerve agent sarin kills more than 80 civilians in Khan Shaykhun in the rebel-held Idlib province. The attack is attributed to the government of Bashar al-Assad.  There is reportedly “mounting evidence” that Russia was “complicit” in the attack at least through knowledge or acquiescence.  continue »

Reported Emirati Abuse of Detainees and the Perils of U.S. Partnerships


[Editor’s note: for an analysis of the legal issues raised by this news, see Steve Vladeck’s post, “The Potential Legal Implications for the U.S. in the AP’s Disturbing UAE Torture Scoop.”]

Early Thursday morning, Maggie Michael and Maad al-Zikry of the Associated Press published a disturbing story documenting widespread Emirati-led torture and mistreatment of suspected terrorists in Yemen. …   continue »

When Collusion with Russia Becomes a Crime: Part III—”Aiding and Abetting”

House investigators have scheduled an interview with the Trump campaign digital director to question him about any campaign coordination with Russian-financed Internet advertising. Amid all the intense attention to obstruction of justice issues, this is a timely reminder of the central question of Trump campaign collusion with Russian interference in the election.…   continue »

About that Executive Privilege “Policy”: Congress Should Call the Bluff



During last week’s hearing of the Senate intelligence committee, Attorney General Jeff Sessions generated withering criticism by repeatedly refusing to answer Senators’ questions about his communications with President Donald J. Trump, including discussion of the President’s decision to fire James Comey as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.…   continue »

America’s AUMF Problem: Tomorrow’s Senate Hearing and a New Proposal from Eliot Engel

Events over the last several weeks show that not only is the AUMF issue not going away, but that Congress continues to inch closer to agreement. This Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on “Reviewing Congressional Authorizations for the Use of Military Force.” As readers well know, the executive branch continues to rely on the war authorization Congress passed a week after the 9/11 attacks.…   continue »