//  4/30/17  //  Topic Update


Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) have requested that President Trump explain the administration’s legal justification for its recent airstrike in Syria (TwitterThe Hill).

  • John Dehn argues for Just Security that use of armed force against another nation, even if limited as in Syria, is an act of war outside a president’s independent constitutional authority to instigate.
  • Under U.N. rules, the U.S. missile strikes in Syria are probably illegal and could move the Syrian conflict into the category of international armed conflict, writes Nancy Simons (Opino Juris). 
  • Congress should examine the intelligence President Trump used to justify the attack on Syria, argues Martin Hellman in Project on Government Oversight.
  • The Administration imposed sanctions on 271 employees of the Syrian government agency that produced chemical weapons (NYT) (Politico).

Another ballistic missile test from North Korea could prompt a military reaction from the United States, announces U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley(Politico).

  • Now is the time to rely on diplomatic, not military initiatives, in North Korea, according to John Delury in the Washington Post.

Tom Dannenbaum argues in Just Security that U.S. officials should be aware that use of force can be an international crime of aggression,and while the U.S. is not subject to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, there may be other consequences.

President Trump signed two proclamations in remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust and Meds Yeghern.

  • The text of these proclamations can be found here and here.
  • Turkey criticized the proclamation on Meds Yeghern (Hurriyet Daily News).

President Trump criticized the U.N. as an “underperformer” and high cost, but stated that the organization has “tremendous potential” (Politico).

  • U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, serving as the president of the U.N. Security Council for the month of April, has raised the profile of the U.N. within the Trump Administration while acting as a spokesperson for U.S. foreign policy, argues Colum Lynch (Foreign Policy).

President Trump should develop a cooperative strategy that counters Iran’s destabilizing behavior, according to the New York Times editorial board.

  • President Trump should use Special Operation forces in upcoming military confrontations cautiously, Mark Moyar writes in the New York Times.

As the intensity of United States military operations increases, so does the likelihood of operational mishaps, argues Eugene Fidell for Just Security.


Updates | The Week of January 22, 2018

1/28/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump threatened to take aid away from Palestine if Palestinian leadership remained unwilling to negotiate with Israel. Vice President Mike Pence announced that the new embassy in Jerusalem would open in 2019.

Updates | The Week of January 15, 2018

1/14/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump refuses to certify that the Iranian nuclear disarmament deal is in America’s best interests, but is expected to allow the accord to continue. The Trump administration announces it will suspend most security assistance to Pakistan.

Zachary Piaker

Columbia Law School

Updates | The Week of December 18, 2017

12/24/17  //  Daily Update

President Trump said in a speech on national security that Russia and China “seek to challenge American influence, values and wealth,” but did not directly address Russian interference in the 2016 election. A majority of nations in the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution rebuking America's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the US embassy to the city.