Derek Reinbold  //  8/13/17  //  Topic Update


In response to reports that North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead, President Trump threatened to use “fire and fury” against the country, then further escalated his warnings, stating that his previous comments were possibly not harsh enough (NYTWaPoWSJ). 

  • Attacking North Korea would be illegal, writes Zachary Price at Take Care
  • Marty Lederman also thinks that President Trump cannot lawfully strike North Korea without congressional approval (Take Care). 
  • Nevertheless, President Trump might still launch an attack without congressional authorization, writes Ilya Somin (WaPo). 
  • The United States should not give up on diplomatic solutions to North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, argues Susan E. Rice (NYT).
  • If President Trump decides to launch of preemptive strike, his senior military advisers have few other options, notes Dan Lamothe (WaPo).
  • President Trump’s threats are clumsy and unlikely to change North Korea’s calculus or behavior, argues Eric Gomez at the Cato Institute. 
  • The New York Times provides an outline of self-defense and international law with regards to the situation in North Korea here
  • Alex Potcovaru outlines the international law of anticipatory self-defense and potential US options in response to North Korea’s actions at Just Security.

Five transgender service members are challenging President Trump’s proposed reversal of the military’s transgender service policywrites Helen Klein Murillo (Lawfare). 

  • The complaint is available here

The Trump Administration’s leaks deserve to be investigated, but not by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, write Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey (Lawfare).

The Trump Administration is apparently considering whether to privatize a large portion of the war in Afghanistan (WaPoUSA Today). 

  • Such a plan would risk significant problems that could undermine the military’s mission, writes Laura Dickinson (Just Security). 

Updates | The Week of January 22, 2018

1/28/18  //  Daily Update

President Trump's Guantánamo "policy" is best understood as an extension of his anti-Muslim bigotry, wrote Nimra Azmi and Sirine Shebaya at Take Care. The terrorist watchlist statistics from last week's DOJ and DHS exaggerate the threat of terrorism, argued Harsha Panduranga at Just Security. The Pentagon's new National Defense Strategy contains notable omissions related to climate change and the use of special operations forces.

Updates | The Week of January 15, 2018

1/14/18  //  Daily Update

In a series of tweets, President Trump wavers between opposition and support of FISA reauthorization. On the 16th anniversary of the prison’s founding, Guantanamo Bay prisoners file mass habeas petition.

Zachary Piaker

Columbia Law School

Updates | The Week of December 18, 2017

12/24/17  //  Daily Update

The Trump Administration unveiled its new National Security Strategy. A majority of the United Nations General Assembly voted to rebuke America's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate the U.S. Embassy.