Featured View All →

Legal Implications of Detaining the Latest American Enemy Combatant

By   1 week ago

By Annica Mae Mattus It is around four weeks since the Department of Defense announced an American citizen is being detained by American forces as an enemy combatant after surrendering to Syrian Democratic Forces, but no additional details have since been made. This is not the first time that an American citizen has been detained […]

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The Cost of Nuclear Weapons in the Interest of National Security

By   1 month ago

Nuclear weapons have the potential to leave the Earth uninhabitable. Will humanity be its next sacrifice in the interest of national security?

Read More →

Coming Home Again: Prisoner Release in Light of the Geneva Convention

By   11 months ago

By Kara Kozikowski   The face of warfare in the past century has been nothing if not ever evolving. Throughout the past hundred years, armed conflicts have taken a more modern and more irregular form, and the issues that arise from them may not be matters that are easily resolved in the laws of war […]

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Punitive Strikes, Keeping the Seas Safe

By   11 months ago

  By Prescott Heighton Freedom of the seas and their safe navigation has been a fundamental principle of American international relations since the nation’s inception. It ensures the ability of American merchants to access markets overseas, thus helping secure our economy, and ultimately provide security and stability for the nation. The Quasi-War and the Barbary […]

Read More →

Sunset Provisions: Providing Parameters for the Use of Military Force

By   11 months ago

By Anthony Bjelke A recent article in The New Yorker examined the difficulties associated with defining America’s War on Drugs. As a preamble to its examination of the topic, it stated: “The United States has declared war on cancer, on pornography and on terror, and the lesson to be gleaned from those campaigns is that, […]

Read More →

The Implications of the Federal Definition of Domestic Terrorism

By   11 months ago

By Natalie Holland On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof attacked the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, North Carolina where he shot and killed nine people with the intention of provoking a race war. Later that year, on December 2, 2015, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik shot and killed 14 people and seriously […]

Read More →

Sadly, Trump Could Use Executive Authority to Ban Muslims from Entering U.S.

By   11 months ago

By Joshua Arons In a disappointing turn of events, Donald Trump, the recently elected President of the United States could ban Muslims or people from terror ridden countries from entering our country through invoking a provision of the  1952 Immigration and Nationality Act.  Provision 212 (f) of this Act holds that whenever the President finds […]

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    News & Events View All →

    Legal Implications of Detaining the Latest American Enemy Combatant

    By   1 week ago

    By Annica Mae Mattus It is around four weeks since the Department of Defense announced an American citizen is being detained by American forces as an enemy combatant after surrendering to Syrian Democratic Forces, but no additional details have since been made. This is not the first time that an American citizen has been detained […]

    Read More →

    2017 Spring NSLB Symposium: Cyber Space and Hacking; Meeting the Challenges of the Digital Age

    By   8 months ago

    Register for our Spring Symposium here: https://www.wcl.american.edu/secle/registration March 1st, from 1-5pm

    Read More →

    Targeted Drone Strikes and the Growing Unrest in Yemen

    By   10 months ago

    By James Feeney Less than a month after the deadly terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States launched its first-ever deadly targeted drone strike and changed the way the United States conducted warfare in the future. Drone strikes dramatically increased since then and have been used in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, […]

    Read More →

    UNCLOS Arbitration Award in the South China Sea Dispute

    By   11 months ago

    By Ryan Poitras Background: In June 2016, the United Nations’ Permanent Court of Arbitration Tribunal handed out its final award in Philippines v. China. The dispute centers around various islands and maritime zones in the South China Sea, specifically in the Spratly archipelago [1]. China’s “nine-dash line” is based on a map of the South China […]

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    Where Personal Opinion and Unlawful Command Influence Collide

    By   11 months ago

    By Jennifer Goss In August 2016, Sergeant (Sgt.) Bowe Bergdahl’s defense team filed a motion to dismiss all charges against him, claiming that Senator John McCain made comments that could unlawfully influence Bergdahl’s case and impact his right to due process. Sgt. Bergdahl was charged in 2015 with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after […]

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    Thank You For Your Service?

    By   11 months ago

    By Eugene Mok Recently the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit delivered a concerning blow to veteran and service-member employment rights.  Kevin Ziober, a Lieutenant (LT) in the United States Naval Reserves, claimed that his civilian employee fired him because he was going to be deployed to Afghanistan, in direct conflict with […]

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    Cuba Isn’t Worth the Headache. But See Colombia.

    By   1 year ago

    When ‘Cuba’ and ‘national security’ are mentioned in the same sentence, they tend to be followed by phrases like ‘refugee wave,’ ‘Marxist revolutionaries’ and ‘missile crisis.’ The steps towards normalization of relations with the old Communist foe have caused reactions as varied as the embargo is old, but the ship has set sail and Americans […]

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      National Security Law View All →

      A Fourth Amendment Sunset: The FISA 702 Program Reauthorization

      By   1 day ago

      By Victoria Garcia The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) 702 Program is an ongoing surveillance program that collects information about foreign nationals who are abroad and have connections to terrorist organizations.[1]  Currently, the 702 Program is set to expire at the end of 2017.  While Congress will likely reauthorize the 702 Program, debates about including […]

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      Protecting U.S. Borders and the Limitations on Foreign Nationals’ Rights

      By   5 days ago

      By Jamie Salazer Technological advances have facilitated the transfer of goods, services, and people around the world and across country borders. In fact, the United Nations World Trade Organization (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer reported that between January–April 2017 destinations around the world received 369 million international tourists (overnight visitors). However, with the increasingly interconnected world, […]

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      Update Required? Analyzing the Electronic Communications Privacy Act

      By   2 weeks ago

      By Carly Nuttall Most people understand that statements shared on Twitter, status updates posted on Facebook, or photos uploaded to Instagram are not private. But what about emails, text messages, health and financial records, or photos stored in the cloud? Although most people would assume that this information is protected—both by passwords and the Fourth […]

      Read More →

      The Cost of Nuclear Weapons in the Interest of National Security

      By   1 month ago

      Nuclear weapons have the potential to leave the Earth uninhabitable. Will humanity be its next sacrifice in the interest of national security?

      Read More →

      2017 Spring NSLB Symposium: Cyber Space and Hacking; Meeting the Challenges of the Digital Age

      By   8 months ago

      Register for our Spring Symposium here: https://www.wcl.american.edu/secle/registration March 1st, from 1-5pm

      Read More →

      Targeted Drone Strikes and the Growing Unrest in Yemen

      By   10 months ago

      By James Feeney Less than a month after the deadly terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States launched its first-ever deadly targeted drone strike and changed the way the United States conducted warfare in the future. Drone strikes dramatically increased since then and have been used in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, […]

      Read More →

      No Predictability, No Peace!

      By   10 months ago

      By Ciprian Ivanof The risk of public disorder demands a re-evaluation of the legal framework National Guard forces and the public trust rely on. We live in an age of political uncertainty, violence, and a resulting deep need for predictability. One way we seek to address such things is with model state codes. Model State […]

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        International Law View All →

        The Cost of Nuclear Weapons in the Interest of National Security

        By   1 month ago

        Nuclear weapons have the potential to leave the Earth uninhabitable. Will humanity be its next sacrifice in the interest of national security?

        Read More →

        Targeted Drone Strikes and the Growing Unrest in Yemen

        By   10 months ago

        By James Feeney Less than a month after the deadly terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States launched its first-ever deadly targeted drone strike and changed the way the United States conducted warfare in the future. Drone strikes dramatically increased since then and have been used in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, […]

        Read More →

        Coming Home Again: Prisoner Release in Light of the Geneva Convention

        By   11 months ago

        By Kara Kozikowski   The face of warfare in the past century has been nothing if not ever evolving. Throughout the past hundred years, armed conflicts have taken a more modern and more irregular form, and the issues that arise from them may not be matters that are easily resolved in the laws of war […]

        Read More →

        UNCLOS Arbitration Award in the South China Sea Dispute

        By   11 months ago

        By Ryan Poitras Background: In June 2016, the United Nations’ Permanent Court of Arbitration Tribunal handed out its final award in Philippines v. China. The dispute centers around various islands and maritime zones in the South China Sea, specifically in the Spratly archipelago [1]. China’s “nine-dash line” is based on a map of the South China […]

        Read More →

        Punitive Strikes, Keeping the Seas Safe

        By   11 months ago

          By Prescott Heighton Freedom of the seas and their safe navigation has been a fundamental principle of American international relations since the nation’s inception. It ensures the ability of American merchants to access markets overseas, thus helping secure our economy, and ultimately provide security and stability for the nation. The Quasi-War and the Barbary […]

        Read More →

        Sadly, Trump Could Use Executive Authority to Ban Muslims from Entering U.S.

        By   11 months ago

        By Joshua Arons In a disappointing turn of events, Donald Trump, the recently elected President of the United States could ban Muslims or people from terror ridden countries from entering our country through invoking a provision of the  1952 Immigration and Nationality Act.  Provision 212 (f) of this Act holds that whenever the President finds […]

        Read More →

        Fundamental National Security Flaw in U.S.-Cuba Relations

        By   12 months ago

        The U.S. and Cuba may have a lot in common, yet there is still a critical need to learn from their divergent legal and operational systems for security cooperation.

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          Cybersecurity View All →

          Update Required? Analyzing the Electronic Communications Privacy Act

          By   2 weeks ago

          By Carly Nuttall Most people understand that statements shared on Twitter, status updates posted on Facebook, or photos uploaded to Instagram are not private. But what about emails, text messages, health and financial records, or photos stored in the cloud? Although most people would assume that this information is protected—both by passwords and the Fourth […]

          Read More →

          Ransomware: The Limitations of the Legal System

          By   11 months ago

          By: Ryan Johnston, November 10, 2016   Ransomware is on the rise; while is not a new form of cyber attack, the tools to launch ransomware attacks have become easier to obtain and use. Cyber criminals are targeting critical infrastructures, schools, hospitals, and other things essential to the survival of our nation. What is ransomware? […]

          Read More →

          The Intersection of “Internet Terrorism” and “Individual Privacy” in the Context of the First Amendment

          By   2 years ago

          “Deterring Russia, channeling growing Chinese power, and working with others to dismantle the Islamic State are daunting challenges — but not greater than rebuilding post-World War II Europe, containing the Soviet Union, ending the Cold War, and promoting democratic governance throughout much of the modern world.”[1] –James Dobbins The “modern world” that Ambassador James Dobbins speaks of has a […]

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          The Slippery Slope of Creating an iPhone Backdoor

          By   2 years ago

          By Gregory Coutros The FBI’s request that Apple provide an electronic backdoor into the iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooters is, on its face, a reasonable request. The government’s need to access the phone is undoubtedly important for national security so as to protect against terrorist attacks similar to the San Bernardino shooting. The […]

          Read More →

          Backdoors: National Security versus the Fourth Amendment

          By   2 years ago

          As citizens of the United States, we rely on our nation’s foundation of rights as defined by the Constitution. These fundamental rights are guaranteed us, and these rights are protected and enforced by our Government – but what happens when it is the Government that is testing the boundaries of one of those rights, namely, […]

          Read More →

          The White House’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan and What it Could Mean to the States

          By   2 years ago

          President Obama recently released the White House’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP) last Tuesday.[1] After a hacker released a statement last Monday that he is planning to dump thousands of FBI and DHS employee details[2], the release of the CNAP comes none too soon. The President’s plan outlines the formation of a new commission, a […]

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          iConstitution: How Apple is using the Constitution as a basis for its argument against the FBI

          By   2 years ago

          It’s quite difficult to imagine exactly what the Framers of the Constitution would think of the construal of their document to protect the locked-away iMessages and data of the San Bernardino terrorists. Yet, the principles of the Constitution that Apple is using to rebut the arguments of the FBI protect the rights of the individual […]

          Read More →

            Counterterrorism View All →

            Legal Implications of Detaining the Latest American Enemy Combatant

            By   1 week ago

            By Annica Mae Mattus It is around four weeks since the Department of Defense announced an American citizen is being detained by American forces as an enemy combatant after surrendering to Syrian Democratic Forces, but no additional details have since been made. This is not the first time that an American citizen has been detained […]

            Read More →

            Targeted Drone Strikes and the Growing Unrest in Yemen

            By   10 months ago

            By James Feeney Less than a month after the deadly terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States launched its first-ever deadly targeted drone strike and changed the way the United States conducted warfare in the future. Drone strikes dramatically increased since then and have been used in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, […]

            Read More →

            Sunset Provisions: Providing Parameters for the Use of Military Force

            By   11 months ago

            By Anthony Bjelke A recent article in The New Yorker examined the difficulties associated with defining America’s War on Drugs. As a preamble to its examination of the topic, it stated: “The United States has declared war on cancer, on pornography and on terror, and the lesson to be gleaned from those campaigns is that, […]

            Read More →

            The Implications of the Federal Definition of Domestic Terrorism

            By   11 months ago

            By Natalie Holland On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof attacked the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, North Carolina where he shot and killed nine people with the intention of provoking a race war. Later that year, on December 2, 2015, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik shot and killed 14 people and seriously […]

            Read More →

            Difficulties in Prosecuting Islamic State Members Under International Law

            By   1 year ago

            Since its emergence in 2013, The Islamic State has used increasingly violent tactics in an attempt to establish a worldwide caliphate.[i] The Islamic State is accused of committing crimes of unspeakable cruelty including mass executions, sexual slavery, rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence, torture, mutilation, enlistment and forced recruitment of children, and […]

            Read More →

            The Slippery Slope of Creating an iPhone Backdoor

            By   2 years ago

            By Gregory Coutros The FBI’s request that Apple provide an electronic backdoor into the iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooters is, on its face, a reasonable request. The government’s need to access the phone is undoubtedly important for national security so as to protect against terrorist attacks similar to the San Bernardino shooting. The […]

            Read More →

            Backdoors: National Security versus the Fourth Amendment

            By   2 years ago

            As citizens of the United States, we rely on our nation’s foundation of rights as defined by the Constitution. These fundamental rights are guaranteed us, and these rights are protected and enforced by our Government – but what happens when it is the Government that is testing the boundaries of one of those rights, namely, […]

            Read More →

              Experts View All →

              The Washington Post Editorial Board Reads the Lawfare Blog

              By   6 years ago

              By Kenneth Anderson Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes have been arguing for several days now at the Lawfare blog that the Obama administration should release either the Justice Department opinion approving the Al-Awlaki attack, suitably redacted, or some statement that puts out in some detail it’s legal reasoning. The Washington Post has evidently read those […]

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              Why Palestinian Statehood is a Question for the U.N.

              By   6 years ago

              As the Palestinians seek U.N. support for a state of their own, Washington has advanced two arguments to dissuade them: first, that taking the issue of statehood to the United Nations is a unilateral move away from negotiations with Israel; and second, that the effort will be counterproductive because the United States will veto any […]

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              Wikileaks, the Espionage Act, and the First Amendment: The Law, Politics, and Policy of Prosecuting Julian Assange

              By   7 years ago

              On January 11, 2011, American University National Security Law Brief faculty advisors Daniel Marcus and Steven Vladeck participated in a featured event on the legal aspects of the WikiLeaks controversy and the applicability of the Espionage Act. In the days prior to the event, Professor Marcus also discussed the key issues involved on MSNBC’s The […]

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              Is “National Security Law” Inherently Paradoxical?

              By   7 years ago

              By Stephen Vladek I’m perhaps the last person who should be asking the question at the heart of this essay—whether “national security law” really deserves to be its own independent field of study, and, in that vein, an appropriate subject for field-specific publications such as this one. I offer this caveat at the outset not […]

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              Experts Challenge Legality of U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan

              By   7 years ago

              In the past week, U.N. investigators and law professors alike have spoken out concerning the CIA-directed drone strikes on al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Christof Heyns, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, argued in a report to the U.N. General Assembly that this program raised serious and unexamined concerns regarding the […]

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              Bellinger Op-Ed in Sunday NYT, Claims Bush and Obama Similar on Int'l Law

              By   8 years ago

              In a Sunday Op-Ed piece for the New York Times, John Bellinger, partner at Arnold & Porter (and former Bush State Dept. lawyer) asserted that Obama’s general approach to international law has thus far been similar to Bush’s. Two of the critical things Bellinger cites are the administrative difficulties that have slowed the closing of […]

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              WCL's Kenneth Anderson on Nat'l Journal Targeted Killings Issues

              By   8 years ago

              Last week at Opiniojuris.org, WCL Professor Kenneth Anderson discussed and linked to two National Journal articles on UAV killings. The articles discuss the Obama Administration’s greatly increased use of UAVs and growing legal concerns surrounding targeted killings. In his blog commentary, Anderson suggested that both are essential reading, with the latter article serving as good […]

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