3 Articles by Jack Goldsmith

Posted on Tuesday June 4 2024

“The Middle East and the President’s Sweeping Power Over Self-Defense,” by Jack Goldsmith, Lawfare, October 23, 2023.

The Middle East may be on the verge of large-scale war, and the U.S. military is literally on the firing line. Late last week, the USS Carney intercepted and destroyed three missiles and several drones fired from Yemen even though it did not know where the missiles were headed. “We cannot say for certain what these missiles and drones were targeting, but they were launched heading north along the Red Sea potentially towards targets in Israel,” said Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder. “This action was a demonstration of the integrated air and missile defense architecture that we built in the Middle East and that we are prepared to utilize whenever necessary to protect our partners and our interests,” he added.

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“Can Biden Sidestep Congress on an Iran Nuclear Deal?” by Jack Goldsmith, Lawfare, June 21, 2023.

The Biden administration might soon reach an agreement of sorts with Iran that would seek, among other things, to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons program. A major complication is that the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) requires the president to “transmit” an “agreement” relating to the nuclear program of Iran to Congress, and then establishes a review period during which (a) the president may not exercise his sanctions-waiving authority, and (b) Congress can vote on the agreement. News reports suggest that the Biden team is laying the groundwork to argue that an informal deal with Iran does not constitute an “agreement” and thus does not trigger any reporting duty under the INARA.

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“Presidential Control Over International Law,” by Curtis A. Bradley & Jack L. Goldsmith, Harvard Law Review, Volume 131, March, 2018.

Two of President Barack Obama’s most important foreign policy accomplishments were the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which aims to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and the Iran Nuclear Agreement, which lifted international and domestic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran’s dismantling of its nuclear weapons development program. President Obama made both agreements unilaterally without seeking congressional approval. His successor, President Donald Trump, came into office as a critic of the agreements. He, too, acted unilaterally — this time moving to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. He has also claimed the authority to unilaterally terminate the Iran deal, but to date he has not done so, in part because President Obama’s alteration of the status quo makes it difficult to terminate the deal without harming U.S. interests.

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3 Articles by Jack Goldsmith

Posted on Tuesday June 4

“The Middle East and the President’s Sweeping Power Over Self-Defense,” by Jack Goldsmith, Lawfare, October 23, 2023. The Middle East may be on the verge of large-scale war, and the U.S. military is literally on the firing line. Late last week, the USS Carney intercepted and destroyed three missiles and several drones fired from Yemen even though […]

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Robert Einhorn on Nuclear Proliferation

Posted on Monday May 13

“A way forward on a US-Saudi civil nuclear agreement,” by Robert Einhorn, Brookings Institution, April 12, 2024. The Biden administration has responded positively to Saudi Arabia’s interest in civil nuclear cooperation with the United States—both because such cooperation is a Saudi condition for the normalization of Saudi-Israeli relations, which the administration strongly supports, and because […]

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Sea Change: Nordic-Baltic Security in a New Era

Posted on Friday March 22

By Edward Lucas, Catherine Sendak, Charlotta Collén, Jan Kallberg and Krista Viksnins, Center for European Policy Analysis, September 28, 2023. For the countries around the Baltic Sea, Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine both highlighted a problem and created a potential solution to it. The Kremlin’s unambiguous demonstration of aggressive intent and capability underlined the risks of dismantling […]

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The Inescapable Two-State Imperative

Posted on Saturday March 2

By Jake Walles, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, April 19, 2021. The arrival of a new U.S. administration offers a welcome opportunity for a reset of U.S. policy vis-á-vis the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Donald Trump’s administration followed an approach that diverged sharply from those of its predecessors, but its so-called new thinking achieved little and unnecessarily alienated […]

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Two Essays by Ron Lehman

Posted on Saturday December 30

Lehman, Ron. “Sputnik-like Events: Responding to Technological Surprise.” In Strategic Latency: Red, White, and Blue — Managing the National and International Security Consequences of Disruptive Technologies edited by Zachary S. Davis and Michael Nacht, pp 33-51. Center for Global Security Research, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 2016. National security costs imposed by technological surprise can be […]

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Symposium: Advancing Cyber Diplomacy

Posted on Wednesday December 6

Council on Foreign Relations, March 2023. This symposium convenes senior government officials and experts from academia and the private sector to address the U.S. Department of State’s newly created Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, the goals of American cyber diplomacy, and how major public and private international stakeholders can advance global cyber cooperation amidst […]

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Is Net-Zero a Possible Solution to the Climate Problem?

Posted on Monday October 30

By John M. Deutch, MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, October, 2023. Historically, the objective of climate policy has been to maintain the global average temperature increase under a specified level. Increasingly, countries and organizations today express the objective as a specific target date for reaching Net-zero emissions. Over ninety countries, including China […]

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Yes, the government keeps way too many secrets

Posted on Thursday September 28

By Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, September 3, 2022. We don’t yet know what classified documents and information former President Donald Trump took with him to Mar-a-Lago. But all of this talk about the secrets the government keeps from its citizens gets to a gripe of mine as a journalist: The US government often misapplies classification […]

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The Evolution of Authoritarian Digital Influence: Grappling with the New Normal

Posted on Tuesday August 29

By Shanthi Kalathil, PRISM, October 21, 2020 As the world contends with the wide-ranging ramifications of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it has been simultaneously beset by the global information crisis, which mimics the shape of the pandemic itself in its viral effects across huge segments of the global population. Misinformation—unwittingly spread false information—is rampant. Overarching […]

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Ambassador Charles Ray: Three articles on Why Africa Matters

Posted on Monday July 10

Our August 2023 speaker, Ambassador Charles Ray, thought the following articles would provide a helpful background for his presentation on Why Africa Matters. “Does Africa Matter to the United States?” by Charles A. Ray, Foreign Policy Research Institute, January 11, 2021. Most Americans generally have one of two images of Africa: a primitive home of famine, […]

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‘It’s good to think strategically’: Thomas E Ricks on civil rights and January 6

Posted on Saturday July 1

 By Martin Pengelly, The Guardian, October 8, 2022. “There is a direct connection from Freedom Summer to the January 6 committee,” says Thomas E Ricks as he discusses his new book, Waging a Good War: A Military History of the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1968. Freedom Summer was a 1964 campaign to draw attention to violence […]

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Amna Nawaz Interviews & Reports

Posted on Thursday June 1

Our June 2023 speaker, Amna Nawaz, thought the following videos would provide a helpful background for her presentation On the Frontlines: Reporting Overseas and Here at Home. “Secretary of State Blinken discusses U.S. immigration policy as Title 42 ends,” PBS NewsHour, May 11, 2023 With COVID restrictions at the border expiring, the U.S. is preparing […]

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Christopher Costa: Two articles on future terrorism threats

Posted on Tuesday April 25

Our May 2023 speaker, Christopher Costa, thought the following articles would provide a helpful background for his presentation on Counterterrorism and the Future Terrorism Threat. The world has entered the fifth wave of anti-government terrorism,” by Christopher Costa, The Hill, January 12, 2023. In light of a failed far-right coup in December in Germany, fueled by ideologically and historically incoherent […]

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Cyberwar in Ukraine: What You See Is Not What’s Really There

Posted on Sunday April 2

By Susan Landau Friday, September 30, 2022, 8:01 AM It has been seven months since Russia invaded Ukraine. Despite much speculation, many aspects of the war have ultimately not turned out as expected. The war wasn’t, as Russia had anticipated, a six-day rout—or even a six-month one. And notably, cyber didn’t, as some had predicted, […]

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Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons at our behest. Here’s what we owe them.

Posted on Saturday March 4

By Jon B. Wolfsthal, The Washington Post, February 10, 2023 The world is on the cusp of a dangerous new nuclear era, and the war in Ukraine might be a glimpse of what is to come. Reflecting this, the hands of the iconic Doomsday Clock, an indicator reflecting the opinion of the Bulletin of the Atomic […]

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