Tag Archives: International Law

The Two Realities

Professor Mark Shulman’s article advocating the adoption of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms as a foundation for U.S. foreign policy is a useful contribution to the contemporary political debate. Indeed, we all might wish that his policy prescriptions would lead to a new age of enlightened internationalism under U.S. influence and leadership. Unfortunately, history does not afford us cause for optimism. In the last 100 years, twice – after both World Wars – the West has hoped for a better world free from want and fear. And yet, those hopes – for the enshrinement of the Four Freedoms in the halls of government around the world – foundered on the rocks of reality when totalitarianism was established in a resurgent Germany under Hitler and in the hegemony of Stalinist Russia during the Cold War.

National Security Law Advice to the New Administration

By any measure, the period between September 11, 2001, and the 2008 presidential election witnessed an unprecedented tangle of controversies at the intersection of national security law and policy. The Bush administration responded to the September 11 attacks and the threat of further terrorism by asserting expansive executive authority across a wide range of national security domains. The President fashioned new rules for detaining those captured in what was called the “global war on terror” …

 

National Security Advice for a New Administration: Initial Thoughts

The opening phrase in Charles Dickens’s Tale of Two Cities nicely captures the national security challenges confronting the nation as a new administration takes office. After the stunning failures of the preceding Administration, Obama’s inauguration in November 2008 was greeted with euphoria. Obama’s bearing, approach and outlook seemed to offer a “just in time” rescue for national security policies run aground. Now, as the day-to- day reality of governing sets in, it is increasingly clear that the nation will need every bit of the new President’s heralded thoughtfulness and calm. Obama seems an excellent example of Ernest Hemingway’s definition of courage as “grace under pressure.” Even without considering the economic debacle confronting the world and its impact on global markets, the national security concerns confronting the United States as the world’s leading power are daunting.