Elizabeth Goitein and Joseph Nunn argue that the Insurrection Act is one of the most powerful and wide-ranging authorities available to the President of the United States. The Act authorizes the president to deploy US armed forces and the militia to suppress insurrections, quell civil unrest and domestic violence, and otherwise enforce the law in the face of obstruction. However, despite the wide-reaching powers it grants, the criteria set forth in the Act for its utilization does little in the way of imposing any meaningful constraints.
Compounding the problem is the fact that neither Congress nor the courts share any responsibility for the invocation of the Act—Congress has neither oversight nor approval, and courts have proved reluctant to question the president’s judgment on the deployment of troops in domestic emergencies. The Act therefore functions outside of the fundamental system of checks and balances, increasing the danger that the Act will be invoked without sufficient grounds.
While previous invocations of the Act protected marginalized communities, recent events—particularly the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol—have raised concerns about under what circumstances the Insurrection Act may be invoked, and against whom. The authors trace the history of the Insurrection Act from the early days of the country to the present, analyzing its strengths and weaknesses, and particularly highlighting its potential for abuse. They also detail a proposal for reforming the Insurrection Act, modifying it in a way that would better comply with American democratic ideals.
John Goehring argues the US regulatory environment for commercial space programs should promote industry growth, comply with international obligations, and preserve national security.
Goehring dubs these commercial space regulation efforts as the “rule of three.” After providing a brief background on existing regulatory regimes for commercial space operations, he describes the components of the rule of three and the sources of authority they are derived from. He then analyzes and applies the rule of three to two aspects of commercial space regulation: remote sensing, and radiofrequency collection.
Goehring observes that the regulatory regime for remote sensing satisfies and balances all three objectives appropriately whereas the radiofrequency collecting regime has gaps. He concludes that balance, dynamism, and embracing a holistic perspective are key toward striving for and attaining these three goals to ensure no regulatory gaps exist in the US commercial space industry.
The contours of America’s counterterrorism strategy against al Qaeda and the Islamic State have remained remarkably consistent over the past two decades, broadly focused on degrading al Qaeda’s and the Islamic State’s external attack capabilities and global networks, disrupting their operations through military operations or enhanced law enforcement and border security, and denying them sanctuaries.
Increasingly, drone strikes address threats from terrorism by supplementing local partnerships and other counterterrorism activities because their long-range strike precision complements and enables a low-footprint, partner-based approach. The perceived success of this model in reducing the transnational terrorism threat has since resulted in further cutbacks to resources and the adoption of an “over-the-horizon” posture.
Katherine Zimmerman argues that while this strategy appears to be checking the right boxes in terms of effectiveness and sustainability, there is an inherent risk in managing, and not solving, the Salafi-Jihadi terrorism threat.
Multiple challenges to the partner-based approach are discussed in Zimmerman’s article, ending with suggestions to adopt new strategies such as investments in foreign aid programs, while also reducing drones to a supporting, rather than lead, role in this fight.