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On President’s Day this week, President Donald picked a widely-praised national security adviser in the person of Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster. Jordan Brunner provided background on the newly-appointed McMaster, and the Rational Security gang discussed his appointment, as well as the assassination of the North Korean leader’s half-brother Kim Jung-nam, on the “Death Without Dignity” Edition, which Benjamin Wittes posted:
Stephan Haggard also looked at the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, examining its effects on the U.S.-China relationship along with the North Korean missile launch and the recent Chinese ban on North Korean coal imports. Rick Houghton examined North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launch and its foreign policy implications for Trump.
Ben and Susan Hennessey provided thoughts and comments on a message they received from a group of Foreign Service officers about Trump’s refugee ban and their obligations to the interagency process and in implementing potentially faulty executive orders. Carrie Cordero provided Part II of her thoughts about making national security arguments in court, this time with advice for Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
In other foreign affairs, Chris Mirasola examined China’s proposed changes to its maritime safety law and compliance with UNCLOS, while Jimmy Chalk and Sarah Grant detailed how the Chinese and U.S. militaries are staking out their positions as ASEAN foreign minister met in the Philippines in “Water Wars.” Ingrid Wuerth analyzed whether Trump controls head-of-state immunity determinations in U.S. courts. And John Bellinger and Andy Wang described the perhaps still-lingering circuit split over what “touch and concern” means in the Alien Tort Statute, even after the Supreme Court’s decision in RJR Nabisco.
David Bosco outlined the options that the United States has for responding to ICC scrutiny in Afghanistan and J. Dana Stuster provided us with the “Middle East Ticker,” while David Schenker detailed how the United States should help Jordan from the chaos on its borders. Russell Spivak provided background on Jamal al-Harith, the ISIS suicide bomber who had been repatriated from Guantanamo Bay prison.
Paul Rosenzweig posted versions of the DHS implementation memos on Trump’s immigration executive orders that he had received, Chris summarized the memos, and Peter Margulies commented on them in two parts, the first discussing expedited removal and the second presenting the potential legal issues with having a hearing for immigrants after the removal has happened.
In the Foreign Policy Essay, Stevan Weine described how local law enforcement uses community policing to combat terrorism.
Alice Hill described how President Donald Trump dominated the Munich Security Conference.
Jane Chong examined the historical relationship between the White House and the Justice Department within the context of the 2009 Holder memo.
Helen Murillo analyzed whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions should recuse himself from investigations into the Trump administration’s ties to Russia.
And Bob Bauer provided his thoughts on the proper role of the White House Counsel.
Robert Loeb and Emma Kohse examined the first invocation of the state secrets privilege by the DOJ in the Trump administration in Salim v. Mitchell.
Paul Rosenzweig noted that calls for an investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia should seek a special counsel, not a special prosecutor.
Jane Chong highlighted some less-covered themes from Trump’s first press conference of his presidency.
And Quinta Jurecic posted this week's Lawfare Podcast: Edward Jay Epstein on “How America Lost Its Secrets.”
And that was the week that was.