Defense and Security

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Radiolab: 60 Words

"In the hours after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a lawyer sat down in front of a computer and started writing a legal justification for taking action against those responsible. The language that he drafted and that President George W. Bush signed into law called the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF)has at its heart one single sentence, 60 words long. Over the last decade, those 60 words have become the legal foundation for the 'war on terror.'"

See more in United States; 9/11 Impact

Article

The Power to Threaten War

Author: Matthew C. Waxman
Yale Law Journal Online

Matt Waxman shows that congressional influence operates more robustly—and in different ways—than usually supposed in legal debates about war powers to shape strategic decision-making. In turn, these mechanisms of congressional influence can enhance the potency of threatened force.

See more in United States; Wars and Warfare

Article

Planning for Withdrawal in Afghanistan May Be Smart, But It’s Not Wise

Author: Daniel S. Markey
Defense One

Votes are still being counted in Afghanistan's presidential election, but preliminary results suggest that no candidate won a majority. If these results hold up and no backroom deals are cooked up between Afghan politicians, a runoff poll will follow and the victor will not likely be declared until late summer. That timeline is making U.S. and NATO military planners very nervous.

See more in Afghanistan; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Defense Strategy

Primary Sources

Secretary Hagel's Remarks at People's Liberation Army National Defense University

Secretary Chuck Hagel traveled to China and Japan as part of the Obama administration's rebalance to the Asia Pacific region. On April 8, 2014, he spoke at the PLA's National Defense University about military-to-military relations and took questions about the U.S. stance on East China Sea and South China Sea disputes, the status of Taiwan, and the rapid economic development in China.

See more in China; United States; Regional Security; Grand Strategy

Primary Sources

Nuclear Security Summit Statements

On April 5, 2009, President Obama gave a speech in Prague, calling nuclear terrorism "the most immediate and extreme threat to global security," and hosted the first Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Washington, DC in April 2010. Additional summits took place in Seoul in 2012 and in the Hague in 2014. The summit aims to secure nuclear material and encourage collaboration between countries to eliminate nuclear weapons. Countries report on their progress in securing their nuclear materials.

See more in Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation; United States; Global