Latest Briefings

Four Unanswered Strategic Questions on the Islamic State Intervention

September 19, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel appeared before Congress this week to present the President’s case for escalating the intervention against the Islamic State. But after multiple hearings, the Administration still has important questions to answer before Congress should authorize an escalation of the U.S. role in Iraq and Syria. […]

POLICY BRIEF – Navigating an AUMF for the Islamic State: Toward a High-Standard Authorization

September 17, 2014

Policy Brief by Bill French and J. Dana Stuster September 18, 2014  Read the full NSN policy brief. Policymakers in Congress and the Executive Branch are rightfully focused on addressing the threat posed by the Islamic State. The White House maintains that it already possesses the legal authority for armed conflict against the Islamic State […]

President’s “Critics” Don’t Have an Islamic State Strategy

September 15, 2014

Since President Obama outlined his plan to confront the Islamic State last Wednesday, critics have pounced on the proposal. Though the President’s strategy has many shortcomings, some of which NSN addressed last week, many of the President’s critics have in fact agreed with the principles of the plan – but then claimed differently. These critics […]

President Obama’s Islamic State Strategy: Sound in Principle, but Plan Still Incomplete

September 11, 2014

Last night, President Obama spoke to the American people to outline his strategy for confronting the Islamic State. He outlined a plan to coordinate a broad international coalition to train, assist, and provide intelligence and air support to partner forces in the region taking the fight to the terrorist organization. The speech comes after months […]

How (and How Not) to Consider a Possible AUMF Against the Islamic State

September 8, 2014

As the debate continues about how to respond to the Islamic State, Washington is already showing signs of considering an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to authorize expanded operations in Iraq and potentially Syria. While any expanded operations should be specifically authorized by Congress, it remains premature to consider an AUMF to deal […]

Articulating a Strategy to Fight the Islamic State

September 5, 2014

The Obama Administration is cautiously escalating its efforts to defeat the Islamic State, building an international coalition to support ongoing operations that have included advising Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga and supporting offensives in Iraq against the Islamic State with airstrikes. But as the United States increases its efforts to push back the Islamic […]

Responding to Russia’s Actions in Ukraine: The Role of NATO

September 3, 2014

Recent reports indicate that Russia has escalated its assistance to rebels in eastern Ukraine with a greater flow of armaments and the direct involvement of around 1,000 Russian troops. This morning, a day ahead of the NATO summit in the United Kingdom, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have endorsed a ceasefire plan in Ukraine […]

NSN Special Update – Military Action in Iraq: Assessing the Legal Authorities

August 21, 2014

  Limited airstrikes by the United States against the Islamic State are entering their third week. The stated objectives of the strikes, which have hit about 90 targets so far, is to protect American personnel in Iraq and facilitate humanitarian relief. President Obama has signaled that military operations may increase in intensity and scope on […]

REPORT: Ending the Endless War

August 12, 2014

An Incremental Approach to Repealing the 2001 AUMF By Bill French with John Bradshaw August 2014 The Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF)  passed in 2001 is unique among other such authorizations in American history in that it includes no limitations in time, geography, operations, or a named enemy, as this report documents […]

Seeing Past the Theatrics on the Iran Debate

July 30, 2014

The NSN Daily Update will be on hiatus during the congressional August recess and return in September. Hearings on Capitol Hill yesterday on the Iran nuclear talks produced serious testimony by Administration witnesses but also enabled considerable uninformed showboating by opponents of a diplomatic agreement with Iran. Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary of State for Political […]

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