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A New Hope: Obama’s Inaugural Address and American Foreign Policy

It was critical that President Obama send the right signal to the rest of the world about a new approach to foreign policy. He did just that in his Inaugural Address:
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter …

Remembering Martin Luther King and the Work Ahead

On this day in which the United States commemorates the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson has an op-ed in the New York Times describing Dr. King’s last birthday– January 15, 1968. Jackson writes:
Dr. King spent his 39th birthday working. I remember him coming to the basement of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. He walked in that day around …

6 More Persons Transferred From Guantanamo

From the January 17 DoD Press Release:
The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of six detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Four detainees were transferred to Iraq, one to Algeria and one to Afghanistan.  These detainees were determined to be eligible for departure following a comprehensive series of review processes.
The transfer is a demonstration of the United States’ desire not …

FISA Court of Review Holds a Foreign Intelligence Exception to the Warrant Requirement

A decision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review from August 22, 2008 was just made public under the title, * In re Directives ** Pursuant to Section 105B of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review) . The opinon was written by Chief Judge Selya and Judges Winter and Arnold.
Bobby Chesney explains:
In brief, the …

Salim Hamdan Released by Yemeni Authorities

In case you missed this– Reuters reported:
Yemen freed Osama bin Laden’s former driver last week after he served out his prison term following his return in November from the American prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, his lawyer said Sunday.
“Salim Hamdan was released on Thursday to live with his family in Sana,” said the lawyer, Khaled al-Ansi. He said Mr. …

Office of Legal Counsel Memos on International and National Security Law Just Posted

Bobby Chesney brings to our attention 6 OLC memos that were posted on the OLC website yesterday:

“PROTECTED PERSON” STATUS IN OCCUPIED IRAQ UNDER THE FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION (March 18, 2004) (added 1/08/09)
STATUS OF TALIBAN FORCES UNDER ARTICLE 4 OF THE THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949 (February 7, 2002) (added 1/08/09)
AUTHORITY OF THE PRESIDENT UNDER DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL …

Security Council Adopts Resolution on Gaza

Late Thursday evening, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1860. The vote was 14 in favor, with the United States abstaining. The Resolution provides:

“The Security Council,
“Recalling all of its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003) and 1850 (2008),
“Stressing that the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the territory occupied in 1967 and will …

Habeas for Detainees Abroad?

From SCOTUSblog:
Voicing some concern over the government creating a “black hole” for detainees in a “law-free zone” at an overseas military base, a federal judge hinted on Wednesday that he may allow some of the prisoners the U.S. holds in Afghanistan to file court cases to test their captivity.
U.S. District Judge John D. Bates strongly implied that he thought some …


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Welcome! Who am I?



Anthony Clark Arend is Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the Director of the Master of Science in Foreign Service in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Commentary and analysis at the intersection of international law and politics.