Recent Posts

Chris's and Ken Anderson's posts raise some fascinating questions about the ICRC and its recently promulgated rules of customary international humanitarian law. I agree with Ken that -- even accepting as true ICRC's bias against the US -- Rivkin and and Casey go too far in suggesting that the US rethink its generous support of ICRC. ICRC does much more...

Despite relentless attacks from establishment media like the NYT (who called him the "worst of some bad nominees"), it looks like John Bolton will be confirmed as U.N. Ambassador. Curiously, very few of the news reports of his testimony yesterday highlighted the ways in which this so-called hardliner has adopted pro-internationalists positions. The FT is the only account I've seen...

Kenneth Anderson has some thought-provoking comments on the evolution of the customary norms of armed conflict here, as part of a longer post on an article by David Rivkin and Lee Casey on the ICRC's views. (I should state that, generally speaking, I find Rivkin and Casey's essays to be quite unpersuasive and a little paranoid. This David Rivkin,...

In a speech last Thursday to the UN HR Commission, Kofi Annan laid out his vision for a new Human Rights Council to replace the very Commission he was addressing. He noted that the Commission's ability to perform the tasks for which it was formed has been both overtaken by new challenges and by the politicization and selectivity of its...

Julian’s point is well taken; what we may be seeing in the Bush administration is a shift to a more realistic foreign policy and less a continuation of the schizophrenia of the first term. I hope that is correct. But by the Administration's attempts to appease the fringe elements in its party, I fear that it is not.I accept...

Chris makes some very good points about the Bush Administration's foreign policy "schizophrenia" and listing the nomination of Bolton as symptomatic of the problem. Not surprisingly, I disagree. I think this "schizoprenia" is actually a good thing.I do agree that there is some back-and-forth in the Bush Administration's foreign policy recently, but I actually think this reflects an increasing sophistication...

The WTO's Appellate Body ruled yesterday that most U.S. laws (including state laws) restricting internet gambling do not violate WTO obligations (The decision can be found here). This reversed a Panel Report in favor of Antigua and Barbados alleging that U.S. restrictions on offshore internet gambling was discriminatory against their internet gambling industries. This is a complicated issue, and some...

Today the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, a case involving a challenge to the military commission trials of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. This is an enormously complicated case involving questions concerning the judicial enforceability of treaties such as the Geneva Convention, the President's power to interpret and apply those treaties, and the President's authority...

Peggy’s post and Julian’s comment to her post set out some good arguments as to why John Bolton is or is not the right person to send to the UN. (Democracy Arsenal, by the way, has the top ten reasons why John Bolton should not be confirmed. Also note this post.) Regardless, I think there is little doubt that...

Foreign Policy's cover story on the "Committee that Runs the World," i.e., the Bush national security team, is well worth a read. (Try playing the "two degrees of Henry Kissinger" game at home!) Over at Democracy Arsenal, Derek Chollet has this positive assessment of the second-term "dream team" Condoleezza Rice is assembling at State. Over at Slate, Fred Kaplan has...

William Taft gave excellent legal advice to the Secretary of State and to the President. The Supreme Court, our international allies, U.S. public opinion, and the President have each vindicated him. The advice of the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel, by contrast, proved to be short-sighted or worse. If you haven’t already done so, please read Taft’s memo on the...