Commentaries by Louis Rene Beres

“Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration.”-US President Donald Trump, June 23, 2019 “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it  is forced to defend itself or its allies we will have no choice but to totally [...]

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Targeted killing campaigns are still accelerating under the Trump administration, with fewer constraints and even less transparency. More precisely, it seems that the Obama-era Presidential Policy Guidance has been relaxed in two very meaningful ways: targets of “kill missions” are being expanded to include more Jihadist “Foot Soldiers” (rather than just identifiable terrorist leaders) and directed drone [...]

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The leading law-based news these days has been the ‘Mueller Report’ and its more-or-less exculpatory conclusions about U.S. presidential “collusion.” Even if evolving clarifications of this controversial report should further support the absence of presidential illegality in this specific matter, illegality that could involve certain corollary allegations concerning “obstruction of justice,” the Trump administration would [...]

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Contrary to conventional wisdom, both nuclear deterrence and associated forms of nuclear strategy, including preemption, can support the authoritative expectations of international law. The adequacy of international law in preventing a nuclear war in the Middle East will depend upon more than formal treaties, customs and “the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations.” [...]

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In the continuously unsettling matter of Otto Warmbier, Donald Trump and Kim Jung Un, a key legal point has been overlooked or obscured: Whether or not the North Korean leader actually knew of Mr. Warmbier’s brutal treatment, torture and death, he remains fully responsible for this crime under pertinent law. This is primarily because of [...]

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“What does not benefit the entire hive is no benefit to the bee.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Back at the World War I Armistice Day ceremonies in France in 2018, Emmanuel Macron ventured a well-reasoned condemnation of Donald Trump’s belligerent nationalism. By describing the American president’s rancorous sentiments as a “betrayal of patriotism,” the French president [...]

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It’s not just about the 2012 Magnitsky Act. President Donald Trump’s recent affirmation of support for Saudi Arabia–even with incontrovertible evidence of Saudi criminality in the Jamal Khashoggi murder–reflects willful indifference to much wider sources of pertinent law. Both international law and the laws of the United States were flagrantly violated by this official American [...]

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“The enemy is the unphilosophical spirit which knows nothing and wants to know nothing of truth.” Karl Jaspers, Reason and Anti-Reason in our Time (1971) Yet again, assessments of national security threats to the United States thoroughly contradict US President Trump’s own off-the-cuff appraisals. This time it is about satellite images confirming that North Korea is rapidly [...]

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