Commentaries by Louis Rene Beres

(C) Wikimedia Commons (Rijksmuseum)

US President Donald Trump’s expanding crises with both North Korea and Iran, and his apparent willingness to withdraw from a second US-Russia nuclear arms control treaty, are just some currently prominent examples of a longer standing problem with world politics and international law. This problem is the continuing US inclination to base American national security [...]

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In apparent response to US President Donald Trump’s unilateral American withdrawal from the July 2015 Iran Pact (JCPOA), the Islamic Republic has seemingly reinvigorated its active nuclear program. In turn, this has led to a more-or-less continuing cycle of threat and counter-threat between the two adversarial countries, and has been reinforced by both US Secretary [...]

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Though rarely understood, there can be no greater form of power on this earth than power over death. Ominously, this always-preeminent form of power in world politics remains unrecognized by American foreign policy-makers. The perilous result is that this country’s counter-insurgent strategies will become less and less adequate. It’s not an enviable situation for the [...]

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“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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“I believe” is the one great word against metaphysical fear. Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West At least one thing is clear. Those terrorists who carried out the Easter Sunday attacks on certain Sri Lankan churches and hotels would have resonated with Oswald Spengler’s urgent affirmation. “I believe” was plainly at the conceptual core of [...]

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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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(c) Wikimedia (Dan Scavino, Jr.)

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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