Bringing Back the Draft

Peter Feaver, a political science professor and author of ­numerous works on national security, says the argument for the draft is a backdoor approach to ending the current types of interventionist wars we are fighting. “That is an argument about American grand strategy masquerading as being about the all-volunteer force,” he says. Feaver is skeptical that the ­American military might find itself in such a ­predicament as to need large numbers of troops from a draft, noting the “U.S. military has the wherewithal to do most of the missions needed.”

Read More in the Military Times

Justices Felt Trump Travel Ban ‘Too Restrictive’

At a Duke Law School event in Washington, D.C., Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg  said the court decided that close relationships include grandparents and other relatives. The administration initially left them off its list of family members who would not be covered by President Donald Trump’s 90-day travel ban.

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Trump White House Tests Capacity For Outrage

The president signed his hotly contested travel ban on visitors from selected Muslim-majority countries at the Pentagon and publicly opined about how troops had voted for him and complained about the news media in front of military audiences. The comment was a mistake, says political scientist Peter Feaver. “While there is a legitimate role for senior brass to explain military affairs to the public, it is not good for civil-military relations to have the military viewed as a special interest group pleading for bigger budgets.”

Read More in The New York Times

Congress And Big Self-Driving Car Companies

“I do think the chumminess is due to industry pressure,” says Missy Cummings, a former naval pilot who runs Duke’s Humans and Autonomy Laboratory. “Companies are pouring significant money into lobbying efforts for both sides, so I think you are seeing this influence in how quickly these bills are being pushed through.”

Read More in The Verge

New History of The Right an Intellectual Flashpoint

A phalanx of largely libertarian critics has waged an online battle against historian Nancy MacLean over her book, while her sympathizers call the response a Koch-backed smear campaign. At the heart of the book’s purported plot to threaten democracy is a Nobel-winning economist whose ideas MacLean characterizes as “diabolical” and “wicked”: James McGill Buchanan.

Read More in The Chronicle of Higher Education

President Trump Wades Into Venezuelan Row

Donald Trump has threatened to take strong and swift action against Venezuela if President Nicolas Maduro imposes constitutional changes. That “signals a change in U.S. thinking,” says Fuqua professor Patrick Duddy, a former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela who now directs Duke’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. “Today’s announcement suggests Washington is considering much broader sanctions.”

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A Simple Fix to Encourage Bipartisanship in House

“A return to more bipartisanship and centrist politics requires changing the rules of the political game in ways that provide incentives for politicians to place the general welfare ahead of narrow partisan concerns,” writes professor Georg Vanberg, political science chair.

Read More in The Hill

‘Democracy in Chains’: Q&A With Nancy MacLean

History professor Nancy MacLean “has unearthed a stealth ideologue of the American right. Her book, ‘Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America,’ tells the story of one James McGill Buchanan, a Southern political scientist and father of ‘public choice economics.'”

Read More at Moyers & Company

Finding The Truth in Complex Civilian-Casualty Investigations

“I contend that while witness interviews are certainly valuable, research in recent years shows that allegedly ‘eyewitness’ accounts carry their own risks and limitations,” writes law professor Charles Dunlap. “Accordingly, I believe that human rights organizations ought to rethink the extent to which they rely (over rely?) on such testimony to – as they put it – form the “bedrock” of their investigations, particularly in contested war zone areas.”

Read More in Lawfire

Amnesty Says Possible War Crimes In Mosul by U.S.-Led Coalition

Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap, now a law professor at Duke, questions Amnesty’s claim that coalition forces may have committed war crimes. “The law – which even in this context carries, as Amnesty International should know, a presumption of innocence – typically demands evidence of the attacker’s beliefs and intent before ascribing criminal liability. I didn’t see much of that in the report,” he says.

Read More at NPR


Gov. Brown is Supporting a Giveaway to Polluters

“California currently has one of the most comprehensive climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction programs in the world,” writes Mark Paul, a postdoctoral associate at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity. However, legislation supported by Gov. Jerry Brown “falls woefully short” if the goal is to safeguard both the Earth’s climate and the health of Californians, while promoting economic security of Californian families, he writes.

Read More in The Huffington Post


Potential Legal Troubles for Kushner, Trump Jr.

“… The statute is pretty clear that it`s a federal crime to solicit a campaign contribution from a foreign source,” says law professor Samuel Buell. “It`s pretty clear that anything of value can count as a campaign contribution and certainly opposition research is something that`s routinely paid for in the political world, and this could be something of value.”

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