Weekly Roundup, April 9th – 15th

This week, foreign policy dominated discussions. In the continued fallout from last week’s Syrian missile strike, both Shane Reeves and Ingrid Wuerth examine the text of the United Nations’ Charter to determine whether a show of US military force complies with established international law. This is a debate shared by world leaders, as Russian President Putin openly denounced the act as a “violation of the norms of international law.” Even after a midweek meeting between Putin and the US Secretary of State, international relations remain at a “low point.” Russia vetoed the United Narions’ attempt to pass a resolution condemning the chemical attack that initially sparked this conflict.

As part of the continued investigation into ties between President Trump’s staff and the Russian government, federal investigators uncovered that surveillance was approved in the summer of 2016 on then-foreign policy advisor Carter Page. The decision was reached on the basis of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.  The reporting of this information has raised additional concerns regarding the unmasking of transition aides.

Military violence has not been limited to Syria, however. A naval strike group was sent toward the North Korean peninsula, prompting an attempted missile launch which does not seem to have been a success. Amid cries for a surge in diplomacy in the middle east, the US military dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb on a hub of suspected ISIS activity. The military defended its tactical decision despite the caution of politicians like former Marine Corps captain Seth Moulton, who considers that some might “confuse this tactic for a strategy.”

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