Bruce Ackerman

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de abril de 2009. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Conforme la niebla se va escampando, España debe afrontar una decisión trascendental: cómo responder ante futuros ataques terroristas. La ley vigente ofrece dos modelos, el primero es democrático y se inscribe en la Constitución. Cuando la próxima célula terrorista inicie una nueva ola de atentados, este modelo faculta al presidente del Gobierno, mediante decreto acordado en Consejo de Ministros, a solicitar al Parlamento que autorice la proclamación del estado de emergencia, facultando medidas de carácter extraordinario. Durante 30 días, las fuerzas de seguridad pueden arrestar sospechosos sin las garantías procesales y penales establecidas para situaciones normales. Entre estas medidas se incluyen la detención y el arresto por meras sospechas y la exposición a métodos interrogativos intrusivos.…  Seguir leyendo »

In May 2010, Nathan Michael Smith joined the Army, swearing an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” He took up this mission on the battlefield in Afghanistan, and is now serving as a captain in Kuwait at the command headquarters of Operation Inherent Resolve, the campaign against the Islamic State that President Obama initiated in 2014.

The president claims that Congress’s authorizations in 2001 and 2002 for the wars against Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein can be stretched to cover his current campaign. But many legal experts question his unilateral assertion of power.…  Seguir leyendo »

In calling for a war against Islamic State, French President Francois Hollande is engaging in a tragically counterproductive enterprise. Under international law, “war” can only exist between sovereign states. Hollande is rashly giving Islamic State precisely what it wants: legal recognition.

Such a move would not only represent a profound defeat for the West in the war of ideas; it would also have immediate practical consequences. If the French succeed in capturing terrorists, must they treat them as prisoners of war, entitled to all the rights guaranteed by the Geneva Convention?

This is precisely the question the U.S. has confronted at Guantanamo.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Greek crisis represents the first real test of German leadership since World War II. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany has thus far flunked it, with tragic consequences for Europe.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, leadership of Europe was firmly in French hands. With Germany preoccupied by reunification, Jacques Delors, then the president of the European Commission, was the moving force behind the Maastricht Treaty, which transformed the common market into a more powerful European Union. With the dawning of the new century, the former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, inspired by the Philadelphia convention of 1787, was chairman of a convention in Brussels that proposed a constitution to enhance the power and legitimacy of the European Union.…  Seguir leyendo »

In response to the Russian threat, Western leaders at the recent NATO summit reiterated their commitment to defending alliance members in the Baltic and Eastern Europe from aggression. This reaffirmation of NATO’s core promise is essential in the short term. But it requires fundamental reconsideration over the next decade. In the long run, it should be up to Europeans to assure the integrity of their eastern frontier without a legal guarantee of U.S. assistance.

The United States is overcommitted, confronting ongoing crises in the Middle East and Afghanistan. At the same time, it is undertaking a “pivot toward Asia,” which will include a massive shift of military resources to the Pacific.…  Seguir leyendo »

As violence escalates, Egypt’s military is trying to bridge a widening political gap by promising a rapid return to civilian rule. But its gesture of accommodation does not get to the heart of the problem: the presidential system, inherited from the Mubarak era, virtually guarantees a repetition of the tragic events of the past year. A democratic breakthrough requires a more fundamental constitutional redesign, in which the contending sides compete for power in a European-style parliamentary system.

If Egypt had made that switch in the interim Constitution adopted two years ago, or in the revisions that Mohamed Morsi, as president, rammed through last year, it could well have avoided the current upheaval and bloodshed in the first place.…  Seguir leyendo »

Japan’s new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has announced plans to revise his country’s famous pacifist constitutional provision, Article 9, which renounces “war as a sovereign right of the nation.”

On the surface, Abe’s proposal may seem merely symbolic, suggesting that he simply wants to add an explicit recognition of the country’s right to military self-

defense. Since Japan has long maintained “self-defense” forces, the predictable expressions of concern in foreign capitals may seem overblown.

But this high-visibility change is only a small part of a sweeping constitutional revision proposed by Abe’s resurgent Liberal Democratic Party. The proposed draft authorizes the parliament to declare a military emergency during which Cabinet decrees would have the force of law.…  Seguir leyendo »

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington has provoked a broad debate over the military and political wisdom of an attack on Iran. But so far, there has been little attention to the legal issues involved, which are crucial. American support for a preemptive strike would be a violation of both international law and the U.S. Constitution.

Article II of the Constitution requires the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” and Article VI says that treaties are part of the “supreme law of the land.” Since the Senate overwhelmingly ratified the United Nations Charter as a treaty in 1945, the president is constitutionally required to abide by Article 51 of the charter.…  Seguir leyendo »

Are we witnessing the birth of the United States of Europe?

There are uncanny similarities between the current round of wheeling and dealing and the founding of the United States of America. The Philadelphia Convention of 1787 represented America’s second try at continental union. In 1781, the 13 states had come together behind a treaty-constitution that broadly resembles present European arrangements.

America’s first effort was the Articles of Confederation. Like the European Union treaties, it guaranteed each citizen’s right to move throughout the confederation and exercise all the economic privileges of home-staters. It also created a weak unicameral Congress and a judiciary for resolving inter-state disputes.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Post asked experts about the implications for U.S. security and policy.

Osama bin Laden’s death changes the political geography of the region around Pakistan and requires a fundamental rethinking of U.S. policy and interests.

The evidence is mounting that Pakistan was complicit in sheltering bin Laden. He was, in large part, Pakistan’s meal-ticket to billions of dollars in U.S. aid. Islamabad has been doing just enough to keep the money flowing but not enough to kill the golden goose. This is no longer tenable.

Did Pakistan ever seriously intend to stop al Qaeda and the Taliban from using its territory as a sanctuary?…  Seguir leyendo »

Con la toma de posesión de un nuevo Congreso el 5 de enero y teniendo en cuenta el funcionamiento del sistema de controles y equilibrios en Estados Unidos, parece que vamos a entrar en un periodo de estancamiento en el que las iniciativas de Obama chocarán con la feroz oposición de un Partido Republicano resucitado. Pero el consejo de Montesquieu [sobre la necesidad de dichos controles y equilibrios] ha quedado anticuado. Tener un Estado dividido, hoy en día, es facilitar una crisis de gobernabilidad, y eso hace que tanto el Congreso como el presidente traten desesperadamente de imponer su voluntad mediante actuaciones unilaterales.…  Seguir leyendo »

The president, the Constitution tells us, is the commander in chief. But is it true?

In a speech in London on Thursday, Gen. Stanley McChrystal publicly intervened in the debate over Afghanistan. Vice President Biden has suggested that we focus on fighting al-Qaeda and refrain from using our troops to prop up the government of President Hamid Karzai. But when this strategic option was raised at his presentation, McChrystal said it was a formula for “Chaos-istan.” When asked whether he would support it, he said, “The short answer is: No.”

As commanding general in Afghanistan, McChrystal has no business making such public pronouncements.…  Seguir leyendo »