Peter Gruber Rule of Law Clinic Files FOIA Requests on Behalf of Just Security Seeking U.S. Troop Numbers in Afghanistan, Iraq & Syria
On behalf of its client, Just Security, the Peter Gruber Rule of Law Clinic filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, seeking accurate numbers of U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria since December 2017.
The Department of Defense stopped releasing this information in late 2017 — notwithstanding the fact that these number had been consistently released for over a decade under both Republican and Democratic presidential administrations.
Discussing the Clinic’s FOIA requests on behalf of Just Security, former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel explained: “The United States Government and all its institutions represent and are accountable to the American people. . . . The public and those who serve and defend this country and their families are entitled to know where we are sending our service men and women, why, and the numbers.”
On behalf of Just Security, the Clinic has requested the number of military and DoD Appropriated Fund civilian personnel assigned to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria; contemporaneous documents explaining why these numbers were redacted in late 2017; and further explanation of how the Department of Defense calculates these numbers.
Read the full press release here.
Trump administration challenged to reveal troops levels in war zones, The Guardian (April 22, 2020)
A bipartisan group of 58 former national security officials issued a joint declaration on February 25, 2019, arguing there is no “factual basis for the declaration of a national emergency” that would justify President Trump’s presidential proclamation to redirect funding for a border wall in defiance of Congressional wishes. The declaration has been placed in the Congressional Record, and will also be filed in court cases now underway across the country challenging the legality of the presidential proclamation.
“Under no plausible assessment of the evidence is there a national emergency today that entitles the president to tap into funds appropriated for other purposes to build a wall at the southern border,” the joint declaration states. Drawing on their combined expertise after decades of government service, the declarants also explained how this proclamation harms the security and foreign policy interests of the United States.
Former Senior National Security Officials Issue Declaration on National Emergency, Washington Post (February 25, 2019)
Exclusive: Full Text of Bipartisan Declaration of Former Senior U.S. Officials Refuting President's Claim of a National Emergency at Southern Border, Just Security (February 25, 2019)
Former U.S. Security Officials to Oppose Emergency Declaration, AP (February 25, 2019)
G.O.P. Tries to Hold Down Defections Before Vote to Block Trump's Emergency, New York Times (February 25, 2019)
58 Former Officials Issued a Letter Protesting Trump's National Emergency, Vox (February 25, 2019)
Former National Security Officials Challenge Trump's Emergency Declaration, Wall Street Journal (February 25, 2019)
National Security Officials Issue Declaration Disputing National Emergency, Yale Law School (February 25, 2019)
58 ex-National Security Officials to Denounce Trump's Emergency Declaration, Politico (February 24, 2019)