Author Archive

Dwight Stirling

Lecturer in Law, University of Southern California


Faced with a Rise of Extremism within Its Ranks, the Military Has Clamped down on Racist Speech, Including Retweets and Likes

For civilians, free speech is protected by the First Amendment. Not so in the U.S. military, where the rise of political extremism has become a problem.


Why Retired Generals Rarely Lead the Pentagon

President-elect Joe Biden's intent to nominate a recently retired general to lead the Pentagon would require an exception to federal law.


Analysis: Why Soldiers Can’t Claim Conscientious Objection if Ordered to Suppress Protests

The U.S. military can exempt from service those who are religiously or morally opposed to violence. But conscientious objector status won't help soldiers who disagree with specific lawful orders.


Trump Treats the Military as His Own – and the Troops Could Suffer

If President Donald Trump were to start a conflict, many Americans would likely view as it a misguided effort. What would that mean for the troops?


Analysis: Why the U.S. Military Usually Punishes Misconduct but Police Often Close Ranks

No "blue wall of silence:" A military lawyer explains why the US armed forces take accountability and justice seriously.