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In President Biden’s address from the Oval Office, we continue to hear calls for Israel to respect the laws of war. In recent days, we have also heard others call for “proportionality” in Israel’s response. What does that actually mean? According to what definition of proportionality? And according to whose rules? Is Israel subjected to different rules of war than other countries? Is Hamas a different kind of enemy? These are some of the issues we get into with Matt Waxman, who is Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, where he chairs the National Security Law Program.
He is also Adjunct Senior Fellow for Law & Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, and he is affiliated with the Lieber Institute for Law & Warfare at West Point.
Among his many areas of expertise, Matt is a scholar of the laws of war, including their history and their application to new technologies of warfare.
During the Bush administration, Matt served in senior positions at the U.S. State Department, Defense Department, and National Security Council.
Earlier in his career, he was a defense analyst at RAND, where among other things he worked on the law and strategy of urban warfare.
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