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Philip Bobbitt

Biography: 

Philip Bobbitt is the Herbert Wechsler Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the Center for National Security at Columbia Law School. He is also a senior fellow at the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas. He is the author of seven books, of which Terror and Consent:The Wars for the 21st Century (Knopf, 2008) is the most recent. He has served in various capacities in government, including posts at the White House (associate counsel to president), the Senate (legal counsel to the Iran-Contra Committee), the State Department (the counselor on international law), and the National Security Council (director for intelligence programs, senior director for critical infrastructure, and senior director for strategic planning). He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He lives in New York, Austin, and London.

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Recent Commentary

Global Puzzle Pieces

Philip Bobbitt: This crisis is the crucial test of the new world order

by Philip Bobbittvia London Evening Standard
Monday, July 21, 2014

Only by sticking to an international framework of agreed rules can we ensure peace among today’s great powers. The terrible events in Ukraine, electrified by the interception and destruction of a Malaysian passenger plane, should be a thunderclap, shaking us from our torpor and confusion.

Philip Bobbitt: The West needs a new strategy to save Ukraine

by Philip Bobbittvia London Evening Standard
Friday, March 21, 2014

After Russia’s land grab in Crimea, we must use economic and democratic means to curb Vladimir Putin’s aims.

The Digital Age

The Need for a Press Shield Law

by Philip Bobbittvia The Briefing
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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Bobbit on the John Batchelor Show: depictions of Machiavelli as an autocrat have been “ripped out of context”

by Philip Bobbittvia John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Philip Bobbit, a member of the Hoover Institution’s Task Force on National Security and Law, discusses his book The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World That He Made. Topics include Machiavelli’s biography; Florentine politics during Machiavelli’s time; his perception of virtue, fortune, and constitutional order; and The Prince.

Philip Bobbitt: A lasting nuclear deal with Iran is in everyone’s interests

by Philip Bobbittvia London Evening Standard
Monday, November 18, 2013

The long-term goal of resumed talks with Iran this week must be denuclearisation of the entire region.

The War Precedent: Obama Doesn't Have to Ask Congress to Bomb Syria. But Should He?

by Philip Bobbitt
Monday, September 2, 2013

The crisis precipitated by a Syrian attack on civilians using chemical weapons, in defiance of President Barack Obama's promise that there would be consequences for the regime if such an attack were to occur…

Britain and the US no longer stand side by side

by Philip Bobbittvia London Evening Standard
Friday, August 30, 2013

As David Cameron and Barack Obama have attempted to build support for a confrontation with Syria, it is instructive to note that, though mutually supportive, they have faced somewhat different challenges and have adopted different approaches.

Featured Commentary

The Briefing: A Beautiful & Tragic Speech

by Philip Bobbittvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, June 10, 2013

NSA is upholding, not subverting, the law

by Philip Bobbittvia Financial Times
Monday, June 10, 2013

Judicial authorization is still necessary to monitor specific US targets.

Guantanamo

A Beautiful & Tragic Speech

by Philip Bobbittvia The Briefing
Monday, June 10, 2013

On May 23, President Obama offered this assessment of the changed strategic environment.

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