Matthew Waxman

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Recent Commentary

A Statutory Framework for Next-Generation Terrorist Threats

by Robert Chesney, Jack Goldsmith, Matthew Waxman, Benjamin Wittesvia Analysis
Monday, February 25, 2013

Since September 18, 2001, a joint resolution of Congress known as the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) has served as the primary legal foundation for the "war on terror." In this essay we explain why the AUMF is increasingly obsolete, why the nation will probably need a new legal foundation for next-generation terrorist threats, what the options are for this new legal foundation, and which option we think is best.

Click here to download or view the complete essay.

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Is the "War on Terror" Lawful?

by Robert Chesney, Jack Goldsmith, Matthew Waxman, Benjamin Wittesvia Defining Ideas
Monday, February 25, 2013

The "Authorization to Use Military Force" serves as the primary legal foundation for the ongoing conflict, but it is now obsolete. What should replace it?

Analysis and Commentary

The Briefing: Executive-Congressional Relations and National Security

by Matthew Waxmanvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, January 28, 2013
Second Term Challenges

Executive-Congressional Relations and National Security

by Matthew Waxmanvia The Briefing
Monday, January 28, 2013

The last four years should have been a good period for executive-congressional relations in the areas of national security and foreign affairs.  The president, vice president, and secretary of state were former Senators.  They all viewed President George W.

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Brave New War

by Kenneth Anderson, Matthew Waxmanvia Defining Ideas
Friday, December 14, 2012

What are the ethical and legal considerations of using killer robots?

Law and Ethics for Robot Soldiers

by Kenneth Anderson, Matthew Waxmanvia Policy Review
Saturday, December 1, 2012

Autonomous systems and the laws of war

Analysis and Commentary

What the Cuban Missile Crisis Teaches Us About Iran

by Matthew Waxmanvia Global Public Square (
Thursday, October 25, 2012

NYPD's Powers of Threat Perceptions

by Matthew Waxmanvia Council on Foreign Relations
Thursday, August 9, 2012

The New York Police Department (NYPD) unveiled a new "Domain Awareness System" on Wednesday that combines and analyzes many streams of information to track possible criminals and terrorists.

Cyber Warfare: Is there a Need for New Law?

by Matthew Waxmanvia International Humanitarian Law and New Weapon Technologies, International Institute of Humanitarian Law
Thursday, July 5, 2012
My topic is “Cyber Warfare: Is there a Need for New Law?”, and I would like to address it in terms of three sub-questions. First, with respect to cyber warfare, is there a gap in international law, and if so does that pose an international legal crisis? Second, what are the challenges to interpreting existing law or developing new international law in this area? And, third, what might the future hold with respect to international legal development and cyber warfare?

Temporality and Terrorism in International Humanitarian Law

by Matthew Waxmanvia Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law 2011 - Volume 14
Sunday, July 1, 2012
It is widely agreed that the United States’ armed conflict against al Qaida and its allies—if it is legally an armed conflict at all—does not fit neatly within contemporary jus as bellum and jus in bello (international humanitarian law, or IHL) regimes. The thinking goes that transnational conflicts with non-state terrorist groups and tactics do not correspond well to the categories comprising those regimes, and wide debate then proceeds about whether and how it is appropriate nevertheless to apply them.