Rewarding vicious conduct is a sure-fire method of generating more of it. And wrongly blaming an ally for provoking young men and women to join your brutal adversary is an excellent recipe for harming friends and strengthening enemies. Yet in the struggle against Islamic extremism, the Obama administration has adopted both of these profoundly counterproductive tactics.
Bin Laden is gone now, dispatched from this earthly realm in 2011 by the Navy’s lethal SEAL Team Six. Yet we remain mired in the seemingly endless fighting in the Middle East, and the rationale for that is in dire need of clarification, if not justification.
Amidst the breakdown of their negotiations with the Palestinians and a wave of terrorist attacks rolling across the country, Israelis will gather on the evening of October 31 in Tel Aviv to honor the memory of Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated 20 years ago. And they will continue to wrestle with the meaning for Israel’s future of his life and tragic death.
In an extensive interview with Barack Obama in the April issue of The Atlantic, journalist Jeffrey Goldberg recounts a rebuke that the president delivered to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli leader had been explaining “the dangers of the brutal region in which he lives,” when Obama cut in.
In the United States, conservatism and liberalism — often to the consternation of conservatives and liberals — are ineluctably intertwined. This turns out to be true of foreign affairs as well as of domestic affairs. Attention to this entwinement helps bring into focus the key question concerning the contemporary dispute about the post-World War II international order and the United States’ role in maintaining it: What policies best advance America’s interest in conserving freedom?
In 1998, India and Pakistan detonated nuclear weapons, becoming the first new nations in three decades to join the club of nuclear powers. Today other nations, such as North Korea and Iran, are on verge of doing so as well. Why is the nonproliferation regime, which seemed to work well for so many years, failing now? Has the Bush administration's response to the new dangers of proliferation been appropriate, or will it make the danger worse?
With the arrival of anthrax letters in Washington, New York, and Florida in the fall of 2001, the often-ignored threat of bioterrorism became a very frightening reality, causing illness and death and costing billions of dollars. How has this attack changed our assessment of the threat of biological and chemical weapons? What can and should be done to detect and control these weapons and defend ourselves against future attacks?
An eighteen-year civil war between the Arab north and the African south has created a humanitarian crisis in Sudan. Secretary of State Colin Powell has said of Sudan, "There is perhaps no greater tragedy on the face of the earth today." President George W. Bush has promised, that under his administration, foreign involvements would take place only where direct American interests are at stake. Does the tragedy in Sudan warrant direct U.S. involvement? If so, just what can, and should, the United States do?
Following World War II, Japan reinvented itself both politically, as it adopted the institutions of democratic government, and economically, as it became a dominant producer and exporter of consumer goods. These reforms were so successful that, ten years ago, experts were predicting that Japan would overtake the United States as an economic superpower. Instead, Japan experienced a decade of recession and economic stagnation that continues still. What happened? Is this a sign of serious structural problems in Japan's political and economic institutions? In other words, is it time for Japan to reinvent itself once again? If so, how should the United States alter its relationship with a new Japan?
Is democracy—that is, free elections—to be desired at all times for all nations? Or are nations more successful when they establish the rule of law, property rights, and other constitutional liberties first? For the United States, this is no longer an academic question. America is deeply involved in nation-building in Afghanistan and Iraq. Should the establishment of democracy in these countries be the first priority for the United States, or is securing public order and the rule of law more important?
Many experts believe that it is almost inevitable that terrorists will soon have the ability to detonate a nuclear weapon in the heart of a major American city. How can we stop them? What are the specific threats that we face and how should we respond to them? Do we face a greater danger from nuclear weapons that may have been stolen from the former Soviet Union or from the clandestine efforts of rogue nuclear scientists? And if the threat has increased since 9/11, why hasn't the United States done more to contain it? Peter Robinson speaks with Graham Allison and Scott Sagan.
The controversy sparked by the Sept. 15, 2009, publication of the Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, otherwise known as the Goldstone Report, may appear to exclusively concern the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. . . .
Be careful when one uses the superlative case—best, most, -est, etc.—or evokes end-of-the-world imagery...
The cover of the January 15-22 issue of Time Out Tel Aviv--a free weekly rundown of culture, dining, and night life--offers a juxtaposition at once incongruous and in keeping with the nation's mood and the harsh logic of its situation...
Don't be misled by how little was said about Iran in the major speeches recently delivered by President Barack Obama at Cairo University and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Bar-Ilan University...
Recently, New York Philharmonic musical director Lorin Maazel — before departing for his just concluded first trip to North Korea and in the face of sharp criticism that his orchestra’s performance in Pyongyang would present dictator Kim Jong Il with a valuable propaganda victory — reflected on America and the world...
On September 11, 2001, hours after planes crashed into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, Yale professor Charles Hill stood in front of a lecture hall and put the events in context for his students, recounting the history of modern terrorism since the 1970s...
On Monday, January 25, 2016 at 5:00pm ET, General James Mattis and Admiral Gary Roughead will participate in a panel discussion entitled: “2016: International Security Challenges and U.S. Readiness.” The discussion, moderated by Hoover Senior Fellow Peter Berkowitz, will analyze international security challenges in the year ahead, including the Middle East and Indo-Pacific regions, and how the United States is prepared to deal with them.
Iran—the same country that took American diplomats hostage twenty-five years ago and whose leaders often refer to the United States as the "Great Satan"—may be on the verge of developing nuclear weapons. How worried should we be? What can the United States do, if anything, to defuse the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran? Is a military response feasible? Or should the United States focus on strengthening the movement for democratic reform within Iran? Peter Robinson speaks with Larry Diamond and Abbas Milani.
On July 1, the Coalition Provisional Authority—the body headed by U.S. ambassador Paul Bremer that has governed Iraq since the end of the Iraq war—will transfer sovereignty to a temporary Iraqi government. The transfer of power raises a number of hard questions. Will our attempts at nation building in this ethnically and religiously divided country succeed? Just what are our responsibilities in ensuring that success? And how long will or should the United States maintain a military presence in Iraq?