The Last Summit?

The Israeli-Palestinian talks recently convened by President Barack Obama may or may not lead to a peace agreement. But the negotiations could mark the last serious attempt by a U.S. president to invest his or her own political capital and American diplomatic prestige in resolving the conflict based on a two-state solution. An international consensus … Continue reading “The Last Summit?”

No Tea Parties for Bibi

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s arrival in Washington shortly after President Barack Obama’s victory on health-care reform had both symbolic significance and practical implications for the Likud leader. Obama’s win was interpreted as Netanyahu’s loss, reflecting the zero-sum nature of the diplomatic clash between the right-wing Israeli leader and the liberal occupant of the White … Continue reading “No Tea Parties for Bibi”

The Chickenhawks Are Back

Much has been said and written in recent days about the way the demonstrators in Tehran have been utilizing new kinds of "social media" to challenge the Iranian theocratic regime. Protesters blog, post to Facebook, and most intriguingly, coordinate their protests on Twitter, the messaging service. On Twitter, young Iranians and their supporters post reports … Continue reading “The Chickenhawks Are Back”

The Pillorying of Charles Freeman and America’s Loss

Washington has been riveted for a few weeks by one of those inside-the-beltway political spectacles that usually doesn’t get much attention in the world press: Charles ("Chas") Freeman, a former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia and former deputy chief of mission in Beijing, was named last month as chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC). … Continue reading “The Pillorying of Charles Freeman and America’s Loss”

The Return of Realist Interventionism

Figuring out the direction President Barack Obama’s foreign policy will take has become a full-time job for pundits and foreign diplomats in Washington. And a key question on everyone’s mind is how exactly Obama will seek to exert influence as the American Empire shrinks. A clear consensus among Washington cognoscenti on the direction of "Obadiplomacy" … Continue reading “The Return of Realist Interventionism”

Islam and the West:
The Myth of the Green Peril

The 9/11 attacks and the ensuing "war on terror" have provided an opportunity for the U.S. foreign policy establishment, suffering from Enemy Deprivation Syndrome since the Cold War’s end, to settle on a potential new bogeyman. It is radical Islam, or the "Green Peril" – a term I used in an article 15 years ago … Continue reading “Islam and the West:
The Myth of the Green Peril”

Israel’s Not-So-Future Perfect

Back 17 years ago, in the winter of 1991–92, when I was contemplating Israel’s future in World Policy Journal, it was supposed to be the dawn of a new age. We were about to enter the roaring globalization years of the 1990s and to be downloaded into a borderless world in which the archaic nation-state … Continue reading “Israel’s Not-So-Future Perfect”

Peace Not Near on Middle East’s ‘Time Horizon’

Members of Washington’s band of foreign policy realists are high-fiving each other these days. First there was the news that the Bush administration decided to have Undersecretary of State William Burns sit in the same room in Geneva with Iranian nuclear envoy Saeed Jalili and high-ranking diplomats from five other countries and try to negotiate … Continue reading “Peace Not Near on Middle East’s ‘Time Horizon’”