Paul Pillar

The Price of False Purity

Much discourse about U.S. foreign and security policy, and sometimes the policy itself, reflects a kind of fastidiousness aimed at avoiding any business with people we find distasteful or who have done things we don't like, without paying attention to the second-order effects of such attempts to keep our hands clean, or even to the first-order effects.  The fastidiousness takes varied forms.

Settlements versus Negotiations

I admire much of George Will's work.  He has an ability to cut cleanly and incisively to the core logic at the heart of many questions and to skewer mercilessly, but usually fairly, the illogic to be found on the other side of whatever issue he is addressing.  The one subject on which Will has had a big blind spot for years is Israel.  I have no idea why that is the case.  For whatever reason, whenever he addresses any

Engagement and the Libyan Example

An inconvenient case for those who disparage diplomatic engagement with disagreeable regimes--and who argue that the only proper posture toward such regimes is pressure and more pressure, and isolation and more isolation, in the hope of hastening a change of regime--is the breathtaking turnaround by Libya's Muammar Gadhafi.