Paul Pillar

Threats to Israeli Security, Imagined and Real

Everyone should be able to agree that any settlement of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians needs to be consistent with genuine security for the people of Israel. The history of strife between Israel and multiple neighbors demands that. The longer history of the Jewish people, and of the persecution and hatred they have endured, demands it.

Breaking Down the Freedom Agenda

The multifaceted push by the George W. Bush to inject more democracy into the Middle East—a set of policies sometimes grouped under the label of the “Freedom Agenda”—has generated much debate about its effectiveness that even several years of added perspective have not resolved.

Let's Be Honest on Iran

Here's a New Year's resolution that participants in policy debate in Washington, and especially those in Congress, should make: be honest about your position on Iran. Say what you really want, and make your best arguments on behalf of what you really want, and don't pretend to be working in favor of what you really are working against.

Ruffled Relations with Turkey

The several reasons that Turkey has long been important for U.S. foreign policy, with a significant role in multiple issues, are still valid. It is one of the stronger states in its neighborhood, which is a tough neighborhood. It is a member of the North Atlantic alliance that sits astride the juncture of Europe and the Middle East—bordering, among others, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

Harper, RGIII, and NSA

The advisory panel that the White House appointed to review operations of the National Security Agency amid the leak-stained controversies about those operations appears to be coming up with some sound ideas.

The Wise Non-Attack on Syria

Passage of even just a few months adds valuable perspective to debates about prospective uses of military force—debates in which some positions were expressed with passion and conviction. Such has been happening regarding the civil war in Syria.

International Protest and the Bedouin of the Negev

The recent passing of Nelson Mandela has been an occasion to recall the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. That struggle combined the efforts of domestic opponents of the apartheid regime with what eventually became an enormous international coalition of opposition that included governments—which imposed sanctions on South Africa—and nongovernmental movements.

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