The Middle East

Will We Torture Again?

Can we now say with confidence that our government will not use torture again? In light of reaction to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report, I fear we can't.

The Illusion of Control

Instead of accepting the cold calculus of politicians, we should look to something deeper for clues about the real sources of peace and conflict.


The United States commences air strikes against ISIS, without a clear sense of what can be achieved and without authorization from Congress.

Obama, Beyond the Sound Bite

The president has reason to be frustrated that one sentence ripped out of context can paint a picture of a directionless approach to the world.
A stone marking the boundary between Alsace-Lorraine and France after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71

Why We Fight

If revanchism seems far-fetched, even old-fashioned, consider the passions at work today in familiar trouble spots.
Kurdish "peshmerga" troops stand guard against Islamic State militants on the outskirts of the province of Ninevah, Iraq, Aug. 6

Reluctant Rescue

Does the threat of ISIS justify expanding military involvement in Iraq? Obama faces a decision he set out to avoid.

Francis's Interreligious Friendships

It's not the case that Francis has little interest in theological exchanges. Rather, interreligious friendships are more the basis for dialogue than its by-product.

Back to Iraq?

The current situation in Iraq may pull the United States back into that country, and thus threatens to undermine Obama’s efforts to reorient American foreign policy.

Dick Cheney’s Chutzpah

Cheney's Obama polemic would be outrageous even if our former vice president’s record on Iraq was one of absolute clairvoyance. But he was wrong in almost every way.

Getting On with It

If you doubt the cost of indulging in political pieties rather than political organizing, compare the influence of Occupy Wall Street with the Tea Party.

So Far, So Good

Iran’s nuclear ambitions are a serious problem, but demanding complete Iranian capitulation, either at the negotiating table or on the battlefield, is no solution.

Self Help

A fear that the United States not only has decisively lost its power in the region, but is also responsible for why everything seems to be going wrong.
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