Foreign Policy

Appeasing Iran Will Fail

August 02, 2019

On July 19, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran ordered a British oil tanker to change course and enter Iran’s territorial waters. The British tanker was escorted by a British frigate.

How Will Iran Respond to the Threat of Force?

June 25, 2019

Iran is following the playbook that Russia drew upon in Ukraine and China employed in the Spratly Islands.

The European Union Must Speed Up or Slow Down

May 05, 2019

The conventional wisdom correctly points to the rise of European skeptics, those who opposed ever-increasing integration of the twenty-eight European Union member nations into one community.

America Needs to Accept the Taliban Peace Deal

February 13, 2019

In the London School of Economics’ 2012 Global Policy Journal, I offered the following 

America's Imaginary China Threat

October 31, 2018

Above all, there seems to be no obvious reason as to why China will want to replace the United States or become a world hegemon.

For the Record: Iran: Deal with the Mother Lode

September 27, 2018

For the Record: Iran: Deal with the Mother Lode

China is Not the Soviet Union

August 13, 2018

In evaluating recent alarmed assessments of China’s ambitions, one must recall that for decades the American intelligence community, in particular the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), vastly exag

China and the Lessons of Modern Surveillance Technology

July 18, 2018

China is taking the lead in drawing on recent technological developments to vastly enhance its capacities to keep its people under surveillance.

Immigration: Europe's Normative Challenge

June 29, 2018

To absorb millions of immigrants into European societies requires a normative integration.

For the record: US democratization drives are failure-prone

August 10, 2017

Etzioni specified the conditions that successful democratization requires and showed that these conditions are not extant in the Middle East and many other parts of the world.

Pros and Cons of Autonomous Weapons Systems

April 28, 2017

A review of the arguments for and against autonomous weapons systems, and a discussion of challenges to limiting and defining those systems.

Talking to the Muslim World: how, and with whom?

November 22, 2016

The struggle against terrorism in the Middle East has led to a quest to find ways to counter the normative appeal of violent extremists, especially the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

How Aggressive Is China?

August 29, 2016

Several policymakers and other experts have called China’s behavior, especially its activities in the South and East China Seas, ‘aggressive.’ This article compares China’s behavior with a suggested definition of ‘aggression’ based on the one enshrined in international law, and it finds that these experts’ use of the term ‘aggressive’ is inconsistent with this definition.

From Partnership to Community

June 16, 2016

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin is calling for a dialogue among four “tribes” to develop a framework for a society-wide partnership in Israel.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: A Case Study of Multifaceted Containment

June 02, 2016

Although some analysts have emphasized the importance of China’s becoming a “responsible stakeholder” in the international order, the United States has in effect blocked China’s full participation in a range of existing international institutions and attempted to undermine China’s efforts to create and lead new international institutions.


February 09, 2016

Self-determination is the process by which a people who are governed by a foreign power gain self-government.The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism, and the Publisher (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)

Self Determination: The Democratization Test

October 23, 2015

Self Determination is the process by which people, who are governed by a foreign power, gain self government. Often the people first form a sense of community - a sense of a shared identity, destiny, and core values - and then seek to invest those in a state, forming a nation. The term self determination is also used to refer to the normative principle that is evoked to justify breaking away from the old regime to form a new one. 

Freedom of Navigation Assertions: The United States as the World’s Policeman

September 10, 2015

In line with its ‘‘Freedom of Navigation’’ program, the United States conducts ‘‘operational assertions’’ by sending naval vessels to violate what it considers to be the excessive maritime claims of other states. Efforts have been made to legitimate this program to the public and elected officials on both liberal and realist grounds: Freedom of navigation is an important component of the liberal international order while also central to the exercise of U.S. naval power. However, it does not follow that military assertions, which create a security risk and are inconsistent with liberal principles, should take precedence over diplomatic and multilateral steps. Rather, the program has faced little scrutiny to date due to its relative obscurity.

The Democratisation Mirage

July 23, 2015

One is reluctant to publish an essay that suggests that the families who lost their loved ones in Afghanistan and Iraq (as well as in Vietnam) – and the even larger numbers who have been maimed there – made these sacrifices in vain. As a former combatant, I know this grief closely. However, a clear-eyed view might prevent even more bloodshed and grief. 

COIN: A study of strategic illusion

March 11, 2015

Has the US military become a learning institution, one able to transition from relying on a conventional war model to fighting against irregular adversaries such as insurgents and terrorists? This article examines the United States' interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan in an effort to respond to this question.

The United States’ retreat from the Middle East and pivot to the Far East is likely to intensify

December 10, 2014

This article outlines the reasons why one should expect that the USA will shift more military forces to and focus more diplomatic efforts on the Far East and away from the Middle East. The term forecasting is employed, rather than prediction, to remind us that the statement holds only if no “black swans” appear, that is, if no major unexpected forces come into play. (This caveat deserves special attention given the poor record of those who predict international developments, as demonstrated vividly when the Arab Spring unexpectedly erupted in Tunisia and when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.) The US’s role is akin to that of a physician who finds two abnormalities in an X-ray and is influenced in choosing on which to base his intervention by subconscious motives. 

Air Sea Battle: A Case Study in Structural Inattention and Subterranean Forces

September 15, 2014

In response to China’s military modernization and growing anti-access/area denial capabilities, the US military has adopted an ‘‘Air Sea Battle’’ (ASB) concept entailing extensive strikes on the Chinese mainland. Critics argue that ASB creates grave escalation risks and may incite an expensive arms race. Less discussed, but also of serious concern, is that ASB was adopted with little to no civilian oversight, in a case of ‘‘structural inattention.’’ It has also been facilitated by ‘‘subterranean factors’’ including the interests of influential military contractors and the military’s own inclination toward conventional warfare.

Full article here.

No More Land Wars?

August 29, 2014

There is a growing consensus that the United States should not engage in another major land war in Asia or Africa, a view encapsulated in the catchphrase “no more boots on the ground.” Indeed, currently the US is either refraining from taking military action, or is limiting itself to drone strikes, covert operations, “capacity building” of local forces, and advising. This consensus, we shall see, is based in part on a fundamental misunderstanding of the course of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 
Full article here.

The Communitarian Foreign Policy of Amitai Etzioni

July 11, 2014

Amitai Etzioni’s communitarian perspective offers a comprehensive approach to international affairs in addition to offering guidance for domestic policy. His argument that a focus on traditional “realist” concerns for a nation’s security and interests (“security first”), combined with a dialogue over competing moral imperatives, is more likely to lead to the emergence of an idealist end state--a sustainable international community. His emphasis on gradualism--of breaking apart complex policy goals into small, discrete steps--comes from his assessment that this is a better way of promoting lasting change in the international system. His perspective does not fit neatly into any of the dominant U.S. foreign policy approaches, but his ideas have formed part of the foreign policy debate for the last fifty years.

Full article here.

Liberal Communitarian Approach to Privacy and Security

June 09, 2014

This article asks which normative framework should be applied in determining whether privacy is unduly diminished in the American quest for enhanced protection against terrorist attacks; which specific criteria should be employed in determining whether the balance has tilted too far toward enhancing security or protecting privacy; and which measures can be taken to reduce the inevitable conflict between security and privacy. It also seeks to show that enhanced transparency is inferior to enhanced accountability, although there is some room for adding more of both kinds of scrutiny.

Who Authorized Preparations for War With China

June 01, 2013

“Who Authorized Preparations for War With China,” Yale Journal of International Affairs, June, 2013.

Extraordinary and plenipotentiary diplomat

April 18, 2013

Washington's decision to drap on Japan to contain China may seem wise, but such a move is certain to deeply offend and mobilize China

Accommodating China

April 02, 2013

“Accommodating China“, Survival, April-May 2013. Chinese Translation: “阿米塔伊·埃兹欧尼:与中国和解.”

Learning the Lessons of Afghanistan

August 30, 2012

“Learning the Lessons of Afghanistan,” The National Interest, August 30, 2012.

Little America should be required reading for all military personnel sent overseas, replacing the fake Three Cups of Tea, which was warmly embraced by naive generals who bet on nation building under the guise of the COIN (counterinsurgency) strategy. The book is a detailed report of our failed policies in Afghanistan by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a leading Washington Post reporter. It uses an early episode in U.S.-Afghan relations as a revealing and emblematic tale of why the United States suffers from a severe case of what I previously called Multiple Realism Deficiency Disorder

The Folly of Nation Building

July 01, 2012

There is a growing consensus that the United States can't afford another war, or even a major armed humanitarian intervention. But in reality, the cost of war itself is not the critical issue. It is the nation building following many wars that drives up the costs.

Obama's New Old Defense Strategy

March 14, 2012

When President Obama unveiled his military budget earlier this year, it was clear that he was essentially putting a new defense strategy on the table. 

One Size Fits All?

February 28, 2012

As Syria descends into civil war, the international community again finds itself debating intervention: an idea that is at odds with the Westphalian norm of sovereignty. While the United States and Europe have shown themselves willing to intervene with force to prevent humanitarian crises and nuclear proliferation, China has largely opposed such measures. Can China be convinced to support the West’s proposed changes to the world order, or will it cling to the traditional Westphalian norm?

Rethinking the Pakistan Plan

January 01, 2012

The quest for improvement in the deeply troubled replationship between the United States and Pakistan focuses largely on Pakistan's role in Afghanistan and on the country's approach to governing. 

The Lessons of Libya

January 01, 2012

Early in 2011, an overwhelming majority of American policymakers, opinion makers, and the public were strongly opposed to more military entaglements overseas, particularly a third war in a Muslim country. 

Unintended Consequences

December 27, 2011

However good the reasons for our intervention in Libya, we and our allies failed to stop some terrible deeds commiteed by the rebels we supported. 

Changing the Rules

November 01, 2011

Appeared in the November/December 2011 issue (Vol. 9, No. 6) of Foreign Affairs.G. John Ikenberry asks whether China will buy into the prevailing liberal, rule-based international order, which has been promoted and underwritten by the United States (“The Future of the Liberal World Order,” May/June 2011). With regard to one key element of this order, however— the Westphalian norm of sovereignty and nonintervention—he might have inverted the premise.

China: Making an Adversary

November 01, 2011

“China: Making an Adversary.” International Politics 48.6 (November 2011) p. 647-666.

Cybersecurity in the Private Sector

September 01, 2011

The nation's bussinesses manage a significant share of online activity related to national security and must play a larger role in ensuring the overall integrity of the system.

Are the Leaders of Iran "Rational Actors" Or, Can Iran be Deterred?

June 30, 2011

Rarely are foreigh policy deliverations more affected by what seem like academic discussions, matters of definitions and debates that sound like scholasticism, than when one seeks to determine whether the leaders of a given nation are rational actors. 

Is China a Responsible Stakeholder?

May 01, 2011

“Is China a Responsible Stakeholder?” International Affairs. 87:3 (May 2011). p. 539-553.

Corruption Reduction

March 07, 2011

Reports suggest that local populations in some of the most contested areas in Afghanistan, including Kandahar, are most troubled by corruption that by the Taliban. 

The Coming Test of U.S. Credibility

March 01, 2011

The relative power of the United States is declining-- because other nations are increasing their power and because the U.S economic challenges and taxing overseas commitments are weakening it. 

Whose Coin?

January 01, 2011

When Americans and Iraqi army units were integrated to foster closer cooperation between the groups and to intensify Iraqis' training, a number of challenges arose with regard to the latrines they were to share. 

A Deeply Flawed Fuel Bank

November 04, 2010

There's a new and troubling idea afloat in the world of nuclear proliferation.

Unshackle the Troops

August 12, 2010

Many good people who have never fought in a war find somthing appealing in America's willingness to take more casualties in order to spare innocent civilian lives. 

The 'Secret' Matrix

July 01, 2010

If fighting has to be done is it best done with remote controlled aircraft or drones? Some say unmanned planes improve the level of knowledge about targets, while others believe they are flying into serious legal turbulence and risking innocent lives.

Creating a Sense of Community

May 06, 2010

The current crisis in Europe has led many to call for building stronger shared economic institutions and stronger EU governance. Actually what is missing most is a demos, a true sense of community. Binding EU-wide referendums on the same day in all the member states on issues of great importance are needed.

Can a Nuclear-Armed Iran be Deterred?

May 01, 2010

Increasing evidence that Iran has embarked on a course that will lead it to develop nuclear arms in the near future has reintensified the debate about the ways the world should react to such a danger. 

Obama’s Implicit Human Rights Doctrine

April 28, 2010

During his first year in office, President Barack Obama has outlined a human rights doctrine. The essence of Obama’s position is that the foreign policy of the USA is dedicated to the promotion of the most basic human right—the right to life—above and beyond all others and that the USA will systematically refrain from actively promoting other rights, even if this merely entails sanctions or raising a moral voice. This article details and examines Obama’s position and assesses its normative standing.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems: The Moral and Legal Case

January 01, 2010

The substantial increase in the employment of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other arenas has intensified the debate about the moral and legal nature of the targeted killing of people who are said to be civilians. 

Zero is the Wrong Number

September 01, 2009

President Barack Obama has so far made only one strategic mistake, but it is a major one. It concerns the greatest security threat to the United States, other free nations, and world peace--nuclear arms in the hands of terrorists, as well as rogues and falling regimes. 

Hey Big Spenders

August 27, 2009

In an article in May, The Economist praised France for resisting the worst effects of the global economic crisis. France and Germany appear to have fared well in comparison with Britan and the US.

Tomorrow's Institution Today

June 14, 2009

By early December 2002, the U.S government knew that an unflagged ship, the So San, was transporting ballistic missiles and missile components from North Korea to the Middle East. 

Terrorists: Neither Soldiers nor Criminals

June 01, 2009

In current hostilities in Iraq, Afghanistan, parts of Pakistan, and elsewhere, from Columbia to the Horn of Africa, nonstate actors--in particular, terrorists and insurgents who act like terrorists

The Mother of All Deals

April 30, 2009

I arrived in Moscow from Washington highly optimistic, a day after the vigorous, historic handshake between Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama in London on April 1.

Minorities and the National Ethos

January 01, 2009

This essay focuses on the question of how to curb the tension betwee the rights of members of minorities and the particularistic values of the national community. 

EU: Closing the Community Deficit

December 01, 2008

The main challenge currently facing the EU is a community deficit: the low valuation the majority of its citizens accord the evolving collectivity. The EU is challenged by the mismatch between its increasing supranational decision-making and the strong loyalties of its citizens to their respective nations states.

Lost in too many translations

July 17, 2008

The European Council should revisit its call for schools to teach "at least two foreign languages from a very early age." 

Moral Dimensions of Educational Decisions

May 01, 2008

There is a widely held notion that public schools should not teach values. 

For the good of all its people, Israel must pursue diversity

April 30, 2008

To ask ‘Should Israel be a Jewish State?’ is like asking if the Pope must be a Catholic.

Religion and Social Order

April 01, 2008

What do Russia, China, Afghanistan, and Iraq have in common?

Will the Right Islam Stand Up?

March 01, 2008

“Will the Right Islam Stand Up?” Sociological Forum (Vol. 23, Issue 1, Mar 2008) pp 174-182.

Terrorists are neither criminals nor soldiers

August 22, 2007

As a former terrorist (in Palestine, 1946-47), let me tell you that Gordon Brown is right to extricate the UK from Iraq, but he is dead wrong when he argues that suicide bombers can be deterred in

Wilson Carey McWilliams's Conservative Communitarianism

August 01, 2007

Wilson Carey McWilliams was active in his church, political party, and government--all at the local level.

Fundamentalist' Muslims Who Reject All Terrorism

July 18, 2007

The most important point of R.

Democracy is Not a Suicide Pact

July 01, 2007

SOME REALISTS argue that if the United States promotes democracy in places such as Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the opening up of these polities would lead to more Islamist states.

The Syrian Poison Capsule

June 14, 2007

Recently I participated in a lunch at the home of the Syrian government's representative to Washington, attended by a small group of people.

Foreword: A United Nations for the 21st Century

May 15, 2007

“Foreword.” A United Nations for the 21st Century: From Reaction to Prevention. Detlev Wolter. Germany: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2007.

Controlled Maintenance

March 01, 2007

Iran has a strong case when it maintains that it has an internationally recognized right to develop dual-use nuclear technologies, enrich uranium, and keep all the plutonium it wants.

Security First: Ours, Theirs and the Global Order's

March 01, 2007

Both neosconservatives and liberals have overestimated the extend to which one nation, even a superpower with United Nations support, can re-engineer regimes. 

The Global Importance of Illiberal Moderates

November 03, 2006

In contrast to the claim that the most significant fault line in contemporary global affairs is between the civilisation of the West and all others, this essay argues that the schism between those who advance their values through violence and those who rely on persuasion, both of which are present in all civilisations, is the greatest source of conflict in the post-Cold-War era.

Sovereignty as Responsibility

November 01, 2006

The 1990s saw numerous humanitarian crises around the world. The international community intervened in some of these, such as Kosovo, but did not in others, Rwanda being the prominent example.

Swiat po Bushu

June 14, 2006

Kandydaci w wyborach prezydenchkich 2008 rodi pracuja juz w terenie, a jednoczesnie zaczela sir debata o tym, jaki kierunek powinna obrac amerykanska polityka zagraniczna po Bushu.

Time to make a deal with Iran

May 03, 2006

Iran has had its say over the past few months, defiantly pronouncing to the rest of the world what it will or won't do regarding its nuclear program. 

Leveraging Islam

April 01, 2006

Following the implosion or removal of totalitarian regimes of the secular and religious varieties, we have witnessed an explosive growth in numerous forms of antisocial behavior. 

Should the United States Support Religious Education in the Islamic World?

March 01, 2006

The United States and its allies are involved in changing schooling in several Islamic countries, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also Pakistan and elsewhere. Specifically, the United States promotes and provides resources for changes in textbooks, teacher preparations, selection of school administrators, and general education policy.

Transnational Moral Dialogues

March 01, 2006

Moral dialogs, social processes through which people form new shared moral understandings, occur not only within small communities, or even nation states, but also across national borders on a tran

From Right to Responsibility, the Definition of Sovereignty is Changing.

December 16, 2005

The idea that governments have a responsibility to protect their citizens is gaining momentum and may change the way sovereignty has been perceived for centuries. 

Hand over settlements to Palestinians

November 16, 2005

The question as to what is to become of the residences, clinics, schools and greenhouses of the Israeli settlers once they leave Gaza this summer may seem like a minor subplot in the epic struggle

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is obsolete

April 25, 2005

If you are a hard-working and busy attorney, as most are, you may have little interest in reading about international treaties-especially as you correctly sense that they often are breached rather than observed. However, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) does deserve your attention. The reason? The most significant threat to all you care about comes from terrorists who may well lay their hands on nuclear arms or materials from which they can be readily made.

Beware the Public Diplomacy Disaster

February 25, 2005

The headlines from the Middle East these days are full of optimism.

Affective Bonds and Moral Norms: A Communitarian Approach to the Emerging Global Society

January 01, 2005

“Affective Bonds and Moral Norms: A Communitarian Approach to the Emerging Global Society.” International Politics and Society, ed. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. (Verlag J.H.W.

Genocide Prevention in the New Global Architecture

January 01, 2005

Where do future humanitarian interventions fit into the evolving post9/11 new global architecture? To answer this question I ask: what are the main features of this architecture? In what directions is it propelled? Could these expected developments accommodate more forthcoming and more effective humanitarian interventions than we have seen in the past?

Turkey Best Remain in the Middle East

December 01, 2004

One should not reject Turkey membership in the EU on the grounds that it is an unsuitable member for this community of free nations but rather because one recognizes that precisely because Turkey h

Forming a Global Authority: A World Government Respond to Terrorism

November 01, 2004

Ever since I was a student in the early 1950s, I have been told that a world government is a dream of dewy-eyed idealists, a vision no serious perso

We've got this war on terror so wrong

October 28, 2004

Recent months have seen desperate attempts by the Western nations to stop North Korea and Iran joining the nuclear club. These two nations remain on George Bush's Axis of Evil. 

Soldiers Need Clear Orders

August 16, 2004

Courts-martial of American soldiers accused of having tortured or killed Iraqis and Afghans continue. The solders often claim that they merely followed orders.

Israel's Security Barrier Could Use Tweaking, Not a Wrecking Ball

August 04, 2004

When the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in June that the country's security fence violated Palestinian rights and international law, Israel's many critics in the world cheered. 

A Sovereign' Iraq? Don't you believe it

June 23, 2004

President Bush has repeatedly said we will grant "full and complete sovereignty" to Iraq on June 30.

Religious Civil Society is Antidote to Anarchy in Iraq and Afghanistan

April 01, 2004

When countries like Afghanistan or Iraq are liberated from either a religious or a secular tyranny,

Free Trade is Anything but Fair and Lousy Economics Besides

March 05, 2004

"Free trade" is God's gift to modern economics, and for a politician to support "fair trade" is tantamount to worshiping graven images. 

American Fantasy: Instant Democracy

March 05, 2004

The Bush administration plans to put before the next Group of Eight meeting and ambitious program to democratize the "greater Middle East".

A Self-Restrained Approach to Nation-Building by Foreign Powers

January 01, 2004

“A Self-Restrained Approach to Nation-Building by Foreign Powers.” International Affairs, Vol. 80, No. 1 (January 2004) pp. 1-17.
The central thesis of this essay is that nation-building -- however defined-- by foreign powers can rarely be accomplished and tends to be very costly, not merely in economic resources and those of political capital, but also in human lives.

A Sociologist's Iraqi Exit Strategy

November 18, 2003

Vigilant Public, Press Keep Anti-Terror Efforts From Going Too Far

October 28, 2003

“Vigilant Public, Press Keep Anti-Terror Efforts From Going Too Far” USA Today (October 28, 2003) p. 23A.
Because I feel strongly that our government should do more to protect us from the next terrorist attack, I often find myself on television debating representatives of the ACLU and archconservatives such as former congressman Bob Barr.

Mosque and State in Iraq

October 14, 2003

The United States, in Iraq and elsewhere, should cease promoting a secular civil society as the only alternative to a Taliban-like Shia theocracy. We cannot quell the religious yearnings of millions of Iraqis (and many other elsewhere) merely by fostering strong political and economic institutions and the sound values they embody--to wit, democracy and capitalism.

Our Unfinished Post-9/11 Duty

September 11, 2003

“Our Unfinished Post-9/11 Duty” The Christian Science Monitor (September 11, 2003) p. 9. Also published as “How Secure Is Our Homeland?,” in Deseret Morning News (Utah) (September 14, 2003) p. AA03

Two years have passed without a new attack on our homeland, and Americans are increasingly complacent.

Dial Down U.S. Involvement in Iraq

August 27, 2003

“Dial Down U.S. Involvement in Iraq” USA Today (August 27, 2003) p. 11A.
As of Tuesday, the number of U.S casualties incurred after the end of major combat operations in Iraq exceeds those we suffered during the war.

Stop Obsessing over Saddam

August 12, 2003

“Stop Obsessing over Saddam” USA Today (August 12, 2003) p. 13A.
Bernard Trainor, a retired Marine Corps general and mailitary analyst, called the deaths of Saddam Hussien's sons Uday and Quasay "a tremendous blow to the Baathist regime and a real boon for those Iraquis seeking a Saddam-free future.

A Fence to Make Good Neighbors

August 06, 2003

“A Fence to Make Good Neighbors” Christian Science Monitor (August 6, 2003) p. 9.
Instead of chiding Israel for building a fence between its territory and the land on which the Palestinian state is to be formed, the United States should welcome it.

Don’t Separate Mosque and State

June 16, 2003

“Don’t Separate Mosque and State” Los Angeles Times (June 16, 2003) p. A11.
The United States should cease promoting a secular civil society as the only alternative to a Taliban-like theocracy in Iraq.

Gemäßigten Islam im Irak unterstützen

May 26, 2003

“Gemäßigten Islam im Irak unterstützen” (Support Moderated Islam in Iraq)Süddeutsche Zeitung Nr. 120 (May 26, 2003).
The United States in Iraq should cease promoting a secular civil society as the only alternative to a Taliban-like Shia theocracy.

Iran May Present Greater Threat than Iraq

December 10, 2002

“Iran May Present Greater Threat than Iraq” USA Today (December 10, 2002). p. 24A.
Much attention has been paid to the dangers posted by North Korea and Iraq, which this past weekend turned over a 1,200-page report to the United Nations that declared it had no weapons of mass destruction.

Killing Christians

November 11, 2002

“Killing Christians” The Weekly Standard (November 11, 2002). p. 20.
On October 17, bombs killed 6 people and wounded 143 in Zamboanga, the Philippines. While press accounts mentioned in passing that the victims were CHristians, few conveyed to the reader that these were people assaulted by Muslim extremists because of their religion.

Harsh Lessons in Incivility.

November 01, 2002

“Harsh Lessons in Incivility.” The Chronicle of Higher Education; The Chronicle Review. (November 1, 2002) pB14-15
This semester, the hottest class on campuses coast to coast is a course in incivility.

Seeking Middle Ground on Privacy Versus Security

October 15, 2002

“Seeking Middle Ground on Privacy Versus Security” Christian Science Monitor (October 15, 2002). p. 9.
Since Sept. 11, discussion has swirles around whether Americans have sacrificed too many rights to shore up on national security.

Safety Cards

October 03, 2002

“Safety Cards” American Enterprise (June 1, 2003) p. 7-8.
In March 2003 the FBI issued a worldwide alert for Adnan El Shukrijumah, who is sought for questioning in connection with possible terrorist threats against the United States.

In and out

October 03, 2002

“In and Out” National Review Online (October 3, 2002).
A major reason policymakers and the public are told we should not exorcize Saddam is that after we rid the world of him, we will have to stay in Iraq, at huge costs and risks. Phebe Marr, author of The Modern History of Iraq, testified before the Senate that if the U.S. embarks on this project, it needs to be prepared to see it through to an acceptable outcome - including, if necessary, a long-term military and political commitment to ensure a stable and more democratic government.

Mobilize America’s Foot Soldiers

July 25, 2002

“Mobilize America’s Foot Soldiers” The Christian Science Monitor (July 25, 2002) p 9.
Congress is busy creating a Department of Homeland Security. But another new federal entity that could be making a vital contribution is barely mentioned: the Citizen Corps.

Lowering Membership Bar Cheapens ‘Democracy

July 25, 2002

“Lowering Membership Bar Cheapens ‘Democracy’” USA Today (July 25, 2002) p 13A.
President Bush's recent demand that Palestinians replace Yasser Arafat with a new leader before the next steps can be taken toward peace in the Middle East raises a crucial question: Should we seek to unseat any democratically elected leader?

Show US Mettle in Pakistan

July 18, 2002

“Show US Mettle in Pakistan” The Christian Science Monitor (July 18, 2002) p 13.
The credibility of American power is being tested these days not in Iraq, but in north Pakistan.

Throw Book at Terrorists Who Hide as Civilians

July 03, 2002

“Throw Book at Terrorists Who Hide as Civilians” USA Today (July 3, 2002) p 13A.
In 1946, before the establishment of the state of Israel, I served in an underground unit (PalMach) of the Jewish community. We were fighting the British, who ruled over Palestine in those days.

But Remember, Good Fences Always Make for Good Neighbors

June 26, 2002

President Bush has offered a fine plant that, at best, will take years to implement. For now, a fence will make all the difference.

Engaging Iran, Slowly

June 04, 2002

Iran now tops the State Department's list of seven terrorist-sponsoring states. After 10 days in Iran - four cities, 60 interviews - I have little doubt that the United States is better off engaging Iran, as it does China, rather than trying to isolate it, as it does Iraq.

Pedophilia Not Curable, Data Show

May 21, 2002

Many of the responses by the Catholic Church to pedophilia among its ranks implicitly assume that it is a curable disease.

Implications of the American Anti-Terrorism Coalition for Global Architectures

May 05, 2002

Given the rise in transnational problems and the inadequacy of the old, intergovernmental system, scholars are searching for a new, post-cold war global architecture. The 2001 anti-terrorism coalition presents a new architecture -the semi-empire -which is dominated by one nation (or a small group of nations) that
pressures other nations to follow the course it sets, and has a limited number of missions. The article explores the possibility that the coalition could expand to tackle other transnational problems besides terrorism. Given the coalition's lack of scope and legitimacy, other options are explored that might be more effective and legitimate.

An earful on the war from America’s ‘allies’

May 01, 2002

If you want to get a feeling for why America's allies are rapidly peeling off from supporting the war on terrorism, the following presonal account may help.

Mideast Needs A ‘Wall’ to Cool off Violence

April 09, 2002

Now that President Bush has sent Secretary of State Colin Powell to stop the bloodshed in the Middle East, my advice to him and all of us -- based on the 21 years that I lived in Isreas - is that we stop asking who is in the right.

For Now, the Saudi Plan is Just a Mirage

April 01, 2002

Every time you believe the mindless bloodshed in the Middle East has reached an incredible height, you wake up to find that the horror escalated some more.

Consider a New Mideast Option

November 15, 2001

President Bush, in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly this past weekend, said for this first time that the USA was "working toward the day when two states -- Israel and Palestine -- live peacefully together within secure and recognized borders.

How Not to Win the War

November 07, 2001

The United States has been scaling back its bombing on Fridays, the Muslim Sabbath. And only of after much public agonizing has the Bush administration decided to continue bombing during the Muslims' holy month of Ramadan.

Censorship of War News Undermines Public Trust

October 23, 2001

A friend who works as a high-ranking public-information (that is, publicity) officer for the U.S. Army told me that he does not expect to be sent any place near Afghanistan, because "we plan to release as little information as possible, or less."

A Proud American Moment

October 11, 2001

“A Proud American Moment” The Christian Science Monitor (October 11, 2001) p 9.

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, only one day after the assault on America, newspapers caried extensive reports about attacks on Muslim Americans.

Beyond Transnational Governance

October 10, 2001

References to world government have long been treated as utopian notions held by a few visionaries. This much-dismissed vision is re-examined here in light of the fact that self-determination based on national governments, to the extent that it existed a generation ago, is increasingly curtailed by transnational developments.

USA Can’t Impose Democracy on Afghans

October 10, 2001

“USA Can’t Impose Democracy on Afghans” USA Today (October 10, 2001) p 15A.

With the best of intentions, numerous U.S. public officials are busy plotting the future of the Afghan government and society.

A New Cold War

September 18, 2001

“A New Cold War” The Boston Globe (September 27, 2001) p A15.
(Reprinted in The Jerusalem Post, October 5, 2001.)

International terrorism will not be greatly diminished until we help open the societies that sponsor terrorists and that terrorize their own people.

On Ending Nationalism

March 13, 2001

Nationalism must be ended. It is a creed that has come to burden the expansion of globalism (as evident for instance in the demonstrations agains WTO); hobbles the growth of the European Community (as seen in the votes against the Euro in Denmark); stands in the way of resolving violent conflicts (for instance, over the fate of Jerusalem); complicated the resolution of differences within existing nation-states (for example, in Corsica); and turn refugees and immigrants into a threat to the receiving countries.

Census should reflect land rich in blended citizens

March 02, 2000

Condemning Austria's inclusion of an extreme right-wing party in its government is fully justified -- and woefully insufficient. Censure by the European Community is welcome -- and utterly inadequate. Anybody who believes that we can embarrass or pressure the Austrians into treating their xenophobic party as a pariah had better think again.

Americans Could Teach Austrians About Diversity

February 14, 2000

Condemning Austria's inclusion of an extreme right-wing party in its government is fully justified -- and woefully insufficient. Censure by the European Community is welcome -- and utterly inadequate. Anybody who believes that we can embarrass or pressure the Austrians into treating their xenophobic party as a pariah had better think again.

When Does Global Good Outweigh Our Own Sovereignty?

December 08, 1999

One theme united many of the divergent groups that participated in the "Battle in Seattle" last week: As they saw it, the United States was, again, sacrificing its sovereignty to satisfy yet another international organization. And President Clinton confirmed their worst suspicions when he stated that he was looking forward to the day when the World Trade Organization (WTO) would be able to impose sanctions on nations.

Rethinking Peacekeeping, Beyond Intervention to Mediation

July 09, 1995

Gradually, and to some extent inadvertently, the United States has been developing a new role in the post cold war world.

Sharing the Red Carpet, A Visit to Bonn

November 01, 1992

The impeccably proper German official is visibly impatient. Holding open the door to the nearest of a fleet of black Mercedes that were waiting, he rushes us in- "Surely we do not want to keep the president waiting."

To Avoid Another Bosnia: Recognize Macedonia Now

October 28, 1992

Intelligence sources in Washington openly predict what will happen next in the Balkan tribal war. As the Serbians consolidate their holdings in Bosnia, they are expected to try to drive out the 200,000 Albanians that live in Kosovo, and go after western Macedonia, a region where many Serbs live and that many Serb nationalists see as part of a “Greater Serbia.” If we are to avoid standing by as thousands more civilians are slaughtered, and thousands more are driven from their homes, we must act now.

Coming In Out Of the Cold War

November 11, 1991

At first I did not have any inkling that Bogdan Walewski wanted to involve me in an international intrigue. He introduced himself over the phone as the second secretary of the Polish Mission to the United Nations.

Is Poland Getting Bad Advice?

June 17, 1990

Poland is the only country in Eastern Europe that is attempting to rush from a command-and-control economy to a free-market economy. All the other countries have chosen a gradual transition. My prediction is that Poland will not make it. I base my prediction on sociological, psychological and political factors as well as economics. This broader perspective is a long way from American neoclassical economic theory, on which the “jump now” advice to Poland is based.

A Lifelong Democrat Packs His Bags

October 08, 1989

After a lifelong affiliation with the Democratic Party and its ideals, I am packing. And I am not alone.

America is Unsecured

December 11, 1985

After 25 years of living in the United states (as an immigrant from Israel, often considered an Italian), I still cannot get used to the loose security of my adopted country. Married to a Hispanic, I often run into citizens of Mexico and El Salvador who walked into the country across the Rio Grande. On campus, I teach students from Iran and assorted Palestinians who simply stayed in the United States after their visas expired.

Military Industry’s Threat to National Security

April 06, 1984

Defense analysts have long understood the need to keep careful watch over the defense industry and the role it plays in shaping our military policy. Yet few people seem to have noticed the disturbing way that many defense contractors are encouraging the Government to neglect preparations for conventional war and thus rely increasingly on nuclear weapons.

Some Protectionism

May 26, 1983

Unfortunately, so far, most of our protection has been of the wrong kind.

Refugee Resettlement: The Infighting in Washington

November 01, 1981

In early 1979 the Carter administration found itself facing a refugee crisis as mounting political tensions throughout Southeast Asia increased the number of people seeking asylum in America. Refugees began arriving in the spring of 1975 after the collapse of noncommunist regimes in Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The flow subsided somewhat until 1978, when renewed fighting generated a new wave of refugees. Thousands of ethnic Chinese fled Vietnam after the war erupted between Vietnam and China in 1979, and Vietnamese expansion also created a new flow of refugees from Laos and Cambodia into Thailand.

Forget About Copying Japan Inc

December 07, 1980

NOBODY HAS YET recommended that Americans wear kimonos to work, spend their evenings with bar girls or eat rice with short sticks. Never mind that most Japanese don't do these things either. In the present mania to do things the way the Japanese do, such subtleties are quickly overlooked. An intellectual fashion is like a disco pants fad: Everybody gets into it, whether it fits or not.

Rebuilding Our Economic Foundations

August 25, 1980

Developmental economics is the study of the evolution of modern economies in preciously underdeveloped countries.

Jimmy Carter’s Lonely Pulpit

January 01, 1979

Despite some recent success in the Mideast peace talks, the President still has to learn that it takes more than a few prayers and public appeals to pass legislation in this mundane world.

What Our FBI Files Tell About the FBI

November 11, 1977

I do not know who started it, but in 1972 the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a lengthy inquiry into my past. Someone had charged that "Etzioni had made statements critical of the United States' foreign policy, that he had defended the position of Red China and the Soviet Union, and had made unwarranted accusations against the military and intelligence organizations of the United States."

The America OPEC Versus New York

April 25, 1977

New York finds itself squeezed, this time, by an American OPEC.

The Day It All Turned Around For New York City

April 04, 1977

Not many outsiders know about the small, sprited band of optimists-called Team A- that the Defense Department keeps hidden away inside the Pentagon.

After Nuclear War, What America?

December 10, 1975

Like a ghost returned from a grave, a debate which ran high in the Fifties and early Sixties returns to haun American policymakers, intellectuals and concrened citicens: COuld we ever be the first to strike the enemy with nuclear weapons?

The Energy Forecast

January 06, 1975

Daily predictions about "the next oil-embargo" - what the Arabs will do if the next round of Kissinger negotiation fails, what the international price of a barrel of oil will be in 1983 or our energy needs over the next 10 years-pay little heed to our demonstrated inability to predict such developments in the past.

Lunch with Three Prospective Bombers

October 27, 1970

Last Sunday I met three would-be bombers, two young men and a young woman whom I'll call Jim, Dick and Sally.

One Way Out of the Israeli-Egyptian Deadlock

September 18, 1970

To keep afloat the hope for peace negotiations between Egypt, Jordan and Israel, several devices have been suggested, all of which, thus far, are designed to cost Egypt more than it is willing to pay.

Social-Psychological Aspects of International Relations

January 01, 1969

The study of the conditions under which a just and stable peace can be achieved constitutes the main core of contemporary analysesof international relations; hence, the following discussion focuses on the issues and problems in applying social psychology to the prevention of war.

Why Britain is Different

June 19, 1967

Many American observers see the new application of Britain for membership in the European Economic Community (EEC) as a morality play.

Russia’s Jews are Pleading for Help

March 29, 1967

Before I left New York in February, a colleague who knew that I was concerned about the fate of Soviet Jewry told me, "Be sure to see Shamburg."

Sociological Perspectives on Strategy

January 01, 1967

Strategy sets forth principles for the selection and employment of resources and power in the pursuit of given goals, and also specifies priorities among these goals. 

More ‘Humane’ Warfare in Vietnam?

May 01, 1966

The United States appears to be considering an expansion of the use of chemical weapons in Vietnam.

Strategic Models for a De-polarizing World

June 01, 1965

It is becoming commonplace to state that a Western strategy that assumes or seeks to foster a bi-polar world is obsolescent.

Strategic Models for a Policentric World

January 01, 1965

It is becoming commonplace to state that a Western strategy that assumes or seeks to foster a bi-polar world is obsolescent.

On Self-Encapsulating Conflicts

September 01, 1964

The advocate of general and complete disarmament can find little support for their stand in human history, political science, or contemporary international relations.

Anatomy of an Incident

July 01, 1964

The familiar voice of the WQXR radio announcer opened the 8 a.m. news on January 30, 1964, with a statement that the United States was charging that Soviet aircraft had brutally shot down an unarmed American jet training plane over East Germany on January 29, causing the death of three officers.

European Unification and Perspectives on Sovereignty

January 01, 1963

“European Unification and Perspectives on Sovereignty,” Daedalus, Vol. 92, No. 3 (Summer 1963), pp. 498-520. Reprinted in The Atlantic Community Quarterly, Vol. 11 (1964), pp. 120-122.

The Epigenesis of Political Communities at the International Level

January 01, 1963

A model for functional analysis of social change is provided to supplement the Parsons-Bales-Smelser differentiation model.

International Prestige, Competition and Peaceful Coexistence

May 01, 1962

There is room for unilateral action to improve international relations in areas other than nuclear test bans, the cessation of bomb production, or general disarmament.

The Decline of Neo-Feudalism: The Case of Israel

January 01, 1962

The struggle for national independence is often led by a charismatic movement.

Alternative Ways to Democracy: The Example of Israel

June 01, 1959

Each generation seems to work out its own definition of democracy.

The Functional Differentiation of Elites in the Kibbutz

March 01, 1959

A process of the differentiation in the social structure of the communal settlements of Israel (Kibbutz) is related to functional differentiation of the elites. 

Work: An Educational Technique in Israeli Schools

August 01, 1958

Educational techniques are closely relatcd to the values and the structure of the society in which education takes place. As a society changes, techniques are altered or abandoned, and new techniques are introduced. Israel furnishes an illuminating example of the effect of social change on educational method.

Agrarianism in Israel's Party System

August 01, 1957

The agricultural sector of Israel's Jewish population is not very large; nevertheless the role of agriculture in the political life of the country is of the utmost importance. 

The Organizational Structure of the Kibbutz

August 01, 1957

“The Organizational Structure of the Kibbutz,” Niv HaKevutza, Vol. 6, No. 3 (August 1957), pp. 412-433; Vol. 6, No. 4 (October 1957), pp. 658-682 (in Hebrew). 

Solidaric Work Groups in Collective Settlements

August 01, 1957

The aim of this paper is to explain the wide differences in solidarity observed in working groups on collective settlements (Kibbutzim) in Israel.

The Organizational Structure of Educational Institutions

July 01, 1956

“The Organizational Structure of Educational Institutions,” Megamot Child Welfare Research Quarterly, Vol. VII, No. 3 (July 1956), pp. 244-253 (in Hebrew).