Trump Is No Realist


by Paul R. Pillar In his speech in Riyadh, President Trump said his administration was adopting “Principled Realism”—capitalized in the official White House version of the speech, as if to make a statement that there is a distinct doctrine being… Continue Reading  

What a Real “America First” Middle East Policy Might Look Like


by Jim Lobe Paul Pillar, whose analyses for The National Interest website this blog has been honored to repost, has written a longer essay on what he believes is a sensible Middle East policy for the new administration to pursue… Continue Reading  

Russian Realism in the Middle East


by Paul R. Pillar We should reflect on the meaning of Russia’s use of a base in Iran for staging airstrikes in Syria, and about what lessons we could learn from the Russians. The significance does not have to do… Continue Reading  

Review: The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention


by Paul R. Pillar Humanitarianism is the nicer of the main strains of thinking underlying military intervention inside other states, or the advocacy of such intervention. It offers a rationale that seems quite different from, say, American neoconservatism, in which… Continue Reading  

Obama the Realist


by Paul R. Pillar Jeffrey Goldberg’s long article in the Atlantic about Barack Obama’s thinking on America’s foreign relations, an article derived from a series of interviews that Goldberg had with the president, ought to be required reading for this… Continue Reading