The U.S. Role in Hardening Hard Lines in the Middle East

by Paul R. Pillar Realism in foreign policy recognizes that all countries have some interests that conflict and some that conform with the interests of one’s own country. A U.S. foreign policy grounded in realism would see all countries as… Continue Reading  

Trump’s Unprincipled “Principled Realism” Benefits Trump, Not the World

by Daniel Brumberg Standing before representatives of the entire world, US President Donald Trump insisted1 that he was “okay” with the scorning merriment that his September 25 UN speech provoked. The speech itself was no laughing matter, however. Indeed, despite its incoherent… Continue Reading  

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