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

Drop of Light via Shutterstock

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

P20170516SC-0537

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

Middle_East_Map

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

zarif-lavrov-russia-iran

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

rajmenon

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