If Trump Wins

  Donald Trump is closing in on the American presidency. The man who has promised to build a wall on the Mexican border (and force the Mexican government to pay for it), to somehow or another destroy the Islamic State with one fell swoop, to push Putin back where he belongs, and to rectify the … Continue reading If Trump Wins

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More than meets the eye: The Saudis aren’t going into Syria just because they hate Assad

As if the war in Syria weren't worrisome enough, Saudi Arabia is now contemplating open intervention to match the Russians.  Beyond the obvious implications of Saudi special forces shooting down Russian jets, with all the madness that would entail, is an essential question: why?  Why would Saudi Arabia, long one of the few quiet, reliably … Continue reading More than meets the eye: The Saudis aren’t going into Syria just because they hate Assad

Why the Middle East Never Went Secular

The great struggles in the Middle East are tinged with religion: Sunni supremacists in the Islamic State, Shi'a supremacists in Tehran, Arabs and Jews waging war on one another over the old mandate of Palestine, to name just a few. And yet, not so long ago, many Middle Eastern states were using the language of … Continue reading Why the Middle East Never Went Secular

America’s primary system is doomed

For Americans, the presidential election is interminable.  Most serious candidates begin to explore their options a year before the first primaries.  One by one, they declare their candidacy through the summer.  The fall is spent pandering, pleading, and pointlessly debating.  Then, finally, come the primaries that winter. With a rather small and economically marginal state … Continue reading America’s primary system is doomed