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Peter Beinart

Peter Beinart is a contributing editor at The Atlantic, an associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York, and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation.
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Why Attacking ISIS Won't Make Americans Safer

February 4, 2016 For close to a decade, the trauma of the Iraq War left Americans wary of launching new wars in the Middle East. That caution is largely gone. Most of the leading presidential candidates demand that the United States escalate its air war in Iraq and Syria, send additional Special Forces,...

The Republican Conflation of ISIS and Immigration

January 29, 2016 You can learn a lot from the words politicians use, and even more from the words they don’t. At last night’s Republican debate, candidates and moderators mentioned “immigration” 27 times. No surprise there. It may the single biggest issue in the GOP race. The word “Mexican,” however, wasn’t mentioned once,...

When It Comes to Iran, Bernie Sanders Is Less Naive Than You Might Think

January 26, 2016 In the final days before she and Bernie Sanders face the voters of Iowa, Hillary Clinton is leveling the same attack she leveled against Barack Obama. She’s saying that on foreign policy, she’s the only adult in the race. In their January 17 debate, Sanders declared that, “What we’ve got...

Swooning for Saudi Arabia

January 5, 2016 Once upon a time, Republican leaders said the United States should push the Middle East toward democracy because Arab dictators were breeding Arab terrorists. Not anymore. In the party George W. Bush once ran, his fight-terrorism-with-democratization thesis has been largely orphaned. The new buzzword is “stability.” Donald Trump publicly bemoans...

On Terrorism, Obama's Break from Bush-Era Thinking Unsettles GOP

December 7, 2015 At the core of Barack Obama’s terrorism speech on Sunday night lay a contradiction. He gave the address to convince an increasingly fearful nation that he takes the terrorist threat seriously. But he doesn’t, at least not in the way his political opponents do. For George W. Bush, the fight...

Why Obama Is Standing by the Syrian Refugees

November 23, 2015 Once upon a time, liberals criticized Barack Obama for only taking on fights he knew he could win. Not anymore. In 2013, Obama responded to the Sandy Hook shooting with a fervent, if unsuccessful, push for gun control. Now, over the past week, he’s met the nativist hysteria sparked by...

Do the Democrats Have a Strategy Against ISIS?

November 17, 2015 Before Saturday night’s debate, the Democratic presidential candidates had only a day to prepare for terrorism’s new centrality to the 2016 campaign. And it showed. Bernie Sanders rightly noted that both the Iraq War and climate change had contributed to the political breakdown on which ISIS feeds. But when it...

The Mindless Logic of Republican Foreign Policy

November 13, 2015 Here’s a sampling of what the Republican presidential candidates said about Syria and Iraq at Tuesday night’s debate. Ben Carson declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin “is trying to really spread his influence throughout the Middle East. This is going to be his base. And we have to oppose him...

Jeb Bush’s ‘Serious’ Foreign Policy Is Not Serious

November 4, 2015 Jeb Bush fashions himself the thinking man’s Republican candidate for president. Donald Trump, he declared late last month, is “not serious.” When it comes to foreign policy, Trump hasn’t “thought these things through.” Trump is “not taking the responsibility—the possibility of becoming the president of the United States really seriously.”...

How Trump and Carson Benefit From the Backlash Against Corruption

October 27, 2015 The success of Donald Trump and Ben Carson has turned the members of the GOP elite into anthropologists, struggling to understand those ordinary Republicans who now resemble an exotic and hostile tribe. “I have no feeling for the electorate anymore,” George H.W. Bush’s former chief of staff John Sununu told...