Middle East and North Africa

Foreign Affairs Article

Deterrence Lessons From Iraq

Author: Amatzia Baram

Debates about the possibility of containing a nuclear Iran often hinge on judgments of whether the regime there is rational. But as a wealth of recently released Iraqi documents about Saddam Hussein's tumultuous reign in Iraq show, even an arguably rational leader can be unreasonable -- and very hard to deter.

See more in Global Governance; Iraq

Foreign Affairs Article

Is Iraq on Track?

Authors: Antony Blinken, Norman Ricklefs, and Ned Parker

Iraq is hardly the failed state that Ned Parker portrayed in these pages, argues Antony Blinken, the U.S. vice president's national security adviser. Norman Ricklefs sees Iraq's politics becoming more moderate and less sectarian. Parker replies that despite these improvements, Baghdad still violates human rights and ignores the rule of law.

See more in Iraq; Politics and Strategy; Rule of Law

Foreign Affairs Article

Time to Attack Iran

Author: Matthew Kroenig

Opponents of military action against Iran assume a U.S. military strike would be far more dangerous than simply letting Tehran build a bomb. Not so, argues this former Pentagon defense planner. With a carefully designed strike, Washington could mitigate the costs—or at least bring them down to a bearable level—and spare the region and the world from an unacceptable threat.

See more in Iran; Defense Strategy

Foreign Affairs Article

Can the Center Hold?

Author: Yossi Klein Halevi

A pair of recent articles in this magazine highlighted two sides of Israel's current dilemma: the country does need to end the occupation, but Israelis also remain deeply skeptical of Palestinian intentions, and with good reason. Only one thing will break the paralysis of the Israeli center: if the Palestinians accept Israel's basic legitimacy.

See more in Israel; Politics and Strategy