Pressure Points
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Pressure Points

Elliott Abrams discusses U.S. foreign policy, focusing on the Middle East and democracy and human rights.

Latest Post

Biden Fires a Warning Shot at Iran

President Biden, after little more than a month in power, has used military force for the first time--against Iran. In my previous post here, "Biden and Iran: Two Questions," I asked what the president would do if Iran--via the Iraqi Shia militias it supports and controls--continued its attacks on Americans in Iraq and killed Americans. We still do not know the answer, because recent attacks by Iranian-backed militias in Iraq wounded but did not kill Americans.   Read More

Iran
Biden and Iran: Two Questions
As the Biden administration enters its second month in power, two very large questions about its Iran policy remain unanswered. The first relates to nuclear negotiations. At the State Department p…
Venezuela
Diesel and Food in Venezuela
As part of the broad economic sanctions against the Maduro regime in Venezuela and especially the petroleum sector, the Trump administration barred swaps of Venezuelan crude oil for gasoline and dies…
Afghanistan
Two Cheers for Jen Psaki
As a Republican, I find myself disagreeing with very many statements made by the new White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki.  Why then two cheers?  She speaks English properly.  That may not se…
  • Yemen
    Biden and the Houthis
    After two years at the State Department as Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela, I have returned to the Council on Foreign Relations and will start this blog going again.  Here is the first entry.
  • Cuba
    The OAS Secretary General Tells the Whole Truth About the Cuban Regime
    For many years the Organization of American States was a dictators' club, where the rule was "you don't criticize my human rights abuses and I won't criticize yours." And the secretaries-general of t…
  • Middle East and North Africa
    Abbas Celebrates 14th Anniversary of His Four-Year Term
    On January 9, 2005—exactly 14 years ago today—Mahmoud Abbas was elected president of the Palestinian Authority. For a four-year term. Today Abbas begins serving the fifteenth year of his four-year…
  • U.S. Foreign Policy
    Trump Versus the Government
    As the Trump administration reaches the halfway point, what are we to make of Trump foreign policy? In the January issue of Foreign Affairs, I address that question in an article entitled "Trump V…
  • Lebanon
    UNIFIL and the Hezbollah Tunnels
    Israel announced this week the discovery of several tunnels dug by Hezbollah and reaching from Lebanon into Israel. Their existence has been confirmed, and has been condemned not only by Israel but a…
  • Religion
    American Jews and Israel
    Everyone knows that American Jews are becoming increasingly distant from and disenchanted with the State of Israel. Articles and books expound on this subject regularly. And everyone knows why: Israe…
  • Donald Trump
    Trump Policy in the Middle East
    What has been the effect of two years of Trump policy in the Middle East? In the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz (and behind their pay wall), I argue that: When Donald Trump arrived in office U.S. in…