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Michael Brenner
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Senior Fellow the Center for Transatlantic Relations, SAIS-Johns Hopkins (Washington, D.C.)
Author of numerous books, and over 60 articles and published papers. Recent works on American foreign policy and the Middle East are "Fear & Dread In The Middle East", and "Democracy Promotion & Islam". He also has written "Nuclear Power and Non-Proliferation" (Cambridge University Press) and "The Politics of International Monetary Reform" for the Center For International Affairs at Harvard. His work has appeared in major journals in the United States and Europe, such as Europe’s World, European Affairs, World Politics, Comparative Politics, Foreign Policy, International Studies Quarterly, International Affairs, Survival, Politique Etrangere, and Internationale Politik.

Directed funded research projects with colleagues at leading universities and institutes in Britain, France, Germany and Italy, including the Sorbonne, Bonn University, King’s College – London, and Universita di Firenze.

Invited lecturer at major universities and institute in the United States and abroad, including Georgetown University, UCLA, the National Defense University, the State Department, Sorbonne, Ecole des Sciences Politiques, Royal Institute of International Affairs, International Institute of Strategic Studies, University of London, German Council on Foreign Relations, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and Italian Institute of International Affairs.

Previous teaching and research appointments at Cornell, Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Brookings Institution, University of California – San Diego, and Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the National Defense University.

Entries by Michael Brenner

Motion vs. Action at Foggy Bottom

(1) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 12:06 PM

Americans are congenitally movers and doers. That "pro-active" impulse is part of the national personality. "Getting with it," and "self- starting" and "can-do" are terms that convey the same ethos. Activity is considered a virtue in itself. That explains the high value that we place on extra-curricular "activities" or annals...

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Undercutting the Iran Nuclear Talks

(10) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 1:58 PM

The Obama administration is toughening its stance on the terms of a prospective nuclear accord with Iran. As the talks move into a critical phase that will make or break this historic engagement, reports are circulating that Washington is raising its demands and stiffening its resistance to further compromise, e.g....

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Obama's NSA "Reform" -- Another Shell Game

(8) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 11:30 AM

President Obama last week stated his attention to recommend to Congress some small modifications in the NSA's current modus operandi re: metadata collection. It has received a warm reception from those critical of present practices. There are slim grounds, though, for high expectations. Indeed, if acted upon by Congress, they...

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Obama, the CIA, Congress, and the Constitution

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 11:34 AM

The President of the United States has one overriding obligation: to uphold the Constitution and to enforce the laws of the land. That is the oath he swears on Inauguration Day. Failure to meet fully that obligation breaks the contract between him and the citizenry from whom he derives his...

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The Sins of Arrogance Bear Bitter Fruit

(45) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 10:59 AM

Arrogance is a natural accompaniment to power. The ability to control others encourages a sense of superiority. It exalts prowess. It arouses the impulse to dictate, to direct and to take liberties. For these reasons, the stronger always is inclined to bully the weaker. Especially so in international relations where...

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Energy in the Ukraine -- Sanctions Equation

(11) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 11:49 AM

The United States along with allied governments is considering the imposition of economic sanctions on Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine. It is a strategy that trails skeptical question marks. The historical record tells us that sanctions rarely are effective. They can cause much pain and suffering but...

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How to Misread Polls

(7) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 10:34 AM

Poll numbers are the life blood of politics these days. Anything expressed in digits has a claim to truth that assertions without digits cannot make. They inspire confidence - especially among those aspiring to public office - that they actually understand what public sentiment is. Candidates thereby supposedly are in...

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Causes Without Rebels

(7) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 10:30 AM

There are more reasons for Americans to feel aggrieved today than at any time since the Vietnam War ended nearly 40 years ago. At no time before or since has there been so little effort to remedy those conditions. That contradiction should be our main grievance.

The array of deeply...

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The American Public School Under Siege

(382) Comments | Posted February 17, 2014 | 2:03 PM

A feature of the Obama presidency has been his campaign against the American public school system, eating way at the foundations of elementary education. That means the erosion of an institution that has been one of the keystones of the Republic. The project to remake it as a mixed public/private...

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Leadership: Autocracy or Custodianship

(13) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 10:29 AM

Institutions in the United States are not meant to be owned by those who lead them. They are not possessions to be disposed of according to the will and inclination of managers or governors. Leaders are custodians who supposedly act in the collective interest of all those who have a...

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The Opportunity Ladder and Social Justice

(19) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 9:38 AM

There are moments in life when you receive an unmistakable sign that the game is over. That it's time to fold your tent, to pull up stakes, to pack it in, to furl the flag, to luff the sails, to let go of a lost cause. At best, to wait...

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Iraq: Return of the Prodigal Conqueror?

(3) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 8:30 AM

Iraq is creeping back into the news. Slowly. Americans are not welcoming its return. One might think that a place that cost more than a trillion dollars, tens of thousands of casualties, killed more than 100,000 Iraqis, and sullied the good name of the United States has a claim on...

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Spying and Intelligence in the IT Era

(2) Comments | Posted January 20, 2014 | 9:23 AM

We live in the age of communication. More means in more varied formats, more readily available, exist to communicate than ever before. This massive increase in the number of electronic communications is a boon for one set of Very Serious People: the intelligence operatives who thrive on a rich diet...

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Gates' Return

(1) Comments | Posted January 13, 2014 | 9:49 AM

The memoirs of public men are exercises in self-promotion and self-justification. They are designed to etch a portrait of the (wo)man that will live across time. It's the legacy thing. These days, that legacy pertains also to the here and now since memoirs are not necessarily the conclusion of a...

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Pass the Ammunition: Militarizing American Foreign Policy

(5) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 9:25 AM

The militarization of American foreign policy is an accomplished fact. 'Security' is the term used promiscuously to characterize whatever challenges to the nation's well-being are out there - or perceived as existing. The seeming imperative to protect that "security" instinctively points us toward coercive force as the answer. Hostile jihadist...

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Ur Imperialism

(4) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 10:55 AM

Imperialism is a state of mind as much as it is a structure of domination. That truth is central to understanding the attitude of those who presume to impose their will on others, to run the affairs of alien people, to control what they may do and what they may...

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From Here to 2035

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 3:02 PM

The just-published "World Energy Outlook 2013" by the Paris-based International Energy Agency provides us with an authoritative assessment of trends and systemically significant developments in global energy. They serve as the basis for projections of where we will be in 2035 that are presented in three scenarios. Their forecasts highlight...

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Francis -- and America? -- at Heaven's Gate

(9) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 9:16 AM

A sudden illumination of human affairs in their essentials is rare -- especially so when the structure and workings of a whole society are concerned. Normally, those occasions involve dramatic events that tear away veils and expose what has been hidden. That is not the case in this instance. Pope...

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Afghanistan: Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

(2) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 9:18 AM

Actually, we're not leaving. That is confirmed by the news this week of Washington's having reached agreement with President Hamid Karzai on the terms of a Status Of Forces Agreement (SOFA). With the last wrinkles ironed out, the legal basis is in place for American forces to stay at least...

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Why Hillary?

(15) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 10:12 AM

Hillary Clinton has been coroneted as the presumptive next President of the United States - by the celebrity mongers, by the chic Hollywood set, by the media, by the pundits, by the big donors, by Congressional Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer and by the Las Vegas odds-makers....

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