iOS app Android app

Michael Brenner
GET UPDATES FROM Michael Brenner
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

Iran: Obama's Moment of Truth

(10) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 12:40 PM

The nuclear negotiations with Iran are in their eleventh hour. By Monday we'll know whether a resolution has been reached or a new crisis of the first order added to the conflagrations in the Middle East -- indeed, one that will exacerbate all the others. Even an understanding that lays...

Read Post

Treating the Terror Psychosis

(18) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 12:38 PM

America is afflicted with a debilitating ailment that has warped the collective national mind. Its symptoms are the experience of persistent delusions and a distorted sense of objective reality. The disorder impairs functioning since the subjective perception of the world does not match actual conditions. That marks the classic psychotic...

Read Post

The Democrats' Political Suicide

(260) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 12:16 PM

For six years the Democrats have been bent on committing political suicide. Or so it seems. President Barack Obama has been the point man for this bizarre self-immolation. That period represents the culmination of a long 30 year exercise in political obtuseness that has seen a steady estrangement from the...

Read Post

The New Congress and Foreign Policy

(1) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 1:17 PM

A sea change in the composition of the Congress is always taken to have profound consequences for American foreign policy. Those expectations usually prove exaggerated. The broad consensus on the basic premises of the country's external relations is too strong to permit stark confrontations. Moreover, there currently are no earth-shaking...

Read Post

A "Laid Back" American Foreign Policy?

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 11:36 AM

There is an undercurrent of thinking in foreign policy circles that a restrained, less actively engaged approach to the country's external relations may best conform to American national interests and capabilities. It has emerged as counterpoint to the hyper activism that has characterized the United States' dealings in the world...

Read Post

Religion, guerre et barbarie

(11) Comments | Posted November 1, 2014 | 9:22 AM

Les abominations auxquelles se livre Daech en Irak et en Syrie posent encore une fois la question du lien qui existe entre la religion et la violence organisée. On peut logiquement se demander si l'Islam a une affinité particulière pour de tels actes. Étant donné que les militants de Daech...

Read Post

Sky High Robbery

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 1:26 PM

A classic strategy for keeping under control the poor souls toward the bottom of the social pyramid is to set them quarreling among themselves over the small goods that are left for them. So it is since hewers of wood were first pitted against drawers of water. That serves the...

Read Post


(7) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 5:34 AM


Read Post

Religion, War and Atrocity

(69) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 12:54 PM

The grisly deeds of IS in Iraq and Syria evoke once again the question as to the connection between religion and organized violence. Its companion question asks if Islam has a special affinity to such acts. Since the militants of IS, like their al-Qaeda counterparts, proclaim themselves to be Salafists,...

Read Post

Does America Have a Foreign Policy?

(18) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 12:37 PM

Sadly, the answer is "no." We have not had one since Barack Obama entered the Oval Office six years ago. That does not mean that his actions have been worse than his Bush predecessor's or that he has made more mistakes. That depends in good part on one's preferences and...

Read Post

Who 'Lost' Iraq? The Panetta Fantasy

(4) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 11:53 AM

A growing number of high officials in American foreign policy engage in two all-consuming pastimes. One is the relentless pursuit of power, status and acclaim. The other is striving mightily, upon leaving office, to doctor the historical record so as to airbrush their misdeeds while striking a pose of statesmanlike...

Read Post

2016 Run for the Roses

(3) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 12:23 PM

As autumn leaves begin to fall, the electoral countdown begins. Not just this year's but also the presidential contest in 2016 The tempo already has quickened as the could-be candidates skittishly begin to flex and caper in preparation for the big race: the run for the White House. This is...

Read Post

The Islamic State Is Obama's Rubik's Cube

(1) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 2:21 PM

There is no greater challenge than prognostication about the multi-layered conflicts in Syria and Iraq. A diverse array of players, the involvement of external parties, crosscutting interests and allegiances, and few if any stable elements make this turbulent scene susceptible to rapid, unpredictable developments. Stable resolution of any kind is...

Read Post

Emulating 'Exceptional' America

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 4:08 PM

Emulation is the highest form of flattery -- or so it is claimed. The truth of that assertion, though, depends on what form the emulation takes and, indeed, how the initial action originally was construed. Those ambiguities become evident when we consider how American actions in the GWOT has helped...

Read Post

Terror -- America's Archetypes

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 11:48 AM

We relate to the world as much by image and symbol as by its tangible qualities. The more distant the reality, the greater the tendency to rely on myth and stereotype. These are rooted in our subconscious as archetypes -- a culturally derived idea or concept that resides deep in...

Read Post

NSA Close Up

(3) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 11:29 AM

A few months ago a high-powered contingent from the electronic surveillance world gathered for a semi-public talk fest about "The National Security Agency At The Crossroads." The crossroads, as it emerged, is formed by the intersection of accelerating technological innovation, the offensive/defense dynamic, the proliferation of interested parties, and the...

Read Post

The Islamic State Panic

(34) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 11:21 AM

The grotesque beheading of James Foley is stirring passions in Washington policy circles. From the highest levels of the Obama administration to the media pundits, emotions are flaring over what the United States should/could do. The act in itself has changed nothing insofar as IS' threat to the United States...

Read Post

As Time Goes By -- Hillary & Barack

(2) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 11:21 AM

Of all the book fairs, in all the beach towns in all the world, she sashays into mine. Wellfleet, Provincetown, Nantucket, East Hampton, La Jolla --no! Martha's vineyard. I had the audacious hope that she'd take her campaign safari some place that's "too close to call" -- like Missouri or...

Read Post

Back Into Iraq

(19) Comments | Posted August 11, 2014 | 1:20 PM

President Obama's approval of airstrikes against the Islamic State and the first limited action around Irbil trail question marks. They pertain to aims, military effectiveness, and political consequences for dealings with all parties with a stake in the conflict.

Purpose. The first thing to say is that we should not...

Read Post

The Democrats' Defeatism

(61) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 12:35 PM

Defeatism infects the Democratic Party's bloodstream. This affliction is systemic and chronic. It has spread through every limb and organ of the party from the White House to towns across America. The ulterior source is a political lifestyle dating back to the Reagan years of passivity as the Republicans aggressively...

Read Post