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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

The Insecure American Male, and College Rape

(14) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 12:19 PM

There is a strain of American male whose life is shaped by chronic insecurity. This strain's considerable numbers and pronounced behavior patterns make the phenomenon obvious -- yet largely invisible.

This male's symptomatic behavior is now so common, giving the impression of being the norm, that he is largely invisible,...

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A Terrorist by Any Other Name

(20) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 11:30 AM

Most Americans think they know what "terrorism" is: what happened on 9/11. Islamic militants murdering innocent civilians out of hate and in the cause of jihad. Experience shapes how we understand the world. The Global War On Terror has been oriented accordingly.

More formal definitions of "terrorism" try to extend...

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Obama Rolls the Dice in Iraq -- Sort of

(19) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 1:11 PM

Obama's decision to launch a major new training cum advising project in Iraq to be augmented by up to 1,000 more American troops is revealing of how his administration's thinking about Iraq/ISIL/Syria is oriented. Clearly, there remains no coherent strategy; clearly, the incongruities and contradictions among of the various bits...

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A segunda vida da NSA

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2015 | 5:05 PM

Os americanos passaram a apreciar os mundos de faz-de-conta. A tortura foi culpa de alguns "maus elementos". Ou: temos de esperar o "veredicto da história" para avaliar a invasão do Iraque. Ou: os Estados Unidos estão sitiados por hordas de terroristas islâmicos malucos escalando os muros e decididos a superar...

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The NSA's Second Coming

(27) Comments | Posted June 8, 2015 | 10:33 AM

Americans have acquired a fondness for worlds of make-believe. Torture was done by "a few bad apples." Or, we must await the "verdict of history" to judge how our invasion of Iraq turned out. Or, America is besieged by hordes of crazed Islamist terrorists scaling the walls and dedicated to...

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ISIL: What -- if Anything -- Is to Be Done?

(110) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 11:21 AM

ISIL poses an unprecedented danger to Middle East political stability, existing regimes, the population of all confessions and various American security interests as presently defined. It may eventually threaten acts of terrorism in the United States, although it does not as of now. The scope and magnitude of its disruptive...

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Saving a Cherished National Pastime -- The Global War On Terror

(15) Comments | Posted May 25, 2015 | 11:15 AM

America's wars go on far too long. The pace is slow; the action drags. Sponsors fret that ratings are in the doldrums. Within the last year, clicks on war related stories in The Huffington Post are down 16 percent. That puts them on a par with Kim Kardashian's latest dress...

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Osama Bin Laden -- The Truth Be Told

(130) Comments | Posted May 18, 2015 | 12:18 PM

Sy Hersh's revelations about the systematic misrepresentation by the Obama administration of how it brought Osama bin-Laden to bay are causing a stir. Justifiably so. For they puncture the carefully constructed myth of how America revenged itself and renewed itself through this act of righteous justice. Moreover, the account of...

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America's Insecurities at Home and Abroad

(12) Comments | Posted May 11, 2015 | 11:55 AM

Americans have become an insecure people. We grow more and more anxious about who we are, what we are worth and what life will be like down the road. This is an individual and collective phenomenon. They are related insofar as much of our self-identity and self-esteem is bound up...

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The Sunday New York Times: All the News That's Fit to Please

(1) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 11:26 AM

The Sunday New York Times has long been a staple of many American households -- especially in the New York area. In the old days, of course, it was the tangible printed copy that was the centerpiece of a hallowed weekend ritual. It started with the walk around the corner...

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Yemen: Backing Saudis = Unleashing Al Qaeda

(10) Comments | Posted April 27, 2015 | 10:30 AM

Count Metternich's alleged comment in reaction to reports of Talleyrand's death is the most quoted remark in diplomatic history: 'I wonder what his motive is?" We can share his puzzlement today as the Obama administration ricochets from one crack-up to another in the Middle East: "I wonder what their thinking...

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Reinventing the Liberal Arts

(14) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 11:39 AM

The Liberal Arts are the poor relation of the contemporary university. They are the last to be funded, the first to be cut. Faculty salaries lag other units with growing disparity. Students are voting with their feet in a mass migration to professional school programs -- Business and Law above...

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Iran Nuclear Psycho-Drama

(25) Comments | Posted April 13, 2015 | 11:18 AM

The framework nuclear accord with Iran is a big deal. All the analysts and commentaries agree on that. A defining moment, a pivotal event, a turning-point in Middle East politics, Apocalypse at bay, Obama's Nobel Prize validated, a new chapter, a shaft of light -- choose your metaphor. Given all...

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America's Safari to Nowhere

(19) Comments | Posted April 6, 2015 | 1:06 PM

Every Soul is captive
Of its own Deeds
~ Qur'an 74:38


From late 2007 through 2010, the United States and its Israeli partner ruled the roost in the Middle East. It was the best of all worlds - for them. With that construct now...

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Skepticism Is Our Only Salvation

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 11:01 AM

Why bother with facts? That question threads its way through political discourse, through educational philosophy and through observations on the media. Rarely is it confronted squarely. For the lines between actual reality and virtual reality have been so blurred that the distinction itself no longer is generally recognized. The axiom...

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Ignorance Is Bliss

(40) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 12:19 PM

Factual information is out of fashion. American society now devalues it. Subjective attitude and opinion are considered to be as worthy as accurate renderings of reality. Many wear their ignorance as a badge of honor. The ultimate freedom for them is to avoid needless bother in knowing the truth and...

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Iran and America at Heaven's Gate?

(48) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 10:19 AM

The op-ed pages and blogs are full of commentary on the recondite technical aspects of the nuclear negotiations. Some do a masterful job of delineating the particular issues still being negotiated. However, there is a persuasive case to be made that the outcome does not turn on how those detailed...

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The 2016 Frolic Is Here

(5) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 11:44 AM

The roulette wheel that is presidential politics is spinning faster now that we are only one year and eight months from election day. Bets are being placed as the main stakeholders look to their future financial and career investments. The media play to the hilt this longest running spectacle that...

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Rethinking the ISIL Dilemma

(3) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 10:57 AM

It is time to reassess the ISIS problem. Seven months have passed since their seizure of Mosul and advances toward Baghdad ignited a sense of crisis. The reaction in Washington and regional capitals involved a series of military and political moves whose effectiveness now is open to appraisal. Stalemate best...

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Who's Afraid of Islamic Fundamentalism?

(43) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 10:35 AM

Graeme Wood's article in The Atlantic last week charging that ISIL is the natural expression of Islam has created quite a stir. Overwrought and poorly informed in its claim that the roots of violent extremism are in Mohammed and the Koran, and that Bakr al-Baghdadi is a theologian-prophet,...

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