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Nathan Gonzalez
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Nathan Gonzalez is a Fellow with the Truman National Security Project, a part-time lecturer of Political Science and International Studies at California State University, Long Beach, and Founding Editor of Nortia Press, an independent publisher focusing on global affairs. He has written two books, The Sunni-Shia Conflict and Engaging Iran.

In 2002, Nathan received a prize from the University of California, Los Angeles, for his research on Iraq, through which he predicted that a U.S. invasion would bring about massive sectarian strife, pervasive anti-Americanism in Iraq, and a stronger Iran. He has also published several academic papers, blogs and op-eds on the topic of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

Nathan holds a master of international affairs from Columbia University and is currently finishing a doctorate in political science from UCLA.


Reviews of The Sunni-Shia Conflict:

"Nathan Gonzalez has written the first general, accessible account of the conflict within the House of Islam and its continuing impact on the politics of the region. Covering a vast panorama with lucidity and flair, The Sunni-Shia Conflict is a powerful and persuasive book. It should be obligatory reading for every policymaker caught up in the current maelstrom in the Middle East."

--Anthony Pagden, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, UCLA, and author of Worlds at War: The 2,500-Year Struggle Between East and West


"It is difficult to find fault with the substance or the driving force of Nathan Gonzalez's exceptional volume, which merits a place on the desk of anyone who wonders why and how Sunni-Shia relations in Iraq have culminated in open warfare."

--Jalil Roshandel, Director of Security Studies, East Carolina University


Reviews of Engaging Iran:

"Nathan Gonzalez knows Iran. His grasp of the country's culture, religion, and complex political structure is unmatched among American analysts. Engaging Iran is a must read for anyone who wants a fuller, more complete picture of this powerful, problematic, and increasingly influential country. I cannot recommend this book enough."

-- Reza Aslan, author of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam


"This book offers an important new perspective to the debate about U.S.-Iranian relations. Much like Nixon's strategy of detente during the 1970s, Gonzalez suggests that the time is ripe for a reduction in tension with the Islamic Republic. His arguments for replacing ideological confrontation with strategic engagement are detailed and thought-provoking and should inform foreign policy discussions for many years."

-- James J. F. Forest, United States Military Academy

Entries by Nathan Gonzalez

Yellowcake and Eat It Too: Why An Extension of Nuclear Talks with Iran Is Good for America

(1) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 5:53 PM

The extension of negotiations over Iran's nuclear program represents a victory for diplomacy. It also gets the world closer to the dual goals of keeping Iran from developing a bomb while avoiding yet another costly war in the Middle East. Through tough, smart and principled negotiations, America is finding a...

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Iraq: Learning From Yesterday and Planning for Tomorrow

(1) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 9:51 AM

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a Sunni Muslim organization deemed too radical even for al-Qaeda, is currently advancing toward Baghdad. This should not have come as a surprise, given Iraq's fractured sense of self. Yet before embarking on another adventure to pacify the region, the United...

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How Sanctions Against Iran Could Backfire

(54) Comments | Posted March 14, 2012 | 9:16 AM

It is no secret that Iran is developing its nuclear capacity in a clandestine and deceptive manner. Yet ironically it is our reaction to Iranian intransigence that is more likely to lead to an Iranian bomb. And it's not for the reasons that many have cited.

A recent New...

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Why Israel Should Intervene in Syria

(309) Comments | Posted February 15, 2012 | 7:40 PM

There is much talk in the news about Israel weighing its military options against Iranian nuclear facilities. Yet if for a moment Israel stops focusing on the region's military balance, and starts thinking of its long-term security as a Jewish state in the post-Arab Spring Middle East, it will realize...

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U.S. Strategy After 9/11: Ruminations on a Lost Decade

(8) Comments | Posted September 14, 2011 | 10:44 AM

The attacks of September 11, 2001 did more than bring shock and grief to our nation -- they fundamentally changed us. They removed us further from our liberal traditions, which had once considered undue government surveillance as a violation of civil liberties, while a previously unimaginable concept like torture suddenly...

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America and the Fourth Realignment: A Policy for the New Middle East

(33) Comments | Posted August 26, 2011 | 4:41 PM

The fall of Tripoli to rebel forces is an important milestone for the Arab Spring, and one in which Western countries should take comfort. As one of only four pivotal examples of large-scale political realignment in the region, the year 2011 represents the first time since the birth of the...

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The Sunni-Shia Conflict in Iraq

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2009 | 2:03 PM

Tuesday's deadly coordinated bomb attacks against soft targets in Iraq bear the mark of a simmering Sunni insurgency. And despite the successes of the 2007 troop surge, our unwillingness to tackle the root of the sectarian divisions in Iraq will mean further bloodshed for the people of that country.

...
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Learning from Iran's Past Revolutions

(37) Comments | Posted June 24, 2009 | 7:32 PM

The last one and a half centuries of modern Iranian history have been marked by recurring popular revolts in the streets of Tehran and throughout the rest of the country. Among the countless uprisings, three stand out as dramatic examples of a people imposing their collective will on a despotic...

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Is Revolution Brewing in Iran?

(239) Comments | Posted June 17, 2009 | 6:16 AM

Following the announcement by Iran's Interior Ministry that incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won reelection in an implausible landslide, hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets with the kind of unbridled political anger that may have the power to escalate into full-blown revolution. The ball is now in...

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Iranian Snub? Not Quite

(31) Comments | Posted March 21, 2009 | 1:39 PM

On March 20, President Barack Obama sent Persian New Year greetings directly to the people of Iran. It was a powerful message. By mentioning the Islamic Republic by name, and not simply "Iran," the president was making clear that he considered the current Iranian government legitimate, a profound change in...

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The Lesson Israel Should Have Never Learned

(52) Comments | Posted December 29, 2008 | 3:54 PM

On August 12, 1982, Israel launched a massive bombing campaign over Beirut that came to be known as "Black Thursday." In the conflagration's aftermath, over five hundred Lebanese and Palestinian civilians lay dead, countless were displaced, and widespread hunger and infestation took hold in the absence of running water and...

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It's About Knowledge, Not Experience

(60) Comments | Posted September 4, 2008 | 9:46 PM

There is a false argument being peddled by supporters of the McCain-Palin ticket lately; one that equates the experience of Sarah Palin, the hockey mom and former mayor of Wasilla, AK (population 7,500), with that of Barack Obama, the former state senator and twelve-year professor of constitutional law.

What the...

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It's Isolation Stupid! Why Pre-Election Plans to Attack Iran Will Only Backfire

(194) Comments | Posted June 23, 2008 | 5:48 AM

This week, Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard insinuated that President Bush might launch an attack against Iran should Barack Obama be poised to win the presidency. Said Kristol: "I mean, what is, what signal goes to Ahmadinejad if Obama wins on a platform of unconditional negotiations and with...

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Iraq Was Not A Preemptive War

(128) Comments | Posted April 10, 2008 | 12:36 PM

This week, Republican presidential candidate John McCain claimed that he would reserve the right to wage preemptive war, and with good reason. After all, preemptive war could one day be necessary, and every president should reserve the right to wage it.

The problem, however, is that neither John McCain, nor...

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What Alberto Gonzales Can Teach Us about Hillary Clinton

(26) Comments | Posted February 19, 2008 | 8:48 PM

Back in 2004, I was part of a small but active non-profit organization called Latinos for America. Our mission was to push for greater participation by Hispanics in the public sphere. We organized activist and candidate trainings around the country, and put out bilingual public service announcements encouraging Latinos to...

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Is Univision Slanted toward Hillary?

(71) Comments | Posted January 28, 2008 | 3:10 PM

Univision, the largest Spanish-language television network, was recently bought out by a private equity consortium that includes billionaire Haim Saban. Saban is a close friend of the Clintons, and a particularly zealous Hillary fundraiser.

In May 2007, Fortune magazine wrote a piece on Saban that put in no...

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In Defense of the 22nd Amendment

(126) Comments | Posted January 22, 2008 | 2:17 PM

In 2003, former President Bill Clinton made this remark on CBS' 60 Minutes: "I think presidents should be limited to two consecutive terms, then after a time out of office should be able to run again."

We can't say we weren't warned.

This election season, Bill Clinton's abrasive...

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Three Lessons from Obama's Victory in Iowa

(26) Comments | Posted January 6, 2008 | 10:25 PM

Barack Obama's historic win in Iowa leaves us with three powerful and inspirational lessons about America. These are lessons we can take with us beyond the current election cycle, and on which we can build a better political future.

Senator Obama's campaign in Iowa, outdoing the seasoned grassroots operation of...

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Why I'm Voting for Barack Obama

(39) Comments | Posted December 29, 2007 | 2:29 PM

Marcus Tullius Cicero, the great Roman politician and fearless opponent of dictatorship, warned us against leaders who, in "their admiration for shrewd and clever men, take craftiness for wisdom." In his ultimate how-to manual for governing, called On Duties, Cicero told us what we should already know: That morality and...

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What the NIE Won't Tell Us about Iran

(13) Comments | Posted December 16, 2007 | 7:28 PM

The latest bombshell National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran's weapons capabilities, which established with "high confidence" that the Islamic Republic of Iran put to bed its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003, came only weeks after the U.S. Treasury Department declared Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a "proliferator"...

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