Commentaries by Louis Rene Beres

Wikimedia Commons/ UN Charter Preamble/ National Archives and Records Administration

“Nothing is real that is not eternal.” Miguel de Unamuno, Tragic Sense of Life (1921) Though inconspicuous and easily misunderstood, there is no conceivably greater power in world politics than power over death. On its face, this preeminent form of power is problematic (how, after all, can one human being ever offer eternal life to [...]

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Abstract: For Israel, core issues surrounding Iran’s still-accelerating nuclear weapons program have been strategic and political, rather than legal. Nonetheless, if Israel should ever decide that it no longer has any reasonable alternative to launching a preemptive attack against certain Iranian military/industrial targets, this defensive first-strike would need to be justified under international law. In [...]

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(c) Wikimedia Commons (VOA)

“History is an illustrious war against death.” – José Ortega y Gasset, Man and Crisis (1958) Afghanistan and “Palestine”: Newly Emerging Linkages At first glance, there are no obvious connections between the Taliban victory over the United States in Afghanistan and Palestinian terrorism against Israel. Upon closer inspection, however, the recent Taliban triumph reflects more [...]

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Abstract: Following US withdrawal from Afghanistan, America’s security focus will turn more expressly to Iran. The core problem with America’s Afghanistan withdrawal was not one of timing or tactics, but of original misconception. In essence, the “Afghanistan Problem” stemmed from an initially underestimated and misunderstood military operation. Looking ahead, Afghanistan’s incoherent conclusion means, inter alia, [...]

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Hiroshima Children's Peace Monument (Pixabay/ArminEP)

“Scholars build the structure of peace in the world.” Babylonian Talmud; Order Zera’im, Tractate Berakoth, IX Background of the Problem Back in the late 1960s, at Yale Law School and Princeton University’s Department of Politics, a series of joint-programs was developed under the heading of World Order Studies. This advanced academic series focused upon the [...]

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Abstract: Regarding American foreign policy, US President Joseph Biden has now correctly embarked upon a plan to reverse derelictions of his White House predecessor. As many Trump-inflicted harms were grievous and potentially catastrophic, this plan is commendable. At the same time, even in the most optimistic historical narratives, American foreign policy has always been shaped [...]

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Chaos by George Frederic Watts (circa 1875)

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world….” -William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming Plus, ca’ change. “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”  In world politics, anarchy is an old and continuing story. Chaos is not. But what are the precise differences? And why do [...]

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The Swearing of the Oath of Ratification of the Treaty of Münster, depicting the settlement of the Peace of Westphalia (Photos.com/Thinkstock)

 “It must not be forgotten that it is perhaps more dangerous for a nation to allow itself to be conquered intellectually than by arms.” -Guillaume Apollinaire, The New Spirit and the Poets (1917) Whenever Israel finds itself in the midst of major conflict with Hamas, each side seeks to defend itself in military and legal [...]

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“In the end, we still depend upon creatures of our own making.” -Goethe, Faust On core matters of national security, American analysts should think in terms of intellectual and legal criteria. Ignoring the day-to-day banalities of national and international politics, these strategists and policy-makers ought continuously to bear in mind that such primary standards may [...]

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“Theory is a net. Only those who cast, can catch.” – Karl R. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1934) During his March 25, 2021 press conference, US President Joe Biden declared “denuclearization” as America’s ultimate strategic goal for North Korea. Though such a declaration might first appear reasonable, it misrepresents what is plausible in [...]

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