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Clear Thinking on Terrorism, Not Myths, Needed After Paris Attacks

Following the Paris attacks, a host of myths have cropped up attempting to explain everything from ISIS' motivations to proposed plans for dealing with the extremist group. TCF fellow Michael Cohen takes four such myths head on in his latest column out today.

It seems, however, that among the pundit class, one emotion above all is dominating: panic. And it’s creating a set of myths about what actually happened in Paris, and what the attacks mean, that could keep us from learning the necessary lessons from Friday’s horrors.

Read more about the four myths discussed by Cohen at World Politics Review.

Former DOJ Lawyer Martin Lederman Agrees: Purdue Overstepped in Deleting Snowden Lecture

Georgetown law professor Martin Lederman offers his legal analysis of Barton Gellman's experience at Purdue University, and finds that Purdue, indeed, made a mistake.


Sharp divide over California’s bullet background check bill

Al Jazeera America wrote an article about options of controlling gun violence in response to California's latest ballot initiative which would require background checks on ammunition purchase. TCF fellow Harold Pollack says that requiring these types of tracking on massive ammunition purchases are likely to curb gun abuses in America because they would give police a better handle on who is at risk of shooting. 

“It creates a paper trail that can be very helpful to law enforcement. We have people committing mass shootings after buying up large amounts of ammunition,” Pollack said. “That’s a useful piece of data for law enforcement to know,” he says.

Read the full Al Jazeera America piece on gun control.

Tags: mass shootings, gun violence, gun control

Scholarship, Security, and ‘Spillage’ on Campus

TCF's Barton Gellman recently gave a keynote presentation at Purdue University, only to later find out that the university destroyed the video of the event to comply with the institution's high security standards.


The Limits of Iranian Power

September 22, 2015 BY: Michael Wahid Hanna TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

TCF senior fellow Michael Wahid Hanna, with Dalia Dassa Kaye of the RAND Corporation, has co-authored a new article in the journal Survival on Iranian ambitions.

The changing configuration of power in the Middle East today places serious constraints on Iran’s ability to project its influence. While there is no question Iran views itself as a regional power, and actively attempts to exert its influence well beyond its borders, far less attention has been paid to how receptive the region is to such ambitions, and to the challenges Iran faces. Fears of Iranian hegemony are exaggerated, even if Iran’s desire to project power in the region is real. 

Find Hanna and Kaye's article at Survival.

Tags: middle east, iran nuclear deal, iran and the us, iran

In Iran Speech, Clinton Reveals Her Hawkish Tendencies

September 16, 2015 BY: Michael Cohen TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

During the course of his presidency, Obama has seen success in helping to change the American public mindset on foreign policy from a "hawkish" one to a more diplomatic one. Despite this shift, Hillary Clinton has continued to use militaristic language when it comes to foreign policy, with this being especially true of her recent speech on Iran, says TCF fellow Michael Cohen.

The politics of Clinton’s words are unmistakable: shore up support among hawkish supporters of Israel; show she’s “tough enough,” or perhaps reckless enough, to be commander-in-chief; and pledge U.S. leadership in the form of military, rather than diplomatic engagement. Indeed, what was perhaps most striking about Clinton’s speech was that the former secretary of state had very little to say about the actual practice of diplomacy if she were to become president. In short, this speech can easily be seen as a reversal on what are often portrayed by Obama’s Republican opponents as his worst foreign policy liabilities: his poor relationship with Israel; his emphasis on diplomacy over the use of force, at least in his second term; and his alleged lack of leadership and attention to close allies.

Find out more about Clinton's "hawkish" tendencies in his World Politics Review column.

Tags: iran and the us, iran, hillary clinton, foreign relations, foreign policy


Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

In the first years of the new century, an assertive foreign policy took a toll on the cultivated role of the U.S. as a responsible global leader. The Century Foundation's work in this area provides perspective on the international difficulties the U.S. is facing today, while providing policy recommendations to promote the nation's security interests. Our research and analysis focuses on effectively responding to challenges in the Middle East and Pakistan, as well as responding to international crime.

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