Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

Thinking Bureaucratically about Benghazi

by Elliott Abrams Friday, October 23, 2015

There have been many analyses of former Secretary of State Clinton’s testimony this week about Benghazi, but most are political. Here’s a bureaucratic analysis.

Mrs. Clinton’s critics claim that she should have known about the late Amb. Chris Stevens’ requests for improved security. The Washington Post said “On the matter of why the Benghazi diplomatic outpost was so poorly defended, despite requests for additional security, she said Thursday what she has said all along — that those requests never reached her desk.” Read more »

A New Middle East Policy

by Elliott Abrams Thursday, October 22, 2015

Recently a group of Republican national security experts, mostly academics and former officials, joined to produce Choosing to Lead, a volume aimed at describing what a foreign policy for a new Republican administration in 2017 should look like.  I contributed the chapter on Israel and the Arabs, and it can be found here. Read more »

Abbas, Hamas, and NIMBY

by Elliott Abrams Monday, October 19, 2015

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas was quick to denounce the violence and arson at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus. Moreover, he has instructed Palestinian Authority police to prevent a new intifada. But this is the same Abbas who has encouraged violence. He continues to spread the lie that Israel is undermining the Haram al-Sharif or Temple Mount, and said “Al-Aqsa is ours and so is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet.” He has verbally supported violence, reacting to the series of stabbings this way: “Each drop of blood that was spilled in Jerusalem is pure blood as long as it’s for the sake of Allah. Every shahid (martyr) will be in heaven and every wounded person will be rewarded, by Allah’s will.” Read more »

The Obama Vendetta Against Netanyahu

by Elliott Abrams Friday, October 2, 2015

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the UN General Assembly this week, neither Secretary of State Kerry nor even our UN Ambassador, Samantha Power, was present.

Why not? The State Department has said Kerry was involved in some kind of conference call or video conference with the White House. OK, let’s call that plausible. What about Power? Read more »

The Sandinistas Attack the Miskito Indians–Again

by Elliott Abrams Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The hostility between the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua and the Miskito Indians of Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast was sharp during the 1980s, and many Indians joined the contra effort against that regime. They wanted little more than to be left alone, but the Sandinistas wanted to conscript them into the revolution. To the Marxist Sandinista leaders they were relics of a pre-capitalist age, and had to brought into 20th century Stalinist reality. Read more »

What Andrzej Duda and Benjamin Netanyahu Have in Common

by Elliott Abrams Monday, September 21, 2015

What do Andrzej Duda and Benjamin Netanyahu have in common?

The answer is Russia.

Duda is president of Poland and Netanyahu is prime minister of Israel. For Poles, Russia is a never-ending problem and has been one throughout Polish history. Watching Putin maneuver against Georgia and Ukraine, take Crimea and part of Georgia by force, and threaten NATO countries, all of Poland’s traditional fears of its big neighbor are called to mind. So the Poles rely on both their membership in NATO and their own arms buildup for national security. They have under way a multi-year arms program, increasing defense spending each year and exceeding their NATO peers in percentage terms over and over again. Read more »