Matthew Duss

Matthew Duss is a foreign policy analyst and a contributing writer for the Prospect. You can follow him on Twitter @mattduss.

Recent Articles

The Gaza Cease-Fire: A Beginning, Not an End

Last week's successful negotiations will be a failure of leadership if they do not pave the way for an end to the occupation.

(Sipa via AP Images)

The political landscape of the Middle East has changed drastically over the past two years, but the successful negotiation of a cease-fire last week should have demonstrated that the support and active engagement of the United States is still essential if, in Secretary Hilary Clinton’s words, a “durable solution” is to be found.

As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has once again reasserted itself on the international agenda, it’s important to step back a bit and reaffirm that a durable solution not just to the current violence but to the conflict itself remains a key U.S. national-security interest. In the week leading up to Israel’s offensive, most of Washington had been consumed by the news of retired General David Petraeus’s resignation as CIA director because of the revelation of an extramarital affair. Analysts and historians will of course continue to debate Petraeus’s legacy, but in light of the past week’s events, one particular episode in his career bears remembering.

Israel's Airstrike Gamble

What—beyond temporarily reducing militants' long-range rocket capabilities—does the country hope to achieve by launching attacks in the Gaza Strip?

(AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

The rocket that landed in the Mediterranean Sea south of Tel Aviv yesterday represents yet another troubling escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Not since the 1991 Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein’s Scud missiles fell on the city, has Tel Aviv has come under similar attack. There are reports of more rockets fired at Tel Aviv this morning, and the world waits to see whether the 160,000 Israeli reservists called up today means a ground invasion of Gaza similar to 2008-2009’s Operation Cast Lead.

The Neocons' Long Game

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(AP Photo/Pool, Win McNamee)

President Barack Obama answers a question as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney listens during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, October 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Florida.

Netanyahu and the Magic Marker

The Israeli prime minister waxes hyperbolic on Iran, overshadowing discussions on the solutions that exist for the Middle East's political woes.

AP Photo/Seth Wenig
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters Thursday, September 27, 2012.

Is America Feared Enough in the Middle East?

Supporting Islamist democracies might actually be the best way to win friends in the region.

(Sipa via AP Images)

The past decade should have permanently cured Americans of the idea that we can dictate events in the Middle East. So it’s hard to take seriously some of the conservative claims and criticisms regarding the continuing anti-American demonstrations in the region.

Senator John McCain has insisted that the Obama administration’s policy of “disengagement” led to the attacks on U.S. embassy outposts last week. "We're leaving Iraq. We're leaving Afghanistan. We're leaving the area,” McCain said on Face the Nation. “The people in the area are having to adjust and they believe the United States is weak, and they are taking appropriate action." McCain characterized the protests as part of “a fight, a struggle in the Arab world between the Islamists and the forces of moderation. And they want America disengaged.”

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