Matthew Yglesias

Matthew Yglesias is a senior editor at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a former Prospect staff writer, and the author of Heads in the Sand: How the Republicans Screw Up Foreign Policy and Foreign Policy Screws Up the Democrats.

Recent Articles

Ready to START

The amount of work that has gone into ratifying the New START should make us very pessimistic about the larger outlook for American diplomacy and non-proliferation efforts.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

An update of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty -- or "New START" to its friends -- looks likely to be ratified by the United States Senate this week. Unfortunately, even if it does pass, the drama thus far should make one very pessimistic about the larger outlook for American diplomacy and nonproliferation efforts.

The Last Statesman

Richard Holbrooke represents a bygone era when America was represented primarily by diplomats, not generals.

Richard Holbrooke, who died unexpectedly this week after suffering a tear in his aorta, was a celebrity diplomat whose name was known to everyone who followed politics and foreign policy. He was unique. Not only in the sense that "celebrity" and "diplomat" rarely go together but that he managed to attain such prominence in American foreign policy without ever reaching the rank of secretary of state or national security adviser. He was deeply involved with every Democratic president and in every presidential campaign since Jimmy Carter's, a fixture to such an extent that his involvement in Barack Obama's administration was taken as a given, the only question being the exact nature of the role.

Republicans Call for War

Emboldened by midterm gains, Republicans return to Bush's hawkish approach to dealing with Iran.

Sen. Lindsey Graham at a press conference in Jerusalem (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

The release this week of former President George W. Bush's memoirs is a welcome reminder of how American foreign policy has changed for the better since the good old days of launching wars for no reason. Unfortunately, Sen. Lindsey Graham of North Carolina doesn't seem to have caught up on his reading. Instead, at a Nov. 6 conclave in Halifax, Nova Scotia, he came out swinging in favor of a new war. The target: Iran. The goal: to "neuter the regime."

The Wrong Political Game

The administration didn't lose a game of political daring -- it failed to pay attention to the economy.

Barack Obama campaigning for Democrats in Providence, Rhode Island on Monday (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Heading into a likely series of midterm-election defeats, Democratic incumbents would do well to remember two points -- large losses were likely inevitable, and insofar as they were avoidable, the party has only itself to blame for not handling the economy better.

Inside the Bubble

Despite the headlines, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has little impact on most Israelis' everyday lives.

Construction in the Palestinian city of Ramallah (Flickr/Radikale Venstre)

It's pure hubris to visit a country for a week and think you've obtained deep insights into the region's complicated sociopolitical issues, so I won't pretend that my recent trip to Israel and Palestine transformed my understanding of the conflict. It did, however, reinforce the thesis of Karl Vick's recent and mildly controversial Time cover story, "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace." Many of the Israelis who are aware of the article reacted strongly against its title because they're deeply invested in a narrative in which the Jews have always been the ones offering compromise and the Arabs have been the ones to reject it.