Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Search Term: Louis René Beres

Book thumbnail image

Israel and Iran at the eleventh hour

Professor Louis René Beres and General John T. Chain (USAF/ret.)
In world politics, irrational does not mean “crazy.” It does mean valuing certain goals or objectives even more highly than national survival. In such rare but not unprecedented circumstances, the irrational country leadership may still maintain a distinct rank-order of preferences. Unlike trying to influence a “crazy” state, therefore, it is possible to effectively deter an irrational adversary.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Strategic implications of a “nuclear weapons free world”

By Louis René Beres
Barack Obama still favors the creation of a “nuclear weapons free world.” This high-minded preference is more than infeasible; it is also undesirable. For Israel, in particular, a beleaguered microstate that could ultimately suffer the full fury of this American president’s misplaced idealism, a denuclearization “solution” in any form could not be tolerated.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Occupy Wall Street, Adam Smith, and the Wealth of Nations

By Louis René Beres
“Eat the rich.” This palpably unappetizing sign can still be seen at certain Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. Although obviously silly at a literally gastronomic level, the uncompromising message’s sub-text remains deeply serious. Above all, it reaffirms the steadily hardening polarities of growing class warfare in the United States. Plainly, America’s Edenic myth of “equality” continues to unravel before the sobering and relentless statistics of a continuously-entrenched plutocracy.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Soon facing Iranian nuclear missiles

By Professor Louis René Beres
Admiral Leon “Bud” Edney
General Thomas G. McInerney

For now, the “Arab Spring” and its aftermath still occupy center-stage in the Middle East and North Africa. Nonetheless, from a regional and perhaps even global security perspective, the genuinely core threat to peace and stability remains Iran. Whatever else might determinably shape ongoing transformations of power and authority in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Saudi Arabia, it is apt to pale in urgency beside the steadily expanding prospect of a nuclear Iran.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

“We are in this to win”

Outdated goals of war in the 21st century By Louis René Beres Even now, when the “fog of war” in Iraq and Afghanistan is likely at its thickest point, our leaders and military commanders still speak in starkly traditional terms. Such ordinary emphases on “victory” and “defeat” belie the profound and critically-nuanced transformations of war […]

Read More
Book thumbnail image

A core anxiety: Fear and trembling on the social networks

By Louis René Beres
A visibly deep pleasure is embraced by cell phone talkers. For tens of millions of Americans, there is almost nothing that can compare to the ringing ecstasy of a message. It also seems that nothing can bring down a deeper sense of despair than the palpable suffering of cellular silence. Perhaps half of the American adult population is literally addicted to cell phones. For them, a cell, now also offering access to an expanding host of related social networks, offers much more than suitable business contact

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Once again, “the people” prepare to elect an American president

By Louis René Beres

Apart from their obvious differences, all of the candidates, both Democrat (President Obama) and Republican, have one overriding chant in common. For each aspirant, every pitch is prefaced by sanctimonious appeals to “the people.” Whether openly, or with a quiet nod to a presumably more subtle strategy, “I want to be the people’s president” is always their conspicuously shared mantra.

This is not hard to understand. To suggest otherwise

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Technological progress and human barbarism: An unheroic coupling

By Louis René Beres

Every time I get on an airplane, I am struck by the contradictions. As a species, we can take tons of heavy metal, and transform them into a once-unfathomable vehicle of travel. At the same time, we are required to take off our shoes, and discard our bottled water, before being allowed to board. The point, of course, is not to make us more comfortable (those days are long gone), but to ensure that we don’t blow up the aircraft.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Crowds and the slow death of America

By Louis René Beres “The crowd is untruth.” –Soren Kierkegaard Sometimes, seeing requires distance. Now, suffocating daily in political and economic rants from both the Right and the Left, we Americans must promptly confront a critical need to look beyond the historical moment, to seek both meaning and truth behind the news. There, suitably distant […]

Read More

On the need for an avant-garde in strategic studies

In an important work of contemporary philosophy and social science, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas S. Kuhn articulates the vital idea of “paradigm.” By this idea, which has obvious parallels in the arts, Kuhn refers to certain examples of scientific practice that provide theoretical models for further inquiry: Ptolemaic or Copernican astronomy; Aristotelian dynamics; Newtonian mechanics, and so on. At any given moment in history, we learn, the prevailing paradigm within a given discipline defines the basic contours of all subsequent investigation.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Explaining world politics: Death, courage, and human survival

By Louis René Beres

Here on earth, tragedy and disappointment seemingly afflict every life that is consecrated to serious thought. This is especially true in matters of world politics where every self-styled blogger is now an “expert” and where any careful search for deeper meanings is bound to fall upon deaf ears. Nonetheless, if we wish to better understand war, terror and genocide, we must finally be willing to search beyond the endlessly clichéd babble of politicians, professors and pundits.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

A Sisyphean fate for Israel (part 2)

By Louis René Beres
Today, Israel’s leadership, continuing to more or less disregard the nation’s special history, still acts in ways that are neither tragic nor heroic. Unwilling to accept the almost certain future of protracted war and terror, one deluded prime minister after another has sought to deny Israel’s special situation in the world. Hence, he or she has always been ready to embrace, unwittingly, then-currently-fashionable codifications of collective suicide.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

A Sisyphean fate for Israel (part 1)

By Louis René Beres
Israel, after President Barack Obama’s May 2011 speech on “Palestinian self-determination” and regional “democracy,” awaits a potentially tragic fate. Nonetheless, to the extent that Prime Minister Netanyahu should become complicit in the expected territorial dismemberments, this already doleful fate could quickly turn from genuine tragedy to pathos and abject farce.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Assassinating terrorist leaders: A matter of international law

By Louis René Beres

Osama bin Laden was assassinated by U.S. special forces on May 1, 2011. Although media emphasis thus far has been focused almost entirely on the pertinent operational and political issues surrounding this “high value” killing, there are also important jurisprudential aspects to the case. These aspects require similar attention. Whether or not killing Osama was a genuinely purposeful assassination from a strategic perspective, a question that will be debated for years to come, we should now also inquire: Was it legal?

Read More