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Louis René Beres


Louis René Beres was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), and is the author of many books, monographs, and scholarly articles dealing with various legal and military aspects of  nuclear strategy. In Israel, he was Chair of Project Daniel (PM Sharon, 2003). Over the past years, he has published extensively on nuclear warfare issues in the Harvard National Security Journal (Harvard Law School); Yale Global Online (Yale University); JURIST; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence; Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs; The Atlantic; The Washington Times; US News & World Report; Special Warfare (Pentagon); Parameters: Journal of the US Army War College (Pentagon); The New York Times; The Hill; The Jerusalem Post; and Oxford University Press. His twelfth book,  published in 2016 by Rowman & Littlefield, is titled: Surviving Amid Chaos: Israel’s Nuclear Strategy.   A monograph with U.S. General (USA/ret.) Barry R. McCaffrey was published at Tel Aviv University in December 2016:  https://sectech.tau.ac.il/sites/sectech.tau.ac.il/files/PalmBeachBook.pdf  Professor Louis René Beres is also a regular contributor to Israel Defense (Tel-Aviv).


U.S. President Donald Trump speaking to troops while visiting the U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida on Feb. 6, 2017. Credit: Department of Defense Photo by D. Myles Cullen/Released.

Saving America: Donald Trump Is the Symptom, Not the Illness

Despite endless reassurances to the contrary, America’s core problems can never be fixed by ritualized political activity or elections. In essence, no American government — no president, no Congress, no hyper-adrenalized promises of “change”...
Counter Terrorism Exercise in Hebron. Photo by IDF Via Flickr

Targeting Jihadist Terrorists: Identifying Pertinent Legal Guidelines

Targeted killing campaigns are still accelerating under the Trump administration, with fewer constraints and even less transparency. More precisely, it seems that the Obama-era Presidential Policy Guidance has been relaxed in two very meaningful ways: targets...

Creating a Seamless Strategic Deterrent: An Israel Case Study

“Theories are nets: only he who casts will catch.” — Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery For beleaguered states in world politics, planning to defend against a security threat must take into account the precise nature...
Hamas terrorists in southern Gaza, Jan. 31, 2017. Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

Targeting terrorist leaders in Gaza and international law

"Each state is expected to aid and enforce the law of nations, as part of the common law, by inflicting an adequate punishment upon the offenses against that universal law." - William Blackstone, Commentaries on...
Tasnim News Agency [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)]

Are terrorists normal? On Nazis, Hamas, al Qaeda, et al

"Are they normal?" It's not a usual question for commanders or strategic planners. Still, to some reasonable and ascertainable extent, this complex question could be applied to virtually any adversary in war, or at least...
robotpolisher from Brooklyn, NY, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

Israel’s Strategic Context: Anarchy and Chaos in the “State of Nature”

"There aren't any grownups. We shall have to look after ourselves." (William Golding, Lord of the Flies) Scholars and policy-makers who examine Israel's constantly changing strategic options may devote too little attention to context. Here, rather than consider anarchy and chaos as important...
Human shields meeting in Iraq, March 1, 2003, at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq.

Human Shields and Perfidy: Addressing Illegal Conduct in Operations

Misusing protected persons in war presents real and present challenges in the Middle East Remember Saddam Hussein’s use of human shields during the Persian Gulf War? His illegal and contemptible movement of innocent civilians to military...
Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany in 2017. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

After the Mueller Report

Donald Trump remains oddly deferential to Russian President Vladimir Putin amid the growing animosity between Washington and Moscow – with virulence highlighted by Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty termination and an accelerating nuclear arms race....

Beyond Realpolitik: Israel’s Strategic Imperatives

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: For all nation-states, but especially the most powerful or influential, success must be measured along two separate dimensions: present and future. Although Israeli leaders may correctly calculate that their country is doing...

War, politics, and planet Earth

Leaders of the major nation-states on Planet Earth will need to reach a dramatic collective decision. These leaders, long accustomed to belligerent nationalism, will need to align their separate judgments of national interest with...

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