Matthew RJ Brodsky
Matthew RJ Brodsky
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

Latest Articles

Trump Starts to Put the Squeeze on Iran's International Terror Operations
Iran has been politically or militarily active across the globe—including each of the six other states covered by the disputed U.S. travel ban.

February 23, 2017  •  The Daily Beast

In the world of counterterrorism, many issues are interlinked. Whether the new immigration order fits that bill or not, one thing is for sure: A combination of vigilance at the border, careful screening for visas, and targeted sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department are tools the Trump administration will need to use to push back against Iran and ISIS, combat terrorist financing, and drain the financial swamp where those who threaten the U.S. conduct illegal business.

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History in the Making: Trump and Netanyahu Square Off

February 13, 2017  •  The National Interest

Contrary to the bulk of what has been written on the White House statement on Israeli settlements, the real story is that the U.S. doesn't consider Israeli settlements to be an obstacle to peace and as long as Israel doesn't establish new settlements or expand the borders of those that already exist, they are free to build beyond the 1967 lines. It represents a dramatic change in U.S. policy over the Obama administration's. The question remains what President Trump's position will be on Prime Minister Netanyahu's intentions to establish a new settlement to replace the recently government-demolished Amona outpost and the recently announced plans to retroactively legalize 4,000 settler homes in the West Bank. Much more than the settlement issue will be on the plate when the two leaders meet at the White House on February 15 and more focus should be on what Trump will want from Netanyahu. Perhaps the most intriguing question facing the bilateral relationship is will Trump seek Israel's acquiescence in a new Russian-U.S. understanding over Syria, including joint Russian-U.S. assaults on ISIS? Does Trump intend to make Russia choose between closer relations with the U.S. or Iran? What would be Israel's response to those scenarios?

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Make the Most of the Bad Nuclear Deal
It took a horrible nuclear deal to get into this mess and it will take the same horrible nuclear deal to get out.

February 12, 2017  •  The Jerusalem Post

It took a horrible nuclear deal to get into this mess and it will take the same horrible nuclear deal to get out. The objective should be to get rid of it while preserving maximum leverage to affect the Iranian regime's behavior and curtail its nuclear program. The key, however, is for the JCPOA to be undone by Iran, not by America or its allies. The way to make that happen is to stick to the deal and let it collapse under its own weight – and that's most likely to happen when intense pressure is applied in response to Iran's non-nuclear-related transgressions outside of the agreement. Take advantage of the fact that Obama and Kerry agreed to Iran's demand that the agreement only deal with its nuclear program, while not addressing the other distressful aspects of the regime's behavior. Turn the deal's inherent deficiencies into a strategic advantage and push back both within the bounds of the agreement and outside them.

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Trump Should Expand America's Relationship with Jordan

January 30, 2017  •  The Huffington Post

Although there is no official meeting scheduled between the White House and Jordan's King Abdullah II when he visits Washington this week, lawmakers and government officials would be wise to use the opportunity to strengthen the bilateral relationship and layout the broad strokes of the Trump administration's vision for region. While in Washington, the King will want to gauge how involved the U.S. intends to be in Middle East affairs and understand the nature of that involvement. He will also be interested in securing an American commitment for further economic assistance in the face of the regional storm that's buffeted his kingdom in recent years. Jordan has also served as a critical base for U.S. air operations against ISIS in Syria. The U.S. will likely want to see that role continue as they discuss a number of issues upon which the interests of the two are aligned.

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Is the Two-State Solution at Risk Because of Israeli Settlements?
A Comprehensive Response, Part VI

January 19, 2017  •  The Huffington Post

After eight years, it's not surprising that the world has become familiar with the Obama administration's mantra: Israeli settlements in the West Bank are the greatest obstacle to peace. In their approach to the issue, the unique innovation was in both form and substance. Reality, however, was quite different from the picture they painted. There is no fact-based reason to believe the two-state solution is dying as a result of Israeli construction, housing permits, or outward settlement expansion. The U.S. abstention at the UN wasn't motivated by "grave concerns" for the peace process where they could not, "in good conscience" veto the resolution. Nor did they have an intervention with Israel out of love; there was no moral and ethical imperative to save Israel from itself. The lack of progress in the peace process stems from President Obama's original sin, which was making a thorny side-issue the centerpiece of his approach.

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