National Security Experts


Jim Phillips

Biography provided by participant

James Phillips is the Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. He has written extensively on Middle Eastern issues and international terrorism since 1978. Although his prime research interests are Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Persian Gulf security issues, and Middle Eastern terrorism, Phillips also has written numerous articles on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Islamic radicalism, and many other M.E. issues. He has testified numerous times before congressional committees on these issues. Phillips wrote papers that predicted the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, the Soviet defeat there, and the dangers arising from U.S. withdrawal from engagement in that country, which contributed to the rise of the Taliban and the export of terrorism and Islamic radicalism. In 2000, he called for a comprehensive U.S. policy to support the Afghan opposition and overthrow the ultra-radical Taliban regime, rather than narrowly focusing on Osama bin Laden, who was then based in Afghanistan. Since the September 11 attacks, he has written extensively on the global war against terrorism and its implications for U.S. policy in the Middle East. Phillips is a member of the Committee on the Present Danger, a prestigious bipartisan group dedicated to winning the war on terrorism. He also is a member of the Board of Editors of Middle East Quarterly , the leading conservative journal of Middle Eastern policy studies. Before joining Heritage in 1979, Phillips was a Research Fellow at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress and a former Joint Doctoral Research Fellow at the East-West Center.

Recent Responses

May 7, 2012 09:45 AM

To paraphrase Leon Trotsky, you may not be interested in the war on terror, but the war is interested in you. The Obama Administration would be well-advised to remember this as it campaigns for a second term in office. Although severely weakened, Al Qaeda remains a dangerous threat. Moreover its regional franchises and Islamist allies are well-positioned to exploit the power vacuums, chaos and political instability that have been generated by the so-called “Arab Spring.” AQAP is growing stronger in Yemen, AQIM has gained greater freedom of action in Libya and access to Qadhafi’s weapons (including MANPADS that pose a considerable threat to civil aviation) and Syria looks to be a promising new front. Somalia remains a fertile recruiting ground for the Shabaab, an Al Qaeda affiliate that is recruiting Somalis living in America. Pakistani terrorist groups allied with Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e Taiba and Tehreek-e-Taliban, also have been actively recruiting inside America.

The Obama Administration already has dispensed with the phrase “war on terroris

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July 6, 2010 08:25 AM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu comes to Washington in the awkward position of running a three-legged race with President Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, while trying to shore up Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza and keeping a wary eye on Iran as it comes steadily closer to attaining a nuclear weapon. The three-legged race, the prime focus of most summit watchers, is a joint U.S.-Israeli-Palestinian Authority diplomatic exercise in which all three players, strapped together by previous agreements, seek to preserve the possibility of a two state solution by somehow breathing life into a comatose “peace process”.

But Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas know (and hopefully President Obama does as well) that no permanent settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is possible until Hamas has been defeated and its ideology of endless conflict is discredited. Any peace deal that Netanyahu and Abbas negotiate could be easily torpedoed by another round of Hamas or Hezbollah rocket terrorism.

Netanyahu therefore is primarily fo

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