Audrey Kurth Cronin

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Members of Hamas displaying drones in Gaza City, October 2022. Ali Jadallah / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Israel responded to Hamas’s horrific attack on October 7 with overwhelming force. In the wake of the bloody terrorist raid, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant vowed to “wipe Hamas off the face of the earth”. The Israeli military called up over 350,000 reservists and launched attacks on the Gaza Strip with the aim of eliminating the political and military wings of Hamas. Since then, Israeli forces have killed thousands of Palestinians, many of them women and children, piling agony on top of agony.

That Israel met Hamas’s violence with violence is not remotely surprising, given the Israeli military’s incomparable conventional military superiority to Hamas.…  Seguir leyendo »

An Israeli soldier in Kibbutz Beeri, Israel, October 2023. Violeta Santos Moura / Reuters

Even in the wretched history of terrorism, the assault that Hamas carried out in Israel on October 7 stands out. Hamas fighters viciously murdered more than 1,300 Israeli citizens, including elderly people, toddlers, and babies. It was an act of intimate barbarism that revealed a total lack of moral restraint and evoked memories of the Holocaust.

Comparisons to another surprise attack on Israel—the Arab assault that launched the 1973 Yom Kippur War—are misleading in one important respect: the 2,656 Israelis who died then were exclusively soldiers. One must go back to the 1948 War of Independence to find comparable Israeli civilian casualties.…  Seguir leyendo »

A member of the Ukrainian military stands guard at a checkpoint near Brovary, in the front lines near Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 8. (Roman Pilipey/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has countless pathways for escalation. The humanitarian situation deteriorates hourly, and Russian military challenges, including low morale, are likely to make the conflict worse.

Are there any possible off-ramps?

One option that might allow Ukraine to survive and Europe to remain stable is armed neutrality. That might sound like a contradiction in terms — people often associate neutrality with military weakness. And Russian President Vladimir Putin talks of “neutralization” to mean creating a helpless Russian puppet or satellite government in Ukraine.

But as Austria, Sweden, Finland, Ireland and Switzerland know, armed neutrality can serve a country’s interests.…  Seguir leyendo »