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Clifford D. May

Clifford D. May

Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a columnist for The Washington Times.

Articles by Clifford D. May

Donald Trump   Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Divided we fall

"Divide and conquer" describes an age-old military concept: If your enemies are fighting among themselves, they can't effectively battle you. Phillip II of Macedon, Julius Caesar and Napoleon were among those who employed this tactic to defeat more powerful forces. Would-be conquerors of the 21st century are lucky: Their enemies can't agree about anything -- not even which barbarians are at the gate. Published December 8, 2015

Illustration on Israeli water production by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Unexpected miracle in the Holy Land

Thirty years ago, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, an Egyptian politician and diplomat who would go on to become United Nations secretary-general in 1992, warned of Middle Eastern wars to come. His prediction was correct, but he was wrong about the cause. What should have worried him was the rise of extremist movements within the Islamic world. What worried him instead was water. Published December 1, 2015

Illustration on the processing of national security intelligence by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Memo to presidential campaign advisers

This memorandum is addressed to the brave souls advising presidential candidates. As you know, the recent terrorist attacks in France -- and in Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and Israel -- have altered the political landscape. With less than a year to go before the 2016 election, the landscape may stay altered even if there are no more attacks -- and that seems unlikely. Published November 24, 2015

Illustration on the need for America to effectively fight back against ISIS by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Forget Paris

For almost two generations, since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, self-proclaimed jihadis have been fighting to re-establish Islamic supremacy and domination in the world. Leaders of the nations they have been targeting have regarded them as a problem -- but mostly not as dangerous enemies who must be decisively defeated. Published November 17, 2015

Illustration on the modern day "caliphate" and the history of the Middle East by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

A suggestion for the Islamic State book club

After a long week of slitting throats, smashing antiquities and raping infidel slave girls, how do the Islamic State's barbarians unwind? Some, apparently, discuss the finer points of history. Published November 10, 2015

Illustration on the U.N.'s 70th anniversary by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

An unhappy United Nations birthday

Did it escape your attention that last month was the 70th birthday of the United Nations? Did you miss the opportunity to celebrate by following Elyx on an "exciting 70-day (virtual) trip around the world to shine light on the U.N.'s work"? Published November 3, 2015

Illustration on the Soda Stream company in Israel by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Jobless and desperate Palestinians

A few years ago, Daniel Birnbaum, an Israeli businessman, had an odd idea: "I decided I wanted to employ Palestinians." Published October 27, 2015

Illustration on the Palestinian low-tech terror campaign against Israel by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Cutthroats of the Holy Land

JERUSALEM -- Over the years, Israelis have had to defend themselves from foreign armies, suicide bombers and missiles. Over recent weeks, they've been confronting a new threat: young Palestinians wielding butcher knives. Published October 20, 2015

Illustration on the unintended effects of Turkey's laissez faire approach to IS by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Why Turkey is now a target and a tinderbox

"We will manage the wave of change in the Middle East. Just as we have an ideal in our minds about Turkey, we have an ideal of a new Middle East." Published October 13, 2015

Iranian Involvement in the Assassination of Alberto Nisman Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Argentine murder mystery

When heads of state gather, as they did for the United Nations General Assembly last week, you have a choice: Tune out or prepare to be bathed in blather, boilerplate and blatant lies. Published October 6, 2015

Illustration on the Putin kleptocracy in Russia by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Putin's progress

Not long after the implosion of the Soviet Union, I attended a conference in Moscow. The topic: how Russia would evolve in the post-communist era about to begin. Most participants were confident and optimistic. A few of us Americans -- not so much. Published September 29, 2015

Illustration on the reasons to defend Israel by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Why Republican presidential candidates support Israel

So last week during the Republican debate, hundreds of thousands of people read your tweets lambasting four of the candidates -- Gov. Chris Christie, former Gov. Mike Huckabee and Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz -- for expressing their strong support for Israel. Published September 22, 2015

The exodus to Europe's promised lands

Hundreds of thousands of migrants are leaving the Middle East, heading to what they see as the promised lands of Europe and, if possible, America. Notice where they are not going. Published September 15, 2015

The deadly danger of appeasing Iran

"Appeasement" gets a bad rap but, strictly speaking, the word implies nothing more than an attempt to make peace. If aggrieved adversaries can be pacified by reasonable concessions, what's wrong with that? Published September 15, 2015

Illustration on remaining possibilities to unravel the Obama/Iran nuclear weapons deal by Kevin Kreneck/Tribune Content Agency

The not quite done Iran deal

The debate over the deal President Obama has cut with Iran's rulers is supposed to end this week. The New York Times, The Associated Press and others in the media are reporting that the White House has achieved a "victory." On what basis? Published September 8, 2015

Illustration on the pitfalls of appeasement by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The deadly peril in appeasement

"Appeasement" gets a bad rap but, strictly speaking, the word implies nothing more than an attempt to make peace. If aggrieved adversaries can be pacified by reasonable concessions, what's wrong with that? Published September 1, 2015

Illustration on the Obama/Iran nuclear arms deal by Paul Tong/Tribune Content Agency

The Parchin Precedent

Initially, I thought the news was beyond parody. The Associated Press last week ran a story headlined: "U.N. to let Iran inspect nuke work site." Published August 25, 2015

Illustration on the debasing of America's military strength by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Restoring peace through strength

Here's a question I might suggest be asked of our presidential hopefuls: In a time of war, would unilateral disarmament be a good idea? Published August 18, 2015

Illustration on Senator Chuck Schumer's opposition to the Obama/Iran nuclear weapons deal by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

A laudatory letter to Chuck Schumer

I've been thinking about writing you for a while regarding your vote on President Obama's Iran deal. I knew you'd recognize that, from a policy perspective, this deal doesn't get a passing grade. But, from a political perspective, I understood that voting to disapprove would not be easy. Then, last week you announced your decisions in an incisive 1,670-word essay. Kudos to you. Published August 11, 2015

Illustration on the real nature of the BDS movement by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Mounting a defense against economic warfare

Attempts to exterminate Israel through what we have come to call "kinetic warfare" began immediately following Arab rejection of the U.N. Partition Plan of 1947 -- the first offer of a "two-state solution." Published August 4, 2015