Daniel Benjamin

How Should the US Respond to Sotloff's Killing?

September 3, 2014

In an interview with Judy Woodruff of the PBS Newshour Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin talks about the appropriate response to the killing of American journalist Steven Sotloff.  

"I think that the key thing right now is not to react instantly to try to get some retaliation for this really barbaric attack, but rather to get the strategy right, to get the partners brought in, and to ensure, of course, that the Iraqis themselves continue to move towards inclusiveness and towards working together against a common threat,” says Benjamin, who is a former counter terrorism official in the Obama administration.

Listen to the entire interview on PBS with former National Security Council staff Lt. Col. Douglas Ollivant (Ret.), former State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter, and Benjamin.

What Level of Threat Does ISIS Pose to the US?

August 18, 2014

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin talks to Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC about ISIS and the threat to Iraq and Syria, and the challenge of arming individual Iraqi and Kurdish factions to fight them. He also discusses the overheated rhetoric coming out of Washington about ISIS as a threat to the US.

Watch the entire discussion on MSNBC.

Hawks Exaggerate Islamic State Threat to the US (Boston Globe)

August 17, 2014

In an opinion piece in the Boston Globe, Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin cautions that politicians in Washington and the press are exaggerating the direct threat to the United States from the group calling itself the Islamic State, or ISIS. 

"The danger to Iraq and its neighbors is real. The Islamic State has shown itself to be a formidable insurgency. Its focus is on ripping apart Iraq and Syria, sowing sectarian conflict, and creating in its midst a new jihadist state or caliphate . . .  But, for now, it’s important to understand that even if marauding operatives in Land Cruisers may be humiliating Iraq’s hollowed-out military, that doesn’t mean they have genuine terrorist skills," Benjamin writes.

Read the entire article in the Boston Globe

ISIS Is an Unproven Threat to the US

August 12, 2014, Dartmouth Now

In a story about the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Jake Tapper ’91, host of CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper, turns to Dartmouth’s Daniel Benjamin for comment about the threat posed by the militant group.

Benjamin, the Norman E. McCulloch Jr. Director of Dartmouth’s John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding and the former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the U.S. State Department, tells Tapper that ISIS poses “an unproven threat” to the U.S. “It’s a big concern, but at the moment, there is no proven record of out-of-area activities, no demonstrated ability to carry out attacks, and if I had to say who the next attack was going to be carried out by, it wouldn’t be ISIS.”

Iraq crisis: Is it time for al-Maliki to step down? (CNN)

June 18, 2014

As the situation in Iraq deteriorates many are asking whether it's time for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step aside for a change in leadership. Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin and the Woodrow Wilson Center's Robin Wright participated in a discussion on CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper to discuss what lies ahead for Iraq and Prime Minister Maliki. Listen to their discussion online. 

Germany’s foreign policy: Time to step up (Boston Globe)

May 29, 2014

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin writes in an opinion piece in The Boston Globe that it's time for Germany to "rise to the occasion" and get more involved in foreign policy issues.

Read the entire piece in The Boston Globe.

Terror Takes a Hit in Yemen (Boston Globe)

April 28, 2014

In an opinion piece in The Boston Globe, Dartmouth’s Daniel Benjamin says that despite widespread pessimism about the fight against Al Qaeda, there are successes worth acknowledging.

One of these is Yemen, says Benjamin, the Norman E. McCullough Jr. Director of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding and the former coordinator for counterterrorism at the U.S State Department. “Yemen, as demonstrated by the counterterrorism strikes that killed more than 50 militants earlier in the week, is a little-reported success story,” he writes.

Read the full opinion piece, published 4/27/14 by The Boston Globe.

Politics Can Make for Fitting Envoys

March 17, 2014

In an opinion piece published by The Boston Globe, Dartmouth’s Daniel Benjamin says the vehement criticism of President Obama’s ambassadorial nominees and the way they’ve acquitted themselves during Senate hearings comes as no surprise.

Political appointments to diplomatic posts are an easy target, he says, while noting that the three nominees’ lack of familiarity with the countries in which they would be posted is not impressive.

Read more at Dartmouth Now.

 

Ehud Olmert Discusses Peace and the Arab Spring

View Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's presentation on November 12, 2013, online.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who many say came as close as any politician to a peace agreement with the Palestinians, welcomed the opportunity to outline his thoughts on the prospects for peace amid the Arab Spring in a November 12 address at Dartmouth, “where so many heads of state and world leaders have visited before me.”

Daniel Benjamin, Director of the Dickey Center for International Understanding, noted that Olmert is an important figure in Israeli and Mideast politics because of his political evolution from the political right “to become a leader of the peace process who came tantalizingly close to forging a peace with the Palestinians.”

Olmert spoke with a group of Dartmouth students at lunch and later addressed approximately 500 faculty, staff, students, and community members in Cook Auditorium at the Tuck School of Business.

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