Henry Adams and the gift of pessimism. Michael Brendan Dougherty reflects on the insights of the 19th century conservative.

Messy realities and the unhelpful U.S. foreign policy debate. Paul Pillar objects to the superficial and often vacuous hawkish complaints about current policies.

Arming “moderate” rebels wouldn’t have stopped ISIS. Marc Lynch thoroughly refutes the claim that earlier support for the “moderate” Syrian opposition would have prevented the successes of ISIS and other jihadist groups.

The “moderate” fantasy. Fareed Zakaria rejects the idea that the “moderate” opposition in Syria could have succeeded with more U.S. backing.

Martial law enforcement. Matthew Harwood describes the dangerous militarization of police forces in the United States.

Militarized police and Ferguson. Jamelle Bouie comments on the militarization of police on display in Ferguson, Missouri.

Does the U.S. need an “organizing principle” in foreign policy? Noah Gordon offers a defense of ad hoc policymaking.

Karabakh’s summer of violence. Laurence Broers reports on the latest developments in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.