Joshua Rovner

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Joshua Rovner is Associate Professor in the School of International Service at American University. He is the author of Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell University Press, 2011).

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Foreign Policy Essay

The Foreign Policy Essay: The Danger of Politicized Intelligence after a Nuclear Deal

Editor’s Note: Part of the job of intelligence officials is to give bad news to policymakers. But should officials at times soften their assessments or otherwise pick their battles in order to maintain the access to policymakers that is vital for intelligence to be relevant? Joshua Rovner of Southern Methodist University explores the Iran nuclear deal in this context, warning of the temptation of what he calls the “soft politicization” of intelligence and the risks for both intelligence and policymakers of doing so.

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Foreign Policy Essay

The Foreign Policy Essay: Hidden Victories

Editor’s Note: U.S. foreign policy is a disaster. This lament is heard about every administration, but rarely is it true. Joshua Rovner, a professor at Southern Methodist University, points out that the judgment of history is often kinder than the critics of the day. Failures seem to abound, but in reality most presidents have numerous foreign policy successes that have kept America in a strong position. The greater danger, he writes, is failing to recognize what has worked in the first place.

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Foreign Policy Essay

The Foreign Policy Essay: The Strategic Value of Threat Deflation

Editor’s Note: As the United States goes to war in Iraq and Syria, President Obama and senior administration officials have repeatedly stressed the threat the Islamic State poses and emphasized the organization’s brutality: views echoed by many Republicans and by pundits of all persuasions. Joshua Rovner, an associate professor at Southern Methodist University, calls instead for playing down the threat, warning that exaggerating the Islamic State’s strength has pernicious policy and intelligence consequences and may even make the enemy stronger.