Jay Mens

Jay Mens is a Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange and Ernest May Fellow for History and Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. He tweets at @_JMens.

Don’t be scared of Iran

Why are people so scared of ‘escalation’? The escalation paradigm is the outstanding relic of the Cold War. There is no situation where it cannot be applied. No foreign policy cause – from arming Ukraine, to antagonising Iran, to engaging diplomatically with Taiwan – can be discussed without fearing ‘escalation’. It sits among the other

Performative airstrikes against the Houthis will achieve nothing

Performative sanctions have long been the last refuge of the lazy policymaker looking to ‘do something’. Take, for instance, the sanctions that are slapped on unsavoury individuals from around the world on an almost-weekly basis: Turkish assassins, Iranian guerrilla commanders, Somali pirates, and Yemeni rebels are among those who have been whacked with the sanctions

Time is running out to crack down on Iran

Three American soldiers on the Syria-Jordan border were killed by Iranian drones on Sunday. Since October, Iranian drones and missiles have injured nearly two hundred American troops. The pipe dream that was the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the Iran deal – could not seem more distant. The equation at the heart of the

Israel is facing an existential battle

Israel is fighting for its life. While the White House remains convinced that it is possible to somehow contain the conflict to Gaza, Israel’s security establishment is nervously looking north to Lebanon, where a second front in the war has already started to open. The 7 October massacre was the first act in a decade-old plan