James Phillips

James Phillips

Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs

Areas of Expertise

  • Middle East
  • Terrorism

James Phillips is a senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at The Heritage Foundation.

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James Phillips, senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at The Heritage Foundation, has written extensively on regional issues and international terrorism since 1978.

His prime research interests as part of Heritage’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy include Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Persian Gulf security issues and Middle Eastern terrorism.

Phillips also has written many articles on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Islamic radicalism, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, and Turkey. He has testified numerous times before congressional committees on these issues.

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Phillips has written extensively on the global war against terrorism and its implications for U.S. policy in the Middle East.

In his research papers, Phillips predicted the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan as well as the Soviet defeat there. He also predicted the dangers arising from U.S. withdrawal from engagement in Afghanistan, which contributed to the rise of the Taliban and the export of terrorism and radical Islamic terrorism.

In 2000, he called for a comprehensive U.S. policy to support the Afghan opposition and overthrow the ultra-radical Taliban regime, rather than narrowly focusing on Osama bin Laden, then based in Afghanistan and hosted by the Taliban.

Phillips has been interviewed frequently on a broad range of subjects by U.S. broadcast and cable news outlets, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News Channel, CNN, C-Span, MSNBC, National Public Radio and the Voice of America. He also has appeared on international outlets such as Sky News, Al Arabiya, Al Hurra, BBC Television and BBC World Service Radio.

His articles have appeared in in American newspapers such as USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Times, New York Post, Newsday, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Baltimore Sun and Chicago Tribune.

Phillips is a member of the Board of Editors of Middle East Quarterly, the leading conservative journal of Middle Eastern policy studies.

Before joining Heritage in 1979, Phillips was a research fellow at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. He previously was a joint doctoral research fellow at the Honolulu-based East-West Center.

Phillips holds a master of arts (MA) as well as a master of arts in law and diplomacy (MALD) in international security studies from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He received a bachelor's degree in international relations from Brown University.


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