Phyllis Bennis

Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies

Phyllis Bennis’ New Internationalism project reflects the Inside/Outside strategy that TNI's sister institute, Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) has long identified as central to changing the world. Her work in 2016 built on some important victories in 2015. Most important was the defense of the Iran nuclear deal, which in early 2016 remained under threat from Congressional and Israeli opponents; the powerful movement to defend the deal, that took shape quickly and held throughout 2015, remained intact and Phyllis continued to make that a key part of her outreach work.

Phyllis also spent much of 2016 working with leaders and activists in the US and global peace movements, providing resources (speaking tours, talking points, books, articles) for movement activists and the broader public, working to broaden understanding of the increasingly complex set of wars being waged in Syria, and the need for non-military solutions. She continued working to try to rebuild the still weakened and relatively paralyzed anti-war movements, focusing on a commitment to challenge the militarization of US foreign policy while working to defend those earlier rare victories of diplomacy over war. It included working – less successfully so far – to replace the failed “arm , train and bomb” US strategy in Iraq and Syria with strategies based on diplomacy, building ceasefires, arms embargoes and more.

Phyllis spent a great deal of time on the road, doing university and community-based presentations often based on her latest book, Understanding ISIS & the New Global War on Terror.  Later in the year she worked with activists from the Movement for Black Lives, who had been involved in drafting the “Divest from Militarism” section of the BLM's Policy Platform, to recruit and fund Meena Jagannath of Dream Defenders to join Phyllis at the Berlin international peace conference organized by the International Peace Bureau.