In a post earlier today, I disagreed with a point Shadi Hamid made about the inherent stability of democracies’ foreign policy. But I consider him to be one of the sharpest analysts out there. In fact, I recently included him in response to a query about the best “up and coming” defense and foreign policy analysts. To get a sense of why, read his explanation (via Dan Drezner) of the strategic calculations behind Hamas’ decision to escalate its rocket attacks, knowing they would provoke a massive Israeli response. Short version: Sometimes rational calculation is expressed through apparently irrational actions.