Foreign Policy

Misdefined ‘Terrorism’ Hurts US POW

By definition, “terrorism” applies to attacks on civilians for political ends. But the U.S. government has revised the term to cover any attack on Americans, including soldiers fighting anywhere in the world, a misuse of the concept that is hampering a deal to free a U.S. POW, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Reflecting on Mother’s Day and War

The original idea of Mother’s Day was to promote peace so mothers would not have to suffer the grief that many American moms faced after the slaughter of the Civil War. But some of today’s most powerful women, including moms, are war advocates, writes ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.

Adding Hurdles for Iran to Clear

The current head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who was essentially installed by Western powers, is adding new hurdles for Iran to clear before an agreement can be reached on its nuclear program, a standoff addressed by Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.

Honoring a ‘Terror War’ Architect

Exclusive: In this season of graduations – and the rush to bestow honorary degrees on the “great and powerful” – one ironic moment will play out at Fordham University, where Jesuits are giving top billing among its honorees to White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan, notes Fordham grad (and ex-CIA analyst) Ray McGovern.

Setting the Stage for More Wars

U.S. news correspondents often compete to cover Americans wars with an eye to making a name or building a career. But – when the wars drag on or when problems are just festering – the news media quickly loses interest, ironically setting the stage for more wars, as Danny Schechter writes.

Democracy Fights Austerity

Much of Europe has swallowed the bitter medicine of austerity on orders from conservative economic theorists, only to find that the supposed cure has made matters worse. Now, elections in France and Greece indicate that Europeans want a new approach that stimulates growth, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Declaring War on ‘Political Islamism’

Exclusive: If Mitt Romney wins in November, the neocons have made clear they will reclaim full control of U.S. foreign policy and reverse President Obama’s few halting steps toward peace. The neocons even want to move past George W. Bush’s “global war on terror” to a “war with political Islamism,” reports Robert Parry.

How US Hubris Baited Afghan Trap

Exclusive: Despite what Official Washington thinks it knows, the real error on Afghan policy after the Soviets left in 1989 was not the abrupt cutoff of U.S. aid but nearly the opposite, continued CIA support for the Islamist mujahedeen and rejection of peace overtures from Moscow, writes Robert Parry.

The Secret in the US-Afghan Deal

The secret of President Obama’s strategic agreement with Afghan President Karzai is that U.S. Special Forces will continue raids to kill Taliban leaders who won’t make peace — even as the new accord is sold to the American public as an end game to the long war, Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.

Finally, an Afghan End Game

The long U.S. war in Afghanistan is finally being wound down by an agreement that removes U.S. combat troops in 2 1/2 years but lets a small contingent of Special Forces remain. The larger reality is that the war has gone on way too long for the American and Afghan people, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.