Foreign Policy

Reagan’s Bargain/Charlie Wilson’s War

From the Archive: At the 10th anniversary of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, we are re-publishing two articles by Washington insiders, CIA analyst Peter W. Dickson and lobbyist Bruce P. Cameron. Both issued unheeded warnings about the looming catastrophe – Dickson while at the CIA in the 1980s, alarmed by Pakistan’s progress toward a nuclear bomb.

Why Afghanistan Really Fell Apart

From the Archive: A mythology has long surrounded why America got into its 10-year-long Afghan war, based on the false premise that Washington’s big mistake was abandoning Afghanistan after the Soviets departed in 1989. The reality was quite different, as foreign policy expert Bruce P. Cameron explained.

Toward a New National Security Policy

During the Cold War, the U.S. avoided large permanent bases in the Islamic world so as not to enflame anti-Western passions. But that changed with the Persian Gulf War, endangering rather than protecting the interests of the American people — and highlighting why a new national security policy is needed, writes Gareth Porter.

The Moral Imperative of ‘Activism’

Exclusive: On Sept. 18, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern gave a talk about “activism” to a conference in Charlottesville, Virginia, focused on the need to confront the military industrial complex. Now, as the occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington gets underway, his words take on a special resonance.

Which Way on Afghan Peace Talks?

In a final act as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen lashed out at what he saw as collusion between Pakistan’s secretive spy agency and militants who mounted daring raids against U.S. targets in Afghanistan. But Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service that the Obama administration remains split on this…

Why Palestine Already Is a State

Palestinian officials have appealed for membership at the United Nations, prompting angry retorts from Israel and a veto threat from the Obama administration. But the UN issue is membership, not statehood, which Joe Lauria writes is already a de facto reality.

The Slippery Slope of Assassinations

With the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen and al-Qaeda associate based in Yemen, the Obama administration has stepped onto a slippery slope where loosening standards for extrajudicial killings could slide into a terrifying use of government power, the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland writes.

Israel’s Window to Bomb Iran

Exclusive: Israeli leaders continue to pound the drum about taking out Iran’s nuclear program – and some hardliners may want to strike soon, fearing the window of opportunity will close if President Barack Obama wins reelection and is less susceptible to political pressures, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern observes.

Enduring Terror Double Standards

Exclusive: President Barack Obama ordered the targeted killing of al-Qaeda figure and American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki despite the lack of any legal due process. But the same week, the U.S. government continued to turn a blind eye to a Cuban-American terrorist harbored in Miami, writes Robert Parry.

Finding Peace in Religious Scholarship

Some neoconservatives, Christian fundamentalists and right-wing Jews insist that a “clash of civilizations” is underway with Islam – and that peaceful coexistence is not an option. But Rev. Howard Bess, a Baptist, sees hope from fair-minded scholarship about the Bible and the Qu’ran.