Obama Administration

Obama’s Decent Interval on Bush’s Wars

The United States continues toward slow-motion defeats in George W. Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with Barack Obama seeking, in essence, a “decent interval” so the losses aren’t pinned on him and the Democrats. But Lawrence Davidson asks what it will take for Americans to finally begin a full reassessment of failed foreign strategies.

The Lie Behind the Afghan War

Exclusive: A recurring refrain about the Afghan War is that the United States must stay for the long haul now to avoid repeating the “mistake” made in 1989 when Soviet forces left and Americans supposedly disappeared, too. But this conventional wisdom, spread by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and others, is a lie, Robert Parry writes.

Afghan War: No Vietnam Redux

Exclusive: Many on the American Left are furious with Barack Obama — and find nothing to praise in his gradual troop drawdown in Afghanistan. But the President’s speech may be seen, in retrospect, as an important turning point in U.S. war policy toward the Muslim world as well as a signal that the Afghan conflict will not follow…

Drug War’s March of Folly

Exclusive: Four decades ago, President Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs,” setting in motion one of the most destructive exercises in prohibition in American history. Legal rights of citizens were trampled, countless billions of dollars were expended, violence spread and the prisons filled, but little progress was made. And, Richard L. Fricker notes that…

Saudi Oil Muscle for Palestine

Despite Israel’s great political influence in Washington, the Obama administration may soon have to decide whether it will risk economic retaliation from Saudi Arabia by opposing Palestinian statehood in the United Nations. A Saudi cutback in oil production could send gas prices to $5 a gallon and sink the U.S. recovery, Lawrence Davidson writes.

Gaza and American ‘Security’

Exclusive: Despite opposition — and even warnings — from the U.S. government, a group of Americans will join a small flotilla of boats challenging Israel’s blockade of the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza. Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains why he is joining this protest.

Bob Gates’s ‘Business’ of Lying

A Special Report: As Defense Secretary Robert Gates prepares to retire in late June, he is routinely lauded as a “wise man” committed to telling it like it is, even making a frank comment this week about how “most governments lie to each other.” But Gates’s own record for honesty is a deeply checkered one,…

Was Bob Gates a Success?

Official Washington loves departing Defense Secretary Robert Gates; politicians and pundits alike hang on his every word, applauding his “candor” and praising his “courageous” spending cuts. But military budget expert Winslow T. Wheeler says Gates’s record doesn’t match his press clippings.

Time to End the Afghan War?

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other Bush-43 holdovers are pressing President Barack Obama to delay a meaningful drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and continue the counterinsurgency war, but the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland argues that a rapid withdrawal is in the best interests of the United States and the region.

How Pakistan Punked America

For most of the Cold War and during the “war on terror,” Pakistan has manipulated U.S. presidents as part of its own great game as the Islamic republic circumvented U.S. laws to build a nuclear arsenal and to support some of the world’s most notorious terrorists, as former CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman recalls.