Frustrated over negotiations for a stay-behind force of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, President Obama is now weighing the possibility of a faster withdrawal and a “zero option” on troops going forward. That may signal the belated recognition of twin American defeats in the Afghan and Iraq wars, says Beverly Bandler.
The Obama administration’s aggressive campaign against whistleblowers, including the court martial of Bradley Manning and the pursuit of Edward Snowden, has stirred strong passions among many Americans who are tired of endless war and the resulting sacrifice of freedom, as this letter from David Finkelstein reflects.
Using a powerful computer program known as PRISM, the U.S. government has been downloading vast amounts of communications data and mining it for counterterrorism purposes. But these capabilities began more than three decades ago with the controversial PROMIS software, Richard L. Fricker reports.
Exclusive: Many U.S. historians have soft spots for Thomas Jefferson, despite his gross hypocrisy on slavery, and for the Confederates and their supposed gallantry in their fight to preserve slavery. But apologizing for historical racists only invites more racism, warns Robert Parry.
In the many grays of statecraft, there are many gradations in lying. Some lies have grave consequences, including war and loss of life, while artful wording sometimes can cool down a crisis and save lives. The differences are not insignificant, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
President Obama has spoken brave words about breaking with the Cold War legacy of mutual assured destruction from nuclear weapons. But he has failed to challenge the national security state in implementing the change he espoused, as Lawrence S. Wittner says.
Exclusive: When President Obama addressed the global warming crisis last month, he linked progress on “green” energy with America’s greater natural gas production and strides toward energy independence, two themes that are quietly transforming global power relationships, writes Andrés Cala.
The Egyptian army’s killing of more than 50 protesters opposing the coup against elected President Morsi has escalated the political crisis by choking off hope of a peaceful resolution. The moderate Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood also see their legal routes to power shut down, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
For decades the U.S. government has ladled billions upon billions in military assistance to countries that either don’t need it or use it to suppress popular uprisings. But all that money has bought very little in terms of genuine influence with the recipients, ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman writes.
President Obama seems more willing to alienate his base of young supporters who object to the growing Surveillance State than to offend the national security apparatchiks who run it. But Obama’s crackdown on leakers also has found apologists among MSNBC’s “liberal” talkers, as Jeff Cohen reports.