The idea of arming a favored side in a civil war has become popular among U.S. policymakers chastened by the disastrous Iraq War, but there are grave dangers in that approach, too, especially the uncertainty of who might get the weapons and how they might be used, says the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
In 2009, Gen. David Petraeus insisted on a troop “surge” in Afghanistan like the one he had overseen in Iraq. Yet, despite the positive PR for Petraeus and his “surges,” little was accomplished beyond putting more U.S. GIs within range of devastating IEDs, as Gareth Porter wrote for Inter Press Service.
When President Obama took office, he retained George W. Bush’s military high command and then let himself be trapped into an expanded counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan. But the strategy isn’t working and the current prospect is for an eventual Taliban resurgence, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The Right thinks it has a winning issue in mocking President Obama for “leading from behind” on international crises like last year’s uprising in Libya. But a new study finds Americans leery of more war, supportive of diplomacy and eager for less military spending, says Lawrence S. Wittner.
After 11 years, the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan – like the ill-fated war in Iraq – is grinding toward a strategic defeat for Washington. The latest setback is the suspension of joint operations with Afghan troops after a rash of killing of NATO trainers by Afghan soldiers, write Shah Noori and Gareth Porter for Inter Press…
Two recent rulings, one in Israel blaming American Rachel Corrie for her own death while obstructing the demolition of Palestinian homes and another in America absolving torturers in the murder of detainees, suggest that national security trumps justice and international law is easily brushed aside, writes Lawrence Davidson.
Over the years, the U.S. “terrorism list” has become less an objective assessment of groups that use violence against civilians than an ideological battlefield littered with blatant hypocrisies and outdated hatreds. The list has even complicated strategies for reducing political violence, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Even as Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu urges a war-crimes trial for George Bush and Tony Blair for invading Iraq, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder gives an all-clear to Bush’s subordinates for homicides that resulted from torture in Afghanistan and Iraq, a repudiation of U.S. law and principles, says Marjorie Cohn.
Exclusive: As Israel threatens to bomb Iran, U.S. pundits are again pontificating about the necessity of war and opining about military tactics. Left out of their frame is the certainty of mass human suffering, a reality forgotten since the days of the Vietnam War, says former U.S. intelligence analyst Elizabeth Murray.
“Green on Blue” attacks in which Afghan soldiers kill their presumed allies, i.e. U.S. and NATO soldiers, have become a growing problem as the Afghan War drags on, closing in on its eleventh year, a warning sign for all long-term foreign occupations, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.