A key justification for three recent U.S. military actions – in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya – was to oust brutal dictators and pave the way for a more democratic future. But these violent strategies have fallen short on the pro-democracy front, writes the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
The killing of Osama bin Laden and reports of peace talks with the Afghan Taliban have raised U.S. hopes that the long war in Afghanistan might finally be heading toward a conclusion, but some sources suggest that there is less to these openings than meet the eye, Gareth Porter reports.
Special Report: Defense Secretary Robert Gates is leaving the Pentagon as a Washington “wise man,” admired by both Republicans and Democrats for his supposed judgment and integrity. But does he deserve that reputation — or is he just an especially clever manipulator of the political process? Robert Parry examines Gates’s real record.
Admitting failure in Iraq and Afghanistan is anathema to Official Washington, especially to the still-influential neocons whose status depends on maintaining the illusion of “victory” or at least limited success, even at the cost of more blood and treasure. But Daniel N. White says only a frank acknowledgement of failure can free America from even…