Official Washington’s “conventional wisdom” is a pernicious fact of life in the U.S. capital as various presumed realities reverberate through the echo chamber of policymakers and journalists. Conventional wisdom is especially dangerous when what-everybody-knows-is-true isn’t, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
In recent decades, the U.S. government and news media have treated international law as a matter of convenience and hypocrisy, applying rules self-righteously when they’re useful and ignoring them when a hindrance. The dispute over Iran’s nuclear program is a case in point, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.
The U.S. government’s military spending excess — when compared with the rest of the world — is down somewhat due mostly to troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan but still accounts for 39 percent of the global total, according to a new international study, examined by Lawrence S. Wittner.
After the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. intelligence community threw extraordinary resources into the hunt for al-Qaeda terrorists, so much so that some experts fear a possible new blindness to other threats, a dilemma addressed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
As the U.S. and other world powers resume talks with Iran on its nuclear program, key questions relate to U.S.-sponsored sanctions, how effective they’ve been and when they might be eased. But there’s also doubt they can be sustained, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.
President Obama has indicated that he wants a diplomatic breakthrough with Iran, especially limiting its nuclear program, but he has hesitated taking the kind of positive steps that President Nixon did in his opening to China more than four decades ago, Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett observe.
Official Washington can’t get over its addiction to tough-guy-ism, especially as it relates to confrontations in the Middle East. Now, President Obama’s timidity about taking on that challenge is undermining hopes for a negotiated settlement with Iran, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.
Despite rhetorical suggestions about a shift in U.S. geopolitical strategy, the pre-placement of military stockpiles indicates that America’s security interests will remain focused on protecting oil supplies, writes the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
The United States has threatened to impose punishing sanctions on countries importing oil from Iran and – only at the last minute on Thursday – granted China a waiver from the penalties. But these third-party sanctions are likely illegal under trade laws, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at RaceForIran.com.
The late Steve Jobs was perhaps the most acclaimed businessman of his generation, making the iconic Apple products both stylish and efficient, even if that meant pushing his work force to extremes. But those extremes sometimes meant cruelly exploiting overseas workers, as Michael Winship reports.