The Obama administration is pushing back against pressure to jump into a new “counterterrorism” conflict in northern Africa, with some officials saying an overreaction to unrest in Mali and Algeria could make matters worse. There’s also the danger of over-interpreting isolated events, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Partly as a spillover from the U.S.-backed ouster of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, armed Islamists have asserted control of sparsely populated northern Mali, causing France to dispatch soldiers to the region. But does this new conflict affect U.S. interests, asks ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
From the Archive: A State Department inquiry found serious lapses in security at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, where the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans died in an assault last Sept. 11. But the CIA’s connection is still downplayed, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman noted last month.
Repercussions from the disastrous Iraq War continue to reverberate through the Middle East, now with battle-hardened jihadists crossing into Syria and taking a key role in that civil war. A U.S. attempt to isolate them with a terrorist designation is likely to fail, says the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
Exclusive: Republicans have blasted U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice for her TV comments about the fatal attack in Benghazi, Libya, but her real unfitness to be Secretary of State rests in her excessive careerism and insufficient compassion, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
When rebels challenged Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the West and its media adopted a “good-guy/bad-guy” dichotomy, hyping dubious claims about Gaddafi and ignoring troubling extremism among the rebels. Now, the new Libya is clamping down on women’s rights, says Lawrence Davidson.
The ginned-up fury over what Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said about the Benghazi attack on TV shows obscures a bigger question, whether the U.S.-backed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi was smart policy. Libya remains a country in turmoil amid growing doubts about U.S. trustworthiness, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The story behind the Benghazi attack was not the political cover-up that the Right has pushed, but rather how the U.S. consulate had grown into a CIA base, making it an inviting target for militants. The primary security failure was in not anticipating the danger, writes ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has charted a novel course through Campaign 2012, shape-shifting his positions endlessly on domestic and now foreign policies. In Monday night’s global affairs debate, Romney exchanged his neocon garb for a new cloak of moderation, notes ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.
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.