Tag Archive for Paul R. Pillar

Risks from Big-Power Bullying

Across Official Washington – from liberal to neocon, from pol to pundit – the conventional wisdom on Syria’s crisis is that threats of military force work. But that simplistic notion misses the disasters that can follow if the threat is ignored or how bullying might strengthen hardliners, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says.

Putin Touches an ‘Exceptional’ Nerve

Official Washington is in full outrage mode over a New York Times opinion article by Russian President Vladimir Putin who dared question the idea that the U.S. has a special – indeed “exceptional” – right to intervene militarily anywhere it wishes around the world, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in August focused on the worsening crisis in Syria, the injustice of the Manning case, the history of U.S. war crimes using nukes and chemical weapons, and the Right’s disdain for reality.

Contrasting Reactions to Egypt, Syria

Israel’s preferences – for Egypt’s military regime and against Syria’s authoritarian one – continue to shape U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. In Egypt, President Obama has accepted a coup that ousted an elected government, while in Syria, he threatens war, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.

Israel Lobby Backs Bombing Syria

President Obama’s limited war resolution against Syria cleared its initial congressional hurdle on a 10-7 vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but its overall chances got a bigger boost from an endorsement by the powerful Israel Lobby, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Putting a Rush to War on Pause

By seeking congressional approval before bombing Syria, President Obama may have recognized a political reality – the danger from pressing ahead unilaterally on a risky mission – but the move also offers a valuable breather in the hasty rush to war, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

The Risk from Distorting Intelligence

The Obama administration’s emotional reaction to the alleged chemical attack in Syria may be understandable given the human toll, but the high-level clamor for action put pressure on intelligence analysts assessing the evidence. It also could have distorted their judgments, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Dangling Questions on Syrian War

Official Washington’s neocons are in full-throated war cry over Syria, creating what many of them surely hope is a momentum toward a U.S. intervention that cooler heads won’t be able to stop. But many questions regarding this latest rush to war remain unanswered, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories from July, focusing on the National Security Agency surveillance scandal, the deepening chaos in the Middle East, and the American Right’s growing hostility to science and history.

‘End of History’ Hits Bump

Amid the triumphalism of the Cold War’s end, Francis Fukuyama foresaw the “end of history” with capitalist liberal democracy prevailing. But that hubris has confronted failures of both capitalism and democracy in recent years, raising doubts about history’s course, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.