Tag Archive for Paul R. Pillar

Itching for Confrontation with Iran

Columnist and pundit George F. Will

The neocons – along with their allies in Congress and on the Washington Post’s op-ed page – remain determined to sabotage a diplomatic rapprochement with Iran, demanding that its leaders be confronted, not engaged, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Economic Blowback from Iran Sanctions

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a press conference in Iran. (Official Iranian photo)

Economic sanctions have notched some successes, like freeing Nelson Mandela and ending South Africa’s apartheid, but other sanctions have lost sight of practical reforms and become destructive ends in themselves, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes about Iran.

Neocons Ignore Real Lessons of Munich

German delegates at the Versailles peace conference that brought World War I to an end but planted the seeds for World War II. (Photo credit: German Federal Archives)

The neocons are working overtime to overturn President Obama’s agreement with Iran to constrain but not eliminate its nuclear program. They are even referencing Munich in what ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says is some very bad history.

How Terror War Hurts Cuba Policy

Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 2003. (Photo credit: Antonio Milena - ABr)

The U.S. list of “terrorist” states has long been a sick joke, most notably by including Cuba (for domestic political reasons) and excluding Saudi Arabia (for financial reasons). Now, the list is undercutting policy goals, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

A Possible Path Out of Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai greeting U.S. Army Lt. Gen. James L. Terry in Kabul, Afghanistan, in March 2013.

The unpredictable Afghan leader Hamid Karzai has issued new demands for the U.S. to meet if it wants to keep a smaller military force in Afghanistan after 2014, creating a possible route for the U.S. to finally end its longest war, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Neocons Shift Case for Killing Iran Deal

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani talks by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 18, 2013, discussing developments in the talks between Tehran and the world powers as well as ways to end the bloodshed in Syria. (Iranian government photo)

The neocons are back at their battle stations doing all they can in Official Washington to destroy a possible agreement to curtail Iran’s nuclear program, since a deal would make a new Mideast war less likely, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Overcoming Political Immobility

French President Charles de Gaulle in 1961.

The American Republic is facing a crisis of political immobility caused by Tea Party extremism overcoming the traditions of compromise that date back to the Founding. History has troubling lessons for such moments, but there are signs of hope, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Taking Israel’s Side on Iran

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois.

Israel’s Capitol Hill lobbying clout is whipping into line members of Congress, like Sen. Mark Kirk, who are taking the Israeli-Saudi side in the Iranian-nuclear dispute over the diplomatic position of their own government, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

US Veterans in Decline

President Barack Obama greets Richard Overton, with Earlene Love-Karo, in the Blue Room of the White House, Nov. 11, 2013. Mr. Overton,107 years old and the oldest living World War II veteran, attended the Veteran's Day Breakfast at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Veterans Day, which replaced the World War I-era Armistice Day, has become another chance to glorify America’s wars and the soldiers sent to fight them. But another reality is that the number of vets is in decline, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Sabotaging an Iran Nuke Deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own "red line" on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

Israel’s leadership and America’s neocons are shifting into overdrive to block a plan that would put the brakes on Iran’s nuclear program, seeking confrontation, not conciliation, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.