Official Washington’s conventional wisdom on Iran – that it is building a nuclear weapon though the U.S. intelligence community says it isn’t – is spilling into the results of public opinion polls. The false assumption about Iran’s nuke program affects both the questions and the answers, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
A basic tenet of “tough-guy-ism” is that throwing around U.S. military and economic muscle is the way to advance American global power. A corollary is that sensitivity toward world opinion is for sissies. But the reality is that the U.S. government undermines America’s influence with this arrogance, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
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.
Some of our special stories in February that focused on the neocons’ bid to reassert influence, the drone debate, reflections on Iraq War lies, and dark historical chapters of the Reagan administration.
Watching President Obama’s three-day love-fest toward Israel left critics and even some supporters cringing at his excessive embrace of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and everything Israel has ever done. But Obama’s “game-change” metaphor on Syria may be the most troubling, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
President Obama seems determined to maintain a smile and bonhomie during his three-day trip to Israel, but the optics obscure deeper problems in the U.S.-Israeli relationship as Obama remains under pressure to bend U.S. policies in ways favored by Prime Minister Netanyahu, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
For years, the NRA and the American Right have played games with some imprecise wording in the Second Amendment, which was always about a state’s right to have a well-regulated militia, but now those games are distorting U.S. foreign policy, too, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Neocons who played key roles in the Iraq War – like Douglas Feith and Stephen Hadley – are using the tenth anniversary to continue lying about why the invasion was ordered in the first place. Thus, they are still avoiding an examination of how the U.S. lurched into the disaster, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Like the Iraq War, the long U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is grinding toward an American loss, with little left behind in either country beyond resentment toward military excesses. Afghan anger is the best interpretation of President Karzai’s bizarre remarks, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.
Nearing the Iraq War’s tenth anniversary, an overriding truth is that few of the key participants – in government, media or think tanks – have faced accountability commensurate with the crime. Indeed, many of these Mideast “experts” are still go-to people for advice, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.