Iran says it doesn’t want a nuclear bomb and Western intelligence agencies say it isn’t building one, but Israeli leaders and their U.S. supporters say a preemptive strike may still be necessary. A key argument is the threat of a regional arms race, a claim that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar finds dubious.
Israeli hardliners and American neocons say U.S. and Israeli interests are one and the same, meaning that if Israel bombs Iran, the United States should join in. But other observers say Washington must create some distance from Israel’s messianic Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The new Egypt – guided by relatively moderate Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood – is seeking a unity among Palestinian factions as a way to advance peace talks with Israel. The next question will be whether Israel and the United States welcome or spurn this initiative, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
An aide’s remark comparing the consistency of Mitt Romney’s positions to lines on an Etch a Sketch toy suggests his presidency would follow a course designed to win him a second term, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar. In that, Romney’s neocon foreign policy advisers may see hope for a muscular “new American century.”
The “three amigos” – John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham – are the Senate’s top war hawks, widely admired by the Washington Post’s editors and other neocon voices. But the senators also were cheerleaders for the Iraq disaster and other dubious exploits, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar recalls.
Even as Israeli leaders focus the world on a possible war with Iran, the neocons are prepping public opinion for another bloody assault on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, what one article likened to “mowing the grass.” Ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar sees the need for serious peace talks.
The Obama administration has offered more information about its targeting of al-Qaeda-related figures, including U.S. citizens like Anwar al-Awlaki, for drone strikes and other lethal attacks. But the assurances of “due process” still lack the detailed explanation that the gravity of the policy demands, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
President Obama is walking a political tightrope between constraining Iran’s nuclear program and restraining Israel’s war threats, while political critics are shaking the supports. But ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says Obama’s predicament may be even trickier, with Israeli hardliners possibly eyeing an October surprise.
Many of President Obama’s critics on the Left slam him for not doing more to reverse President George W. Bush’s war policies, but ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says the criticism misses the significance of Obama’s resistance to Bush’s moniker, “war president.”
A new poll shows that Israelis have a more skeptical view toward bombing Iran than some of their leaders, not to mention the neocon war hawks in the United States, a finding that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says should bolster President Obama’s resistance to an Israeli strike.