With President Obama’s reelection, prospects for progress in Middle East disputes have brightened but no one expects the resolution of crises in Syria, Iran, Israel, Palestine and elsewhere to be easy. An offhand remark by a Palestinian leader shows how complex some issues remain, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Before the Right began demonizing government, there was a bipartisan consensus on the wisdom of federal action to build important national projects, like the Interstate Highway System. Today, the need for a strengthened infrastructure has become a national security concern, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Some of our special articles from September, focusing on the U.S. presidential election, the prospect for war with Iran and various historical twists and turns.
After the 9/11 attacks, the United States lurched off in pursuit of an unattainable goal, perfect security for the American people. Along this bloody route, the nation lost sight of a crucial question: what American actions are generating the fury that fuels the terrorism, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Monday’s presidential debate offered a startling case of President Obama defending his first-term foreign policy and challenger Mitt Romney abandoning many of his harsh criticisms of the incumbent. But ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar suggests some common-sense ways for Americans to assess global choices.
The pundits say America’s economic angst will trump worries about war in the Nov. 6 election. However, as Americans learned a decade ago, careless foreign policies can have disastrous consequences, a lesson that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar also traces back one and two centuries.
For years, Mitt Romney has advocated tax breaks tilted toward the rich in a classic “supply-side” strategy, but is now trying to obscure that position. His shift comes as even conservative economists say the concentration of wealth at the top is hurting economic progress, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.
Much of Official Washington is clamoring for President Obama to arm the Syrian rebels, but the civil war in Syria is reminiscent of the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan in which the Reagan administration ended up helping hard-line Islamists who then turned against the U.S., notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The Nobel committee’s award of the Peace Prize to the European Union may be head-scratching to some, given the continent’s angry economic divisions and NATO’s role in recent wars. But the point was to commend Europe for having avoided a repeat of the two world wars, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Official Washington likes to pretend that the neocon-driven Iraq War “surge” secured a “victory,” rather than face the evidence of a multi-faceted failure. But the news of an Iraqi arms deal with Moscow underscores the scope of the U.S. policy disaster, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.