The Romney campaign thinks it has an opening with the Obama administration’s shifting explanations about the lethal attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. But the reality is that diplomatic service is never risk free and facts about a complex event are never immediately clear, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s gimmick of hoisting a crude drawing of a bomb to illustrate the alleged Iranian nuclear threat has prompted derision and has distracted from his claims about existential threats. But perhaps he was more interested in another kind of distraction, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Some of our special stories in August followed the strange twists and turns of Campaign 2012, the prospects for war with Iran, and the role of government in improving lives and solving problems.
In defending freedom of speech at the UN, President Obama addressed a variety of audiences, especially the world’s Muslims angry over an offensive video, but he also didn’t want to rile up his political opponents at home. That kept some of the key defenses of free speech off the table, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R.…
When President Obama took office, he retained George W. Bush’s military high command and then let himself be trapped into an expanded counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan. But the strategy isn’t working and the current prospect is for an eventual Taliban resurgence, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Tough-guy posturing in Washington continues to push the United States toward another collision course in the Middle East, as two politically motivated actions ratcheted up tensions with Iran. Ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar sees troubling parallels with the march of folly that led to war in Iraq.
Mitt Romney’s casual dismissal of Israeli-Palestinian peace as simply something to “kick … down the field” was perhaps meant to sound tough, even coolly cynical, but actually revealed a stunning naiveté and ignorance, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The neocons – despite the disastrous Iraq War and other harm they have caused – remain influential in Official Washington, given time on talk shows and space on op-ed pages to expound on their latest dreams of American intervention in the Middle East. But ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar asks, why are they still listened…
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is demanding that President Obama set a precise “red line” regarding Iran’s nuclear program, meaning a commitment to go to war even if Iran is not actually building a nuclear weapon. Ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar sees a possible turning point in the U.S.-Israeli relationship.
Anti-Americanism remains strong in the Muslim world, exacerbated by the kind of crude bigotry in a video that stoked the latest violence against U.S. diplomatic outposts and the killing of the American ambassador in Libya. Cool heads are needed to manage this problematic relationship, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.