Western powers test out harsh economic sanctions on Iran. Israel pins the blame for a bus bombing in Bulgaria on Iranian agents, presumably retaliating for Israeli assassinations of Iran’s scientists. As tensions ratchet up – Syria’s unraveling, too – the chances for a disastrous war escalate, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to newly democratic Egypt was met by some protesters throwing tomatoes, but her stop in Israel, which included no overt signs of dissension, may have had more turmoil just below the surface, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Egypt’s new president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, made a pragmatic statement with his choice of a first foreign trip, visiting Saudi Arabia and its oil-rich monarchy, observes former CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
America’s influential neocons cite the lack of progress in Iranian nuclear talks as reason for more sanctions and more threats, but the real problem is the West’s unwillingness to reward Iran’s concessions with meaningful relaxation of sanctions and threats, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
A United Nations conference is looking at ways to reduce global instability by regulating the international flow of guns and other conventional weapons. But the talks face the usual obstacles, including political resistance in the United States to any constraints on the gun trade, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s victory in Egypt has stoked fear in some circles that Cairo might renege on its peace treaty with Israel. But another part of that reality is that Israel never fulfilled its commitment to withdraw from Palestinian land on the West Bank, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The Vietnam War may seem like ancient history to many Americans, but that destructive conflict holds important lessons for the present, especially the danger of “group think” driving foreign policy and the value of insights that clash with conventional wisdom, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
President Obama rebranded the “global war on terror” the “war on Al Qaeda,” but his counterterrorism strategy hews closely to President George W. Bush’s, as the U.S. joins conflicts in Yemen and elsewhere that have little connection to the 9/11 attacks, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.
As talks on Iran’s nuclear program resume in Moscow, the United States and Western powers are showing little willingness to pull back on economic sanctions, even in exchange for Iran’s suspension of its higher refinement of uranium. Ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar suggests looking at the issue from the Iranian side.
Dissolution of Egypt’s parliament and doubts about the upcoming presidential election have undermined the country’s once-promising transition to democracy. Now the question is, can any likely outcome justify the hopes of last year’s Arab Spring, asks ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.