Saudi Arabia is upset President Obama didn’t bomb Syria and join the Saudis’ crusade to fight Shiite influence in the Mideast. It’s not enough that the U.S. tolerates Saudi support for radical Sunni jihadists. So, Saudi leaders are boycotting their own seat on the UN Security Council, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Some of our special stories in September, featuring exclusive reports that challenged the U.S. government’s hidden evidence for attacking Syria, articles that contributed to the public resistance which first delayed and then deterred another war.
Fresh for the debacle over the government shutdown and near credit default, Congress is now acting to sabotage promising negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, with some right-wing Republicans even raising the specter of war, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger operated in an amoral world where they traded lives and principles for power. But their cold “realism” enabled them to function more effectively in foreign policy than many of their successors who let passions and politics color their thinking, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
As a catastrophic U.S. debt default looms, Republicans keep demanding they “get something” in exchange for reopening the government and removing a gun from the head of the economy. The new talking point is that “Democrats won’t negotiate!” But ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar sees an anarchic method behind the madness.
This past weekend, when U.S. commandos captured suspected al-Qaeda leader Anas al-Libi living openly in Tripoli, it drove home the point that post-Gaddafi Libya has become home to many Islamic extremists, a reality that tarnishes what Official Washington likes to view as a great “victory,” as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
The Republican-induced shutdown of the federal government underscores the Right’s populist contempt for the nation’s democratic institutions. But the fiasco also has undercut America’s standing in the world and thus undermines U.S. security and global leadership, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Israel, Saudi Arabia and other enemies of Iran hope to poison improved U.S.-Iranian relations by blocking sanctions relief for Iran, even at the cost of losing new restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, an emerging dilemma assessed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
With new Iranian leadership eager for détente, a negotiated settlement over its nuclear program is within reach. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears determined to torpedo an agreement and press ahead toward war, a prospect that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar addresses.
The neocons still dominate Official Washington’s policy debates so it shouldn’t be a surprise that President Obama’s move toward diplomacy over intervention in Syria would draw criticism and denunciation. But sometimes the best course is the simply the one that’s not the worst, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.