Foreign Policy


Hectoring Obama Over Syria

President Barack Obama raises his glass in a toast with President François Hollande of France during the State Dinner at the White House, Feb. 11, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

The U.S. punditocracy is pushing President Obama to intervene in the Syrian civil war and judging his diplomatic efforts a “failure” because little progress has been made. But the underlying assumption that U.S. military action can fix everything is dangerous, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Amazon, the CIA and Assassinations

Amazon's founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post.

The entangling threads connecting technology, media and the surveillance state have snarled so completely that it’s next to impossible to untie them, exemplified by Amazon, the Washington Post, and the CIA’s pending assassination of a suspected American terrorist, as Norman Solomon explains.

Learning the Wrong Mideast Lessons

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Feb. 11 marks two important anniversaries in the Middle East: the ouster of the Shah of Iran in 1979 and the overthrow of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011. But the question remains whether the U.S. has learned the right lessons from these events, writes Hillary Mann Leverett.

The High Cost of a ‘War on Terror’


Despite the declining threat that international terrorism poses to the U.S. homeland, the U.S. government continues to pour countless billions of dollars into counter-terrorism while impinging on constitutional liberties and misleading the public, as the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland notes.

Is Hillary Clinton a Neocon-Lite?

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on May 1, 2011, watching developments in the Special Forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Neither played a particularly prominent role in the operation. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: As a U.S. senator and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton often followed a neocon-style foreign policy, backing the Iraq War, teaming up with Defense Secretary Robert Gates on an Afghan War “surge,” and staking out an even more hawkish stance than Gates on Libya, Robert Parry reports.

France Stresses Accord with Obama

French President Francois Hollande. (Photo credit: Jean-Marc Ayrault)

The U.S. and French presidents are making nice at the start of a state visit, but – just weeks ago – France was carrying water for the Saudis, trying to drown a nuclear deal with Iran and opening the flood gates for war with Syria. But France now stresses its accord with the U.S., says ex-CIA…

AIPAC’s Lost Invincibility

President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Neocons have remained a powerful force inside Official Washington despite their prominent role in the disastrous Iraq War. But the invincibility that they and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee once held has been shattered by recent defeats, says Trita Parsi.

Iran Extends a Hand to Israel

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

Israel today condemns Iran’s Islamic state, but Israel was its secret partner in the 1980s, selling billions of dollars in weapons and quietly lobbying the U.S. government on Iran’s behalf. Now, Iran says a return to those warmer relations is possible, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Putin Takes an Olympics Pounding

Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Putin, who gained some international stature by helping President Obama avert military strikes on Iran and Syria, is now taking a media pounding over Olympics spending and Russia’s repressive policies on gays and dissent, as Danny Schechter writes.

Playing Roulette with Doomsday

The mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.

As long as nuclear weapons are on a hair trigger, there’s a chance that an unstable leader or an accident could touch off Armageddon – and over time that slim chance rises toward certainty. But the big powers still resist demands that they shed these bombs, Ira Helfand and Robert Dodge note.