Foreign Policy


Condemning a Boycott of Israeli Abuses

A map showing Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Territories.

Boycotts have historically been a peaceful way to challenge oppressive or immoral actions by companies and governments, including colonial America’s early protests against King George III. But a boycott aimed at Israeli oppression of Palestinians is condemned, as Lawrence Davidson notes.

Buying a Seat at Surveillance State’s Table

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

Internet billionaires with lucrative ties to the Surveillance State are buying up media and ignoring people who ask if $250 million may be the new price tag for a seat at the power table, as Norman Solomon wonders about the Washington Post’s new owner Jeff Bezos.

Keeping War Hopes Alive on Iran

Secretary of State John Kerry arriving in Paris on Jan. 12, 2014, for diplomatic meetings on the Middle East. (State Department photo)

The Israel Lobby and the many U.S. politicians in its thrall keep trying to sink President Obama’s negotiations limiting Iran’s nuclear program and thus keep hope alive for another Mideast war. But progress toward an agreement keeps moving forward, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

NSA’s Preference for Metadata

A slide from material leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden to the Washington Post, showing what happens when an NSA analyst "tasks" the PRISM system for information about a new surveillance target.

Exclusive: The hidden ball in the debate over the NSA’s collection of phone and e-mail metadata (vs. tapping into actual conversations with a court order) is that the NSA actually prefers the metadata approach because it strips away privacy more efficiently, says ex-NSA analyst Kirk Wiebe.

‘Gaming’ Obama on Afghan War

Gen. David Petraeus, as commander of allied forces in Afghanistan in 2010.

As President Obama grappled with the Afghan War in 2009-10, he faced insubordination from Gen. Petraeus, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Gates, a reality that Gates leaves out of his new memoir, as Gareth Porter writes for Inter Press Service.

Robert Gates’s Blame-Shifting Memoir

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

A core myth about Robert Gates was that he was an “adult” who would bring wisdom and order to the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. But the reality was always different as his score-settling memoir reveals, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

America’s War-Weary Public

Coffins of dead U.S. soldiers arriving at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in 2006. (U.S. government photo)

A new wave of neocon opinion is pounding President Obama for failing to keep troops in Iraq and resisting wars in Syria and Iran – claiming U.S. prestige and power are in decline – but these bellicose appeals are, for once, getting little traction with a war-weary public, as Lawrence S. Wittner observes.

US Foreign Policy — If Obama Had Lost

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)

Some progressives see little difference between the foreign policies of a President Obama and a President McCain or Romney or Hillary Clinton. But those shades of gray can mean invading Syria or bombing Iran or continuing the occupation of Iraq – or not, as Adil E. Shamoo notes.

Robert Gates’s Narcissistic ‘Duty’


The Inside-the-Beltway acclaim bestowed on Robert Gates is perhaps the clearest evidence of the failure of Washington’s media/political elite to recognize reality and impose accountability on incompetent or corrupt government officials, a point addressed by ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.

Robert Gates Double-Crosses Obama

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)

Special Report: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is slamming President Obama in a new memoir, accusing him of lacking enthusiasm for the Afghan War. But perhaps Obama’s bigger mistake was trusting Gates, a Bush Family operative with a history of dirty dealing, writes Robert Parry.