Foreign Policy

Explaining the Unexplainable

Since World War II, the common reaction to the horrendous crimes of the Nazis has been to wonder how such extreme behavior was possible. But the more important point is how the process of killing could be made so mundane, a question that remains relevant today, as Gary G. Kohls explains.

How the World Was Saved

Exclusive: A half-century ago in the Cuban Missile Crisis, the world teetered on the brink of annihilation, pushed by a mix of nuclear adventurism, misunderstanding and fear. The Armageddon Letters compiles the messages that defined and defused the crisis, writes Jim DiEugenio.

The Bigger Question about Libya

The ginned-up fury over what Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said about the Benghazi attack on TV shows obscures a bigger question, whether the U.S.-backed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi was smart policy. Libya remains a country in turmoil amid growing doubts about U.S. trustworthiness, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Hamas, UN and Palestinian Statehood

The United States and Israel continue to oppose the UN granting the Palestinians recognition as a “non-member state.” But the objections seem increasingly farfetched, as even Hamas has shown a more moderate side in endorsing this modest proposal, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Humiliation of Bradley Manning

Exclusive: The pre-trial hearing on Pvt. Bradley Manning’s court martial for leaking classified documents about U.S. government wrongdoing has turned up evidence that even Manning’s Marine jailers were worried about the controversy over his degrading treatment in their custody, reports ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Origins of Israel’s Anti-Arab Racism

The anti-Arab racism that increasingly pervades modern Israel surfaces in the non-human images applied to Palestinians, such as the metaphor “mowing the grass” when targeting militants in Gaza. This tragic development traces back to the attitudes of old European imperialism, argues Lawrence Davidson.

Congo’s Troubled Future

A Congolese rebel group, M23, has won a series of victories against the disorganized troops of the central government, raising the prospect of more turmoil in that troubled African country. But more division of Congo – and even partitioning – may not be the worst outcome, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

US-Israel Ties at a Crossroads

Cracks are forming in the old U.S. political paradigm of support for Israel whatever it does. Israeli leaders may compare mowing down each new generation of Palestinian militants to a chore like trimming the grass, but the moral depravity and diplomatic damage are growing too severe, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Playing Games with Narratives

In an age of spin and propaganda, one trick is to falsify the chronological order of events to turn reactions into instigations and vice versa, like when George W. Bush says he went to war in Iraq in response to bad intelligence when his decision predated the manufacturing of that intel, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul…

Muzzling an Anti-Nuke Trial Defense

Federal prosecutors, who are seeking long prison terms for three anti-nuclear-bomb activists as punishment for entering the government’s Oak Ridge bomb-making complex, want all moral and legal questions about nuclear weapons excluded from the trial, reports John LaForge.