Foreign Policy


Grasping the Motives for Terror

Aftermath of the U.S. destruction of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. (Graphic credit: RT)

The Paris terror attacks – particularly the methodical shooting of unarmed civilians – have shocked the world and generated new tough talk from policymakers. But the West cannot ignore how some of its violent policy prescriptions over the past 35 years have contributed to the crisis, writes James Paul.

Obama’s Gitmo Failure

Some of the original detainees jailed at the Guantanamo Bay prison, as put on display by the U.S. military.

As President Obama approaches his final year in office, he has yet to fulfill one of his earliest promises, closing the Guantanamo Bay prison. It remains a grievance used by terror groups as a recruiting tool, but the prison has other legal and political problems, writes Marjorie Cohn at TeleSUR.

How Saudi/Gulf Money Fuels Terror

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, meeting with President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 27, 2002. (White House photo)

Exclusive: With the death toll in the Paris terror attacks still rising, French President Hollande is condemning an “act of war” by the Islamic State, but the underlying reality is that France’s rich friends in the Persian Gulf are key accomplices in the mayhem, writes Daniel Lazare.

Can Obama Level with the People?

President Obama and King Salman Arabia stand at attention during the U.S. national anthem as the First Lady stands in the background with other officials on Jan. 27, 2015, at the start of Obama's State Visit to Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza). (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Another terrorist outrage – this one in Paris – is spreading fear and fury across Europe. Which makes this a key moment for President Obama to finally level with the American people about how U.S. “allies” — such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar — have been aiding and abetting extremists, reports Robert Parry.

The Enduring Crime of ‘Agent Orange’

A U.S. military helicopter spraying the defoliant Agent Orange over Vietnam during the Vietnam War. (U.S. Army photo)

A half century ago, the U.S. government began a campaign of spraying Agent Orange herbicides on the forests of Southeast Asia, thinking that by defoliating vast areas, the military could more effectively bomb the “enemy” but instead created an ecological and health catastrophe, as Gary G. Kohls recalls.

Carpetbagging ‘Crony Capitalism’ in Ukraine

Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.

Exclusive: Ukraine’s Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko and other key officials were given overnight Ukrainian citizenship — with the law requiring them to renounce their old allegiances — but the American-born Jaresko has balked at that mandate, raising questions about her true motives, reports Robert Parry.

Is Israeli-Palestinian Peace Impossible?

A section of the barrier -- erected by Israeli officials to prevent the passage of Palestinians -- with graffiti using President John F. Kennedy's famous quote when facing the Berlin Wall, "Ich bin ein Berliner." (Photo credit: Marc Venezia)

Israel’s long-running persecution of the Palestinians continues to stir up hatreds and violence across the Middle East, but Prime Minister Netanyahu remains intent on shifting the collective blame to the people under Israeli occupation, a dilemma that Michael Winship examines.

Gulf States Slip Out of War on ISIS

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative, known as Jihadi John and identified as Mohammed Emwazi, the target of a drone attack that the Pentagon announced on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states went through the motions of joining the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State and other Sunni terrorists, who received substantial help from the same Gulf states, but those U.S. “allies” have now slipped out of the conflict almost entirely, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Netanyahu Ups the US Ante

President Barack Obama talks with advisers, including National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry, prior to meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office, Nov. 9, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to play the tune to which U.S. politicians, including presidents and presidential candidates, dance. Now, his price for a future swirl around the dance floor is being raised to $4.5 billion a year, as retired Army Col. Ann Wright explains.

Fresh Twists in the Lockerbie Case

Libyan Ali al-Megrahi, whose conviction as the "Lockerbie bomber" remains a point of historical dispute.

Exclusive: The near-three-decade-old Pan Am 103 case — a plane bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland — shows how a dubious “group think” of Official Washington not only withstands scrutiny but can become the foundation for further allegations and become “history,” as John Ashton describes.