Foreign Policy


The Impending Failure in Afghanistan

Seen through a night-vision device, U.S. Marines conduct a combat logistics patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 21, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Anthony L. Ortiz)

America’s neocon-driven foreign policy is more about political one-ups-man-ship in Official Washington than the realities on the ground in countries like Afghanistan where the U.S. military is then expected to do more than is possible, leading to failure after failure, as Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland describes.

Asking Christians about Tolerance of War

Jesus delivering his Sermon on the Mount as depicted in a painting by Nineteenth Century artist Carl Heinrich Bloch.

Many Americans are tuning out on politics and international affairs – feeling they have no real say in what the government does – but there is a danger from such passivity, particularly the license given to the powers-that-be to make war and more war, as Gary G. Kohls explains.

Obama, the People and the Facts

President Barack Obama discusses Ukraine during a meeting with members of his National Security Staff in the Oval Office, Feb. 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The political crisis facing President Obama and the Democratic Party results from a profound loss of faith in the U.S. government, made worse by Obama’s obsessive secrecy. But he could address both problems by opening the books on some key hidden chapters relevant to today, writes Robert Parry.

Americans Losing Faith in Democracy

President James Madison, an architect of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but also a Virginia slave owner.

Except perhaps on the well-funded Right with its potent Fox News/talk radio media machine, Americans feel increasingly powerless to influence policies either to address their economic plight or to curtail the nation’s overseas military adventures, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

NYT Shows How Propaganda Works

Amid the crisis over Syria, President Vladimir Putin of Russia welcomed President Barack Obama to the G20 Summit at Konstantinovsky Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: The U.S. mainstream media pretends it operates with professional standards of objectivity and fairness, but – especially in its international reporting – the only real standards are double standards, as the New York Times has shown on Ukraine and Syria, writes Robert Parry.

A Dangerous Failure with Iran

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani celebrates the completion of an interim deal on Iran's nuclear program on Nov. 24, 2013, by kissing the head of the daughter of an assassinated Iranian nuclear engineer. (Iranian government photo)

President Obama’s failure to sign off on a final nuclear agreement with Iran, which would have reined in but not eradicated its nuclear enrichment program, undercuts Iran’s moderate President Rouhani and strengthens the hardliners who never trusted Obama and the U.S., as Ted Snider describes.

The Price for Criticizing Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at AIPAC conference in Washington, D.C., on March 4, 2014.

Part of the neocon grip on Official Washington comes from the harsh career damage inflicted on people who criticize Israel’s abuse of the Palestinians, with such critics deemed anti-Semitic and thus often denied work or a place to express their opinions, as Lawrence Davidson notes.

The Risk of Misreading Russia’s Intent

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a crowd on May 9, 2014, celebrating the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Crimean port city of  Sevastopol from the Nazis. (Russian government photo)

Official Washington’s “group think” on Ukraine holds that the crisis is all about Russian “aggression” and “expansionism” even with comparisons to Hitler. But such a hyperbolic interpretation of intent can create its own dangerous dynamics, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Der Spiegel Tones Down Anti-Putin Hysteria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. (Israeli government photo)

Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. news media continues to spew out a steady flow of anti-Russian propaganda over the Ukraine crisis, but the prominent German newsmagazine Der Spiegel has begun to temper its belligerent tone, finally reflecting the more nuanced reality, reports Robert Parry.

A Dangerous CIA ‘Reform’

CIA Director John Brennan addresses officials at the Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (Photo credit: CIA)

The CIA’s original purpose was to coordinate intelligence and provide unbiased analyses to U.S. presidents to avert another Pearl Harbor, but politicians and operatives have corrupted the process, a problem that CIA Director Brennan would make worse, writes ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.