Foreign Policy


Obama Slammed for Iran Outreach

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)

American neocons are furious that President Obama reportedly sent a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei apparently urging concessions on nuclear talks and referencing joint interests in combating Islamic State radicals, but the letter may reflect smart diplomacy, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Standing in an Adversary’s Shoes

President John F. Kennedy addressing the nation regarding the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Americans are notoriously disinterested in history, preferring to focus on the present and often reacting to the latest crisis. But the past can teach important lessons including the need to understand an adversary’s perspective and to avoid unnecessary conflicts, as ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk explains.

The Mystery of Ray McGovern’s Arrest

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern

Exclusive: On Oct. 30, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern was arrested for trying to attend a public speech by retired Gen. David Petraeus. McGovern had hoped to ask Petraeus a critical question during Q-and-A but was instead trundled off to jail, another sign of a growing hostility toward dissent, McGovern says.

Will Obama’s Foreign Policy Finally Emerge?

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Given the poisonous partisanship of modern Washington, it was hard to know what President Obama would do on foreign policy if he weren’t scared about the Democrats losing the next election. Now that excuse is gone and Obama has two years to act, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Dying Israeli-Palestinian ‘Peace Process’

Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (State Department photo)

Even before Israel’s founding in 1948, some Zionists had plans to seize all of Palestine and purge the native Palestinian population, but global politics required a pretense of “peace talks.” So the charade has gone on for decades though it now seems to be coming to an end, as Lawrence Davidson explains.

Obama’s Last Chance

President Barack Obama walks with Senior Advisors on the Colonnade of the White House, Nov. 5, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: For six years, President Obama has bent to the will of Official Washington by reneging on promises to the American people for “transparency” and operating instead as an out-of-touch “insider.” Now, the Democratic election debacle offers him a last chance to remember why he was elected, writes Robert Parry.

Israel’s Annexation Plan for Palestine

A map showing Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Territories.

The “two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long been more a useful excuse to do nothing than a realistic possibility, a point now being expressed openly by some Israeli leaders who favor simply imposing their will on the Palestinians, as John V. Whitbeck notes.

The Silence of the Israelis on ISIS

President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office, Oct 1, 2014. The meeting was described as chilly, reflecting the strained relationship between the two leaders. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

A curious silence in the U.S.-led battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is coming from Israel, which has advocated the overthrow of Iran’s ally in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad, but has had little to say about the brutal Islamists seeking to oust Assad, notes Stephen J. Sniegoski.

Journalism and Reality

From Editor Robert Parry: One thing that I’ve learned from my four-plus decades in journalism is that many people only like reporting that reinforces what they already believe. Facts that go off in a different direction can make them angry – and they are usually not hesitant to express their anger.

Saudi Arabia’s Oil Politics on Syria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a greeting from President Barack Obama during a meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on November 4, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Exclusive: Typically when crude oil prices plummet, Saudi Arabia cuts back production to stop and reverse the fall, but this time that hasn’t happened, raising questions about why. Is the reason business or geopolitics, possibly a way to punish Russia and Iran over Syria, asks Andrés Cala.