Foreign Policy

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The State Department’s Ukraine Fiasco

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses Yale University graduates on Class Day in New Haven, Connecticut, on May 18, 2014. Kerry himself is a 1966 Yale graduate. (State Department photo)

Exclusive: The State Department’s handling of the Ukraine crisis may go down as a textbook diplomatic fiasco, doing nothing to advance genuine U.S. interests while disrupting cooperation with Moscow and pushing Russia and China back together, reports Robert Parry.

America’s Death-Penalty Fellow Travelers

Amnesty International's graphic showing the countries that extensively use the death penalty.

An inconvenient truth about America’s use of capital punishment is that it puts the U.S. in company with unappealing authoritarian states, like China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, while creating a divide from modern democratic societies in Europe and the Americas, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Reasons for Intellectual Conformity

President Woodrow Wilson.

In theory, many people hail the idea of independent thinking and praise the courage of speaking truth to power. In practice, however, the pressure of “group think” and the penalties inflicted on dissidents usually force people into line even when they know better, as Lawrence Davidson notes.

Libyan ‘Regime Change’ Worsened Chaos

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

In 2011, a coalition of U.S. neocons and “humanitarian” war hawks pushed for and got a military intervention in Libya with the goal of eliminating Muammar Gaddafi, but the ouster and murder of Gaddafi has only led to worse chaos and more death in Libya, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Why Iran Wants Its Own Nuclear Fuel

Iranian women attending a speech by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

Iran’s insistence on having its own capability to enrich uranium for its nuclear reactors stems from its bitter experience when forced to rely on outside suppliers that were susceptible to international political pressures, Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.

Chastened Saudis Look to Iran Detente

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, former Saudi ambassador to the United States and now the ex-chief of Saudi intelligence.

Exclusive: Last year, Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan was swaggering around the world boasting of Saudi influence over radical jihadists from Syria to Chechnya and collaborating with Israel against Iran. But Bandar is gone and the Saudis may be retrenching, writes Andres Cala.

The Bloody Victory at Monte Cassino

The ruins of the Monte Cassino Abbey as they looked in February 1944 after the Allied bombing attack. (Photo by Wittke from the German Federal Archives)

Special Report: Seven decades ago, the Allies celebrated a hard-fought victory with the capture of Monte Cassino, but the huge cost in blood and the destruction of Saint Benedict’s famous abbey still make the battle controversial, as war correspondent Don North explains.

Can the Surveillance State Be Stopped?

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

Despite the public furor over NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about U.S. government surveillance, the process rolls on unabated with few prospects of significant reform, writes Danny Schechter.

Saudi-Iran Thaw Troubles the Neocons

Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister.

Neocons and other hardliners are still fanning the flames of confrontation with Iran, but the recent thawing of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia is making the hawks’ work more difficult, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Trying to Scuttle Iran Nuke Talks, Again

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)

Official Washington’s hardliners are back at it, pushing unrealistic demands about Iran’s nuclear program to ensure that a comprehensive agreement is scuttled and the military option is put back on the table, as Gareth Porter explains at Inter Press Service.