Foreign Policy

Reading Iran All Wrong

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN Photo)

U.S. foreign policy elites often speak in their own echo chamber of acceptable thought and thus grow more and more detached from the real world. Such a case is the recent punditry about Iran, as Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett describe.

Still Trying to Sink an Iran Deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own "red line" on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

President Obama has vowed to veto a Senate bill pushed on behalf of the Israeli government that could sink negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program by weighing them down with even more sanctions, a move that could put the region on course for another war, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Pete Seeger and the Causes of Mankind

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The death of Pete Seeger on Monday brought back waves of memories for millions of people around the world who recalled his friendly tenor voice appealing to the best instincts of mankind, urging an end to war and want, as Michael Winship recalls.

An Afghan War for Drones?

A Predator drone firing a missile.

Amid the Afghan government’s growing resistance to an extended U.S. military stay, the Obama administration is trying out a new rationale: the need for a launching pad for drones. But it may be a case of a weapons system causing more trouble than it’s worth, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

No Tears for the Real Robert Gates

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Exclusive: In Official Washington, the gap between image and reality can be wide, but there is a virtual canyon separating the mainstream’s awestruck regard for Robert Gates as a “wise man” and his record as a deceitful opportunist known to his former colleagues, like ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Kerry’s Clumsy Words on Iran Deal

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

Secretary of State Kerry, in another diplomatic  blunder, has inserted the word “dismantle” into comments on Iran’s deal to constrain its nuclear program. Kerry’s loose talk has created expectations in mainstream U.S. media beyond what Iran has agreed to, Gareth Porter writes for Inter Press Service.

The Crumbling Lockerbie Case

Ailing Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in September 2011, as he was dying from prostate cancer.

A quarter century ago, the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, killed 270 people and later was pinned on a Libyan agent. In 2011, Lockerbie was used to justify a U.S.-backed war to oust Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, but the evidence now suggests the case was a miscarriage of justice, John Ashton writes.

Neocons Take Aim at Syrian Peace Talks

Washington Post's editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

Exclusive: Syrian peace talks have finally begun, but many powerful interests – including U.S. neocons – are determined to see the talks fail. The Washington Post’s neocon editorial page is urging President Obama to give up on “feckless diplomacy” and threaten war, writes Robert Parry.

The Why Behind Egypt’s Coup

Egyptian General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi as shown on official Egyptian TV.

Egypt’s military coup meshed with the geopolitical interests of Saudi Arabia and Israel, but the toppling of the country’s first democratically elected government was driven by other factors, including the history of a politically powerful military, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Bob Gates’s Mean, Misguided Memoir

Former CIA Director (and later Defense Secretary) Robert Gates.

Like many Washington memoirs, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s Duty seeks to settle scores and spin a legacy. But Gates also penned a book filled with contradictions and showing little regard for the U.S. principle of civilian control over the military, says ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.