Foreign Policy

The Two Types of Spy ‘Scandals’

A common complaint from spy agencies is that they get blamed for “intelligence failures” when they miss something and they get attacked for “intelligence abuses” when they go too far with their espionage. The public veers from one type of “scandal” to the next, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

The Neocons’ Iraq War Mess

The neocons are rewriting more Iraq War history, arguing that if only President Obama had stayed the course on an open-ended U.S. military occupation, the regional situation would be a lot better. But the truth is that it was their invasion of Iraq that set loose the chaos, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Neocons Push Israeli-Saudi Alliance

Exclusive: Early U.S. presidents warned against the dangers of “entangling alliances,” prescient advice that the neocons want President Obama to ignore amid demands from Israel and Saudi Arabia that America tie itself up in the endless and bloody sectarian conflicts of the Middle East, reports Robert Parry.

The Two Amigos’ ‘Credibility’ Crisis

Neocons across Official Washington equate “credibility” with taking military action against some country that won’t bend to America’s will. But true credibility for the U.S. government can come from taking measured and responsible approaches to international disagreements, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

A Threat to Nuke Tehran

Exclusive: Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson urged the United States to coerce Iran by dropping a demonstration nuke in the desert followed by a blackmail threat that the next one would obliterate Tehran. But this idea of genocide-extortion has drawn no official U.S. condemnation, says Robert Parry.

Geopolitics of the Drone

The U.S. drone program has decimated the leadership of al-Qaeda and other Islamic militant groups, but it also has alienated people and governments in countries on the front lines by killing civilians and disrupting political alliances, a complexity often missed by the U.S. media, as Gareth Porter reported for Inter Press Service.

The ‘Merchant of Death’ Lobby

The U.S. gun industry doesn’t want any restrictions on its profit-making role as a global “merchant of death,” so its lobby has whipped half the Senate into line opposing a treaty aimed at curbing human rights crimes by regulating the illicit flow of weapons around the world, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Why Snowden’s Passport Matters

President Obama declares his love of “transparency,” but has an odd way of showing it, meting out harsh punishments to people who give the public a glimpse into the vast darkness of U.S. secrets, including revoking Edward Snowden’s passport to stop him from seeking asylum, an action addressed by Norman Solomon.

Dangerous History of Regime Change

Exclusive: Official Washington justifies military and political interventions in other countries under the theory of “U.S. exceptionalism.” But these “regime changes” often have unexpected results, as with the bloody coup d’etat that removed South Vietnamese President Diem a half-century ago, recalls Beverly Deepe Keever.

Treating Anti-Syria Charges as Flat-Fact

Exclusive: More than two months after the chemical weapons attack near Damascus, President Obama has still not released any proof to support his allegations blaming the Syrian government. But the New York Times has embraced the accusations as flat fact, a replay of the run-up to invading Iraq, reports Robert Parry.