Category: Obama Administration

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The Islamic State Conundrum

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

The theatrical brutality of the Islamic State has found an audience among Muslims embittered by the West’s longstanding violence against their people, including President George W. Bush’s catastrophic war in Iraq, a dilemma that ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller examines.

Ukraine Rightists Kill Police; Putin Blamed

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on Feb. 7, 2014. (U.S. State Department photo)

Exclusive: As rightists riot in Ukraine killing three policemen in a protest against making any concessions to ethnic Russians in the east The New York Times had to move nimbly to again foist all the blame on Russia’s President Putin, but…

Phase Two of Iran-Deal Sabotage

Secretary of State John Kerry at a press conference on Aug. 6, 2015. (State Department photo)

Neocons and Republican opponents of the Iran nuclear agreement have so worked themselves into a frenzy that their efforts to sabotage the deal are likely to continue even if it survives Congress as new schemes are devised, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Ron Paul and Lost Lessons of War

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, answering questions while campaigning in New Hampshire in 2008. (Photo credit: Bbsrock)

Neocon dominance has grown so strong in Official Washington that old lessons about the hazards of ill-considered wars are forgotten and must be painfully relearned, a message from Ron Paul’s new book, Swords into Plowshares, as described by retired JAG Major…

Schumer’s Troubling Mideast Record

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York.

Exclusive: In trying to torpedo the Iran nuclear deal, Sen. Charles Schumer is continuing his longstanding role as a front man for U.S. neocons and Israeli hardliners who favor a Mideast strategy of violent “regime change” over negotiated solutions, as Jonathan Marshall describes.

America’s Short-sighted ‘Grand Strategy’

Barack Obama, then President-elect, and President George W. Bush at the White House during the 2008 transition.

“Tough-guy/gal-ism” remains the dominant rhetorical approach to foreign policy emanating from Official Washington, which may protect the political and media careers of the tough-talkers, but it is doing grave damage to America’s strategic standing in the world, as military analyst…

How Close Was Israel to Bombing Iran?

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak meeting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2007

Israel’s former Defense Minister Ehud Barak claims Israel was poised to bomb Iran several times in recent years but kept encountering internal government resistance. But this new report may just be part of a continuing game of geopolitical chicken, says…

Pushing the Edge on Nuclear War

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

Exclusive: Official Washington’s neocons and liberal hawks are ratcheting up tensions again over Ukraine with the goal of humiliating and even destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia and there’s no modern-day JFK to tamp down the enthusiasm, an existential risk that ex-U.S. diplomat…

Will Peace Find a 2016 Advocate?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before Congress on Jan. 23, 2013, about the fatal attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. 2012. (Photo from C-SPAN coverage)

Exclusive: Campaign 2016 has offered few useful ideas about worsening global crises. On the Republican side, it’s been mostly the same-old tough talk while Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have said little. Is there a way to break through the frozen…

The Missed Lesson on Terrorism

French President Francois Hollande, center, with British businessman Chris Norman, left, U.S. student Anthony Sadler, U.S. Airman First Class Spencer Stone and U.S. National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos during a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris honoring the men who helped thwart a terror attack on a Paris-bound train last week. (Pool photo)

Whenever there’s a terrorist attack even a botched one like last week on a Paris-bound train the debate turns to tightened security and retaliation. But a key part of a realistic campaign to reduce terrorism is to address underlying causes that…