The Vietnam War may seem like ancient history to many Americans, but that destructive conflict holds important lessons for the present, especially the danger of “group think” driving foreign policy and the value of insights that clash with conventional wisdom, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: President Obama’s choice in 2009 to expand – rather than wind down – the Afghan War now looks to be one of his worst decisions as the conflict drifts toward a bloody defeat. But a key factor behind his misjudgment, the myth of George W. Bush’s “successful surge” in Iraq, lives on, writes Robert Parry.
Gen. David Petraeus and other U.S. commanders have touted supposed progress in the Afghan War to justify the escalation that they demanded more than two years ago, but a new report by an in-the-field Army officer found a less sanguine reality, as Gareth Porter reported for Inter Press Service.
Exclusive: Like before the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. news media is flooding Americans with alarmist accounts about Iran’s alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons. Even when U.S. officials suggest nuance and caution, the media ignores the signals, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern reports.
Exclusive: President Barack Obama may have thought appointing David Petraeus as CIA director was a political masterstroke, keeping the ambitious ex-general inside the tent. But Petraeus’s close ties to the neocons may now be undercutting Obama’s policy goals, reports Robert Parry.
Exclusive: The U.S. media and public are being riled up again with a new set of allegations against Iran, this time for a bizarre assassination plot aimed at the Saudi ambassador in Washington. But former CIA analyst Ray McGovern wonders if this is propaganda from David Petraeus’s CIA.
Holdovers from the Bush administration helped sell President Barack Obama on a “surge” for Afghanistan, arguing that a counterinsurgency strategy could still work. However, two years later, the Taliban continues high-profile attacks almost anywhere in the country, reports Gareth Porter.
The CIA is now “one hell of a killing machine,” said one CIA insider, as lethal drones hunt down “bad guys” selected for death by a ramped-up force of CIA target analysts. This shift in emphasis has transformed the spy agency that new director, retired Gen. David Petraeus, inherits, writes Gareth Porter.
Exclusive: Iraq continues its drift toward a failed state, amid terror bombings, sectarian violence and a devastated infrastructure. Also, the strategic winner from George W. Bush’s invasion looks to be neighboring Iran. So, asks Robert Parry, why is Official Washington celebrating Gen. David Petraeus for his “successful surge”?
In another example of how Democrats deal timidly with Republican crimes, the Obama administration has closed the book on the vast majority of George W. Bush’s torture scandals, including high-level approval of waterboarding and other forms of physical coercion. Only two homicide investigations will go forward, as Marjorie Cohn notes.