In the 1980s, the U.S. and its Saudi allies teamed up to funnel money and weapons to Afghan Islamists whose bloody “victory” set the stage for the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Now, the same team is heading back to work supporting Sunni rebels in Syria, as the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland explains.
In his two Inaugural Addresses, President Obama has called for diplomacy to replace military bluster, but his failure to rein in U.S. imperial impulses during his first term has made the world dubious of his rhetoric as he enters his second, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at GoingToTehran.com.
The Obama administration is pushing back against pressure to jump into a new “counterterrorism” conflict in northern Africa, with some officials saying an overreaction to unrest in Mali and Algeria could make matters worse. There’s also the danger of over-interpreting isolated events, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Partly as a spillover from the U.S.-backed ouster of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, armed Islamists have asserted control of sparsely populated northern Mali, causing France to dispatch soldiers to the region. But does this new conflict affect U.S. interests, asks ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
From the Archive: A State Department inquiry found serious lapses in security at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, where the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans died in an assault last Sept. 11. But the CIA’s connection is still downplayed, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman noted last month.
Repercussions from the disastrous Iraq War continue to reverberate through the Middle East, now with battle-hardened jihadists crossing into Syria and taking a key role in that civil war. A U.S. attempt to isolate them with a terrorist designation is likely to fail, says the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
Exclusive: Republicans have blasted U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice for her TV comments about the fatal attack in Benghazi, Libya, but her real unfitness to be Secretary of State rests in her excessive careerism and insufficient compassion, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
When rebels challenged Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the West and its media adopted a “good-guy/bad-guy” dichotomy, hyping dubious claims about Gaddafi and ignoring troubling extremism among the rebels. Now, the new Libya is clamping down on women’s rights, says Lawrence Davidson.
The ginned-up fury over what Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said about the Benghazi attack on TV shows obscures a bigger question, whether the U.S.-backed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi was smart policy. Libya remains a country in turmoil amid growing doubts about U.S. trustworthiness, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The story behind the Benghazi attack was not the political cover-up that the Right has pushed, but rather how the U.S. consulate had grown into a CIA base, making it an inviting target for militants. The primary security failure was in not anticipating the danger, writes ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.