Many of the U.S. problems in Afghanistan stem from a misguided relationship with pro-Islamist elements of Pakistani intelligence dating back to the 1980s. But Pakistan’s recent election offers new hope if Official Washington can step back and see the bigger picture, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Official Washington’s ideology of “tough-guy-ism” has prevented a potential breakthrough in nuclear talks with Iran. Afraid of being called weak, President Obama has balked at accepting Iran’s right to enrich uranium even at low levels and under international supervision, Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett say.
Slashing the U.S. nuclear stockpile – and still having plenty of bombs left over for “deterrence” – would represent a huge saving to the American taxpayers and could help leverage more cooperation on nuclear proliferation in other countries, writes ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.
Official Washington’s “conventional wisdom” is a pernicious fact of life in the U.S. capital as various presumed realities reverberate through the echo chamber of policymakers and journalists. Conventional wisdom is especially dangerous when what-everybody-knows-is-true isn’t, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
In recent decades, the U.S. government and news media have treated international law as a matter of convenience and hypocrisy, applying rules self-righteously when they’re useful and ignoring them when a hindrance. The dispute over Iran’s nuclear program is a case in point, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.
Congress seems poised again to ratchet up tensions with Iran by acting on a resolution that, in effect, gives a green light for Israel to attack Iran with promises of U.S. military support. This “back-door-to-war” resolution shows how the Israel lobby can dominate U.S. policymaking, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
With a reasonable compromise within reach on Iran’s nuclear program, the Obama administration pulled back, apparently fearing domestic political fallout. The result means a likely painful stalemate for the foreseeable future, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett describe.
Exclusive: Looking back at the Iraq War and other disastrous U.S. foreign policy choices, you might wonder about the sanity of American leadership. But if you read star columnist Thomas L. Friedman, you’ll learn that it’s the rest of the world that’s crazy, as Robert Parry explains.
The mainstream U.S. news media is blaming Iran for the impasse over nuclear talks, but many stumbling blocks – like refusal to accept Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear program – are the fault of Western negotiators, raising Iran’s concerns about what is actually afoot, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.
Venturing outside Official Washington’s conventional wisdom to apply realistic analysis to U.S. foreign policy can be dangerous to one’s reputation, especially when challenging cherished myths about a designated enemy. Then, the realist can expect to be dismissed as a loon, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett have seen.