Lethal drones are President Obama’s weapon of choice in striking at suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists in remote areas, but – as with any weapon of war – there must be a cost-benefit analysis, including whether drone strikes create more enemies than they kill, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
Saudi Arabia and Israel keep ratcheting up the pressure to kill the deal for constraining Iran’s nuclear program with the latest gambit a renewed Saudi threat to obtain its own nuclear capability if the Iran deal isn’t scrapped, a warning that may be more bluster than believable, writes Jonathan Marshall.
Seymour Hersh, a great journalist with superb sources and the courage to challenge conventional wisdom, has presented a counter-narrative of the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but Hersh’s story – compelling in many respects, even to the New York Times – has some elements that stretch credulity, says John Gardner.
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.
In recent weeks, international attention has focused on the apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria. But nuclear weapons represent an even greater threat to human life, and the countries possessing these fearsome weapons continue to press ahead in modernizing them, writes Lawrence S. Wittner.
For decades the U.S. government has ladled billions upon billions in military assistance to countries that either don’t need it or use it to suppress popular uprisings. But all that money has bought very little in terms of genuine influence with the recipients, ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman writes.
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.
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.
When U.S. policymakers throw their weight around internationally, they may think their actions are justified – and perhaps in a narrow sense some are – but the U.S. also building up a reservoir of resentment and suspicion that hurts American interests in the long term, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.