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.
From the Archive: “Zero Dark Thirty,” the big-screen chronicling of the manhunt for Osama bin Laden, won critical acclaim for its taut storytelling, but the Oscar-nominated film ignored the complex history between the CIA and its terrorist target, wrote Jim DiEugenio.
Seeking consistent standards for using lethal drones, the Obama administration is drafting a manual to govern when such attacks can be unleashed. But the secret guidelines carry other risks, including the acceptance of assassination as a routine part of U.S. foreign policy, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Over the years, the U.S. “terrorism list” has become less an objective assessment of groups that use violence against civilians than an ideological battlefield littered with blatant hypocrisies and outdated hatreds. The list has even complicated strategies for reducing political violence, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
President Obama has taken personal command over lethal drone strikes against alleged al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen and other countries. To some, this is an inappropriate use of presidential power. But ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar sees some benefit in Obama accepting direct responsibility.
U.S.-Pakistani relations continue to go from bad to worse as Pakistan’s government retaliates for a deadly American attack on two border posts by closing down Pakistani routes for trucks supplying U.S. troops in Afghanistan, while President Barack Obama resists a formal apology, writes Gareth Porter.
The tense relations between the United States and Pakistan have sunk to a new low over an American aerial assault along the Afghan-Pakistan border that left two dozen Pakistani soldiers dead and the country in an uproar. The U.S. military also is having trouble sorting out exactly what happened, writes Gareth Porter.
From the Archive: At the 10th anniversary of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, we are re-publishing two articles by Washington insiders, CIA analyst Peter W. Dickson and lobbyist Bruce P. Cameron. Both issued unheeded warnings about the looming catastrophe — Dickson while at the CIA in the 1980s, alarmed by Pakistan’s progress toward a nuclear bomb.