Tag: Paul R. Pillar

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Why Gen. Mattis Is No Gen. Marshall

Gen. George Marshall, who also served as secretaries of State and Defense.

President-elect Trump’s pick of retired Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis to run the Pentagon raises questions about civilian control of the military, especially compared to the precedent of Gen. George Marshall, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Trump’s Trouble with the Truth

President-elect Donald J. Trump (Photo credit: donaldjtrump.com)

President-elect Trump’s refusal to accept the fact that he lost the popular vote by more than two million doesn’t augur well for his ability to tell the truth in other cases, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Trying to Reason with Trump

Image of Planet Earth taken from Apollo 17

Many progressive activists are angry over Donald Trump’s victory, but persuasion – rather than anger – may be needed to get him to act responsibly on global warming and other crucial issues, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Making the Transition Less Chaotic

Donald Trump and Mike Pence during Day Three of the Republican National Convention. (Photo credit: Grant Miller/RNC)

The mainstream U.S. media is faulting Donald Trump for a turbulent start to the presidential transition, but part of the chaos is baked into the process and its excessively large job turnover, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Iran Deal Tests Trump’s Independence

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own “red line” on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

An early test of whether President Trump will bow to Israel’s political clout may come over the Iran nuclear agreement which Prime Minister Netanyahu wants killed, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

The World Sees a Diminished America

President Barack Obama delivers remarks during his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, N.Y., Sept. 23, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

While there is hope that President Trump will end the bloody years of U.S. adventurism abroad, the initial shock from his victory could diminish America’s standing in the world, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

How Neocons Got ISIS Wrong, Too

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

As Islamic State loses ground in Iraq and Syria, earlier demands from Official Washington’s neocons for a major reintroduction of U.S. troops appear to be just the latest misjudgment of these war hawks, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

The Fallacy of a ‘Goldilocks’ War Policy

President Barack Obama talking on the phone in the Oval Office , Oct. 5, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Official Washington’s new “group think” is that the next president must pursue a “Goldilocks” foreign policy not as aggressive as George W. Bush but more warlike than Barack Obama, but ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says that’s nonsense.

Embarrassing America Before the World

Donald Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention. (Photo credit: Grant Miller/RNC)

Despite 15 years of war, foreign policy has rated only brief flurries of debate in Election 2016 with Hillary Clinton pushing a hawkish agenda and Donald Trump often incoherent, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

How to Win Friends in Latin America

Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 2003. (Photo credit: Antonio Milena - ABr)

The U.S. government has won more friends in Latin America by opening diplomatic ties to Cuba than by demonstrating endless belligerence, a lesson little understood in Washington, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.