Tag: Paul R. Pillar

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Inventing a Record of Iranian Aggression

Iranian women attending a speech by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

Following the lead of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Official Washington’s neocons are hyping Iran’s record as an aggressor state, with some examples harkening back to the Sixteenth Century and other more recent cases simply not true, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R.…

Obama Tries His Hand at ‘Realism’

President Richard Nixon with his then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972.

President Obama is what might be called a “closet realist” who often pounds his fists upon the table while shaking hands under the table. He has to pull off this trick because of America’s ugly partisan realities, says ex-CIA analyst…

Making Unnecessary Enemies in Yemen

Saudi King Salman bids farewell to President Barack Obama at Erga Palace after a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Saudi-Israeli tandem is trying to pull the U.S. and other militaries into the Yemeni civil war by arguing that the Houthi rebels are Iranian proxies. But the reality is much more nuanced and the American interest may go in…

America’s Overuse of the Sanctions Option

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

America’s use of economic sanctions to punish various foreign adversaries has grown so promiscuous that U.S. businesses often don’t know when they might be crossing some legal line, thus inflicting financial pain not only on other countries but on the…

Hyping the Iranian ‘Threat’

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sitting next to President Hassan Rouhani and addressing the cabinet.

Iran hasn’t invaded another country for centuries and is helping the U.S. push back against the Islamic State in Iraq, but Israeli leaders and American neocons want to enlist the West in the Saudi cause of promoting Sunni Islam over…

The Iran Deal’s Big Upside

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meeting a group of Iranian citizens. (Iranian government photo)

The tentative deal with Iran, ensuring that its nuclear program stays peaceful, opens some avenues toward reducing tensions in the Mideast and addressing long-neglected American interests, but the hard-line opponents will still do all they can to kill it, as ex-CIA…

Fearing an Iran-Nuke Deal Might Work

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.

Republicans, carrying water for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, have come up with a new scheme to kill a deal to constrain but not obliterate Iran’s nuclear program. The new goal seems to be to prevent the agreement from demonstrating that…

America’s Netanyahu Dilemma

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli voters rewarded Prime Minister Netanyahu for his scare-mongering and race-baiting with a solid electoral victory. Most significantly, Netanyahu prevailed by discarding the facade of a possible Palestinian state, forcing U.S. officials to face a grim reality, as ex-CIA analyst Paul…

How the GOP Undermines America

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, while campaigning in 2014.

The world might find the goofy behavior of the “last remaining superpower” comical if it weren’t so scary. Though Democrats surely have their share of unfunny clowns, the Republicans took center stage in this circus of buffoonery with an open letter to…

Rearranging the Chairs at CIA

CIA Director John Brennan.

CIA Director Brennan wants to make his mark on the spy agency by shifting around the lines of authority to merge analysts and operatives into specialized “mission centers,” but the disadvantages may outweigh the advantages, according to ex-CIA analyst Paul…