Tag: Paul R. Pillar

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Is War on ISIS America’s Fight?

The Sunni resistance to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to what is now ISIS or the Islamic State, and many U.S. hawks now want President Obama to “surge” troops back into Iraq to fight this brutal force.…

Israel’s Looming War on Lebanon

As Israel joins Saudi Arabia and other Sunni sheikdoms in their sectarian war against the Shiites, Israel’s  new front may well be in Lebanon, with Israel attacking Hezbollah in a move that could also kill the Iran nuclear deal, as…

Blocking a Nuclear-Free Mideast

With a large undeclared arsenal of nukes and the missiles to deliver them, Israel ranks as the world’s top rogue nuclear state, even as it threatens to bomb Iran over the theoretical possibility of building a single nuclear weapon, hypocrisy…

Drone Warfare’s Costs and Benefits

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…

False Comparison of N. Korea to Iran

Opponents of a nuclear-limitation deal with Iran often cite the failed effort to constrain North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. But the two cases are dramatically different from the levels of inspection involved to the nature of the political systems as…

The Value of Effective Government

The Framers of the U.S. Constitution envisioned an activist federal government that would help build the new country, including transportation infrastructure, but that history has been lost amid Tea Party revisionism that treats all constructive government actions as bad, a…

US Politics Gives Saudis an Edge

If President Obama were speaking solely for U.S. national interests, he would offer a stern rebuke, not gentle reassurance, to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States during a Camp David summit, but domestic politics and Israeli pressure will constrain any…

Two Approaches toward Nationalism

Despite a difficult history, Scotland and England have approached their modern differences within the democratic process with Scottish nationalists sweeping recent parliamentary elections but Israel has chosen cruel repression toward the Palestinians leading to a very different result, says ex-CIA…

Entangled in Sunni-Shiite Wars

Early U.S. presidents warned against “entangling” foreign alliances, but they never suspected America might be drawn into squabbles between Sunnis and Shiites dating back to the Seventh Century succession of Prophet Muhammad. But that now seems to be the case, as ex-CIA…

Mixed Signals on the Middle East

On one level the Congressional failure to authorize war on the Islamic State while seeking to sabotage the peaceful nuclear accord with Iran would seem to fit neatly with the interests of the Saudi-Israeli alliance as it presses for “regime change” in…