Tag: Paul R. Pillar

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Simplistic Second-Guessing on ISIS

President Barack Obama meets with his National Security Staff to discuss the situation in Syria, in the Situation Room of the White House, Aug. 30, 2013. From left at the table: National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice; Attorney General Eric Holder; Secretary of State John Kerry; and Vice President Joe Biden. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Official Washington’s neocons, the mainstream U.S. media and Donald Trump are on the same page at least in blaming President Obama for ISIS, a case of all three parties being wrong, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Risks from Trump’s Reckless Invective

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in 1995.

Donald Trump’s invective – suggesting a “Second Amendment” remedy to Hillary Clinton’s gun control or calling President Obama the ISIS “founder” – may be how he intends to win but his words carry real danger, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Fragility of American Democracy

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as "shock and awe."

A top neocon excuse for invading other countries is to spread American-style “democracy,” but – amid all that carnage – there has been a steady erosion of U.S. democratic values, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

More Neocon Excuses to Bomb Syria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at a joint press conference regarding the Syrian crisis with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. (State Department photo)

Official Washington’s influential neocons continue to dream up new excuses for expanding U.S. military intervention in Syria, including why to bomb Syrian government forces and confront Russia, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Promises of Peace, Realities of War

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona. June 18, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Some anti-war Americans see hope in Donald Trump’s aversion to neocon interventionism but the peace mantras of campaigns often turn into war policies in office, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Fallacy of ‘Regime Change’ Strategies

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a press conference on Sept. 9, 2012. (State Department photo)

“Regime change” or destabilizing sanctions are Official Washington’s policy options of choice in dealing with disfavored nations, but these aggressive strategies have proved harmful and counterproductive, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Study Says Drones Generate More Terrorism

Done "pilots" launch an MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle for a raid in the Middle East. (U.S. military photo)

Using lethal drones to kill “bad guys” on the other side of the planet is offensive to many people on moral grounds, but a new study finds it is also ineffective in reducing terrorism, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Turkey’s Faltering Democracy

Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Turkish President Erdogan crushed a military coup this weekend but this victory for civilian rule will do little to revive Turkish democracy which Erdogan has been strangling with his autocratic grip on power, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Still Sabotaging the Iran-Nuke Agreement

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani celebrates the completion of an interim deal on Iran's nuclear program on Nov. 24, 2013, by kissing the head of the daughter of an assassinated Iranian nuclear engineer. (Iranian government photo)

Iran has lived up to the terms of the nuclear agreement, now one year old, but that has not stopped its neocon opponents from conjuring up new reasons to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

US Still Ducks Iraq Accountability

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.S. President George W. Bush shake hands after a joint White House press conference on Nov. 12, 2004. (White House photo)

With the Chilcot report, Great Britain somewhat came to grips with its role in the criminal invasion of Iraq, but neocon-controlled Washington still refuses to give the American people any honest accounting, explains ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.