Tag: Paul R. Pillar

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Israel Tests the Bounds of Its US Clout

Israeli resistance to deals on Palestinian peace and Iran’s nuclear program has strained U.S.-Israeli relations and will test if Congress is more loyal to Prime Minister Netanyahu or President Obama. But the tension underscores a deeper division between the two countries, says ex-CIA analyst…

The Arab Spring Hangovers

Neocons and their “liberal interventionist” sidekicks thought Arab Spring “regime changes” in Libya and Syria (and a counterrevolution in Egypt) were great ideas, but the unleashed chaos has spread violence across the Mideast. A lone bright spot has been Tunisia,…

Neocon Sabotage of Iran-Nuke Deal

Congressional neocons are determined to sink negotiations to constrain but not end Iran’s nuclear program all the better to get on with bombing Iran at the heart of their agenda. They are now disguising their sabotage as a constitutional argument,…

The ‘Threat Multiplier’ of Climate Change

Climate change what the Pentagon calls a “threat multiplier” could put the world on course toward worsening chaos or even extermination as nuclear-armed nations scramble to cope with environmental dislocations and resource shortages, a danger that could define the future,…

Israel’s ‘Moral Hazard’ in Gaza

For generations now, the Israeli government has brutalized the Palestinian people, including this summer’s slaughter of more than 2,000 in devastated Gaza, but the Israelis also pass on the bill for repairing the damage to the international community, a lesson…

Obama’s Much-Conflicted Syrian Policy

President Obama’s policy toward Syria is getting pulled in so many directions that it lacks any coherence, especially since the U.S.-backed Syrian “moderate” rebels are in a tacit alliance with al-Qaeda’s offshoots that are the target of the U.S. airstrikes,…

Unshackling US-Iran Policy from Distrust

The neocons still hope that by torpedoing a deal restricting Iran’s nuclear program that they can open a route to “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” one of Israel’s longstanding priorities. But such a course could make a bad situation in the…

Forgetting Lessons of Terrorism

Terror tactics have always been partly theater designed to elicit public reaction, whether to draw attention to a grievance or to draw the U.S. military into a conflict. Yet, American pols and pundits seem to have forgotten this reality and…

Rushing to War in the Wrong Places

Official Washington’s “group think” is that President Obama is “weak” because he doesn’t rush into wars with the abandon that talk-show favorite John McCain would like. But Obama may actually be “weak” because he gets pushed into conflicts that ex-CIA…

Who’s to Blame for ISIS ‘Surprise’?

For several years, Official Washington blinded itself to the growing radicalism of the Syrian opposition, all the better to portray the Assad regime as the “bad guys” and the rebels as the “good guys.” Now, everyone is pointing fingers about…