Tag: Paul R. Pillar

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Sabotaging Iran Nuclear Talks

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona.

Fresh for the debacle over the government shutdown and near credit default, Congress is now acting to sabotage promising negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, with some right-wing Republicans even raising the specter of war, as ex-CIA analyst Paul…

What Nixon/Kissinger Got Right

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

Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger operated in an amoral world where they traded lives and principles for power. But their cold “realism” enabled them to function more effectively in foreign policy than many of their successors who let passions and…

The Anarchy of the Tea Party

The Confederate battle flag made an appearance at a weekend Tea Party rally outside the White House. (Photo via David Frum on Twitter)

As a catastrophic U.S. debt default looms, Republicans keep demanding they “get something” in exchange for reopening the government and removing a gun from the head of the economy. The new talking point is that “Democrats won’t negotiate!” But ex-CIA…

The Tarnished ‘Victory’ in Libya

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

This past weekend, when U.S. commandos captured suspected al-Qaeda leader Anas al-Libi living openly in Tripoli, it drove home the point that post-Gaddafi Libya has become home to many Islamic extremists, a reality that tarnishes what Official Washington likes to…

How Shutdown Hurts National Security

House Speaker John Boehner.

The Republican-induced shutdown of the federal government underscores the Right’s populist contempt for the nation’s democratic institutions. But the fiasco also has undercut America’s standing in the world and thus undermines U.S. security and global leadership, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul…

Poisoning the US-Iran Detente

President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Israel, Saudi Arabia and other enemies of Iran hope to poison improved U.S.-Iranian relations by blocking sanctions relief for Iran, even at the cost of losing new restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, an emerging dilemma assessed by ex-CIA analyst Paul…

Why Netanyahu Spurns an Iran Deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

With new Iranian leadership eager for détente, a negotiated settlement over its nuclear program is within reach. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears determined to torpedo an agreement and press ahead toward war, a prospect that ex-CIA analyst Paul…

The Better-Than-Worst Syria Option

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Speaker of the House John Boehner, in the Oval Office, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Vice President Joe Biden listens at right. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The neocons still dominate Official Washington’s policy debates so it shouldn’t be a surprise that President Obama’s move toward diplomacy over intervention in Syria would draw criticism and denunciation. But sometimes the best course is the simply the one that’s…

Iran’s Rouhani Confounds Neocons

Iran's President-elect Hassan Rouhani during a television appearance.

Official Washington’s still-influential neocons are still hoping they can sabotage progress toward a U.S.-Iranian rapprochement and thus keep open the option of war but the reasonable tone of Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani is making the neocons’ job trickier, as…

US-Iran Talks at a Crossroads

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

Iran continues to signal a readiness to negotiate seriously over its nuclear program in exchange for relief on sanctions but Israeli leaders and American neocons still are pushing the Obama administration toward a heightened confrontation and war, as ex-CIA analyst…