Tag: Paul R. Pillar

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Slouching Down a March of Folly

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The threats from Turkey and Saudi Arabia to mount a full-scale invasion of Syria create the potential for a modern-day “march of folly” into World War III by drawing NATO and the U.S. into a direct military confrontation with Russia…

America’s Slide toward Failed State

U.S. Supreme Court

The blanket refusal of Senate Republican leaders to consider President Obama’s choice to succeed Justice Scalia reflects a descent of the United States toward the kind of dysfunctional failed state that Washington normally upbraids, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Playing Whack-a-Terrorist in Libya

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honor the four victims of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony held at Andrews Air Force Base, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on Sept. 14, 2012. [State Department photo)

The Libyan “regime change” of 2011 aggressively promoted by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  turned a relatively prosperous and secular country into another failed state where terrorism is finding a home, prompting new calls for a Western “whack-a-mole” intervention, as…

Neocon Freak-out over Syria

Dennis Ross, who has served as a senior U.S. emissary in the Middle East.

Neocon-dominated Official Washington is in freak-out mode about the success of the Russian-backed Syrian army around Aleppo, reviving long-discredited claims about “moderate” rebels and ignoring Al Qaeda’s key presence. This neocon frenzy also demands a new Cold War, as ex-CIA analyst Paul…

Still Sabotaging the Iran-Nuke Deal

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN Photo)

Since Israel and the influential U.S. neocons never wanted the Iranian nuclear deal, many U.S. politicians including presidential candidates are lining up to sabotage the agreement by finding new excuses to sanction Iran. This trick is a dangerous game, writes…

Seeking More Cold War with Cuba

Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 2003. (Photo credit: Antonio Milena - ABr)

The neocons who dominate Official Washington speak most loudly through their flagship newspaper, The Washington Post, almost always seeking confrontation rather than cooperation in addressing the world’s problems, such as Cold War-era hostility toward Cuba, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R.…

Letting US ‘Lead’ Against Islamic State

syria-map

America’s Mideast “allies” are less eager to take on Islamic State terrorists themselves than to urge the U.S. military to do so, raising questions about whether much of today’s campaign-trail tough-guy/gal talk about Washington taking the lead really means doing…

Islamic State’s Bloody Decline

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative, known as Jihadi John and identified as Mohammed Emwazi, the target of a drone attack that the Pentagon announced on Thursday.

Washington’s pundit class has interpreted the Islamic State’s recent turn toward international terrorism as proof of its growing strength, but it may actually represent the opposite, the group’s recognition that its “caliphate” is under stress and shrinking, observes ex-CIA analyst…

Toward a More Subtle US Foreign Policy

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)

Largely because Israel’s right-wing government now considers Iran the great enemy and has a fonder view of Saudi Arabia, U.S. politicians and media have followed that lead, decrying Iranians and tolerating Saudis, but such simplistic thinking does not serve American…

WPost’s Deadly Lack of Realism

Washington Post's editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

The Washington Post’s neocon editors advocate one regime change after another, oblivious to the death and destruction that their strategies have unleashed across the Mideast and now into Europe and reflecting a lack of realism about what U.S. foreign policy can…