Tag: Paul R. Pillar

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An Afghan War for Drones?

Amid the Afghan government’s growing resistance to an extended U.S. military stay, the Obama administration is trying out a new rationale: the need for a launching pad for drones. But it may be a case of a weapons system causing…

Egypt’s Coup Enflames Extremism

By ousting elected President Morsi and seeking to root out his Muslim Brotherhood supporters Egypt’s military has touched off a wave of violence that threatens to deepen tensions across the region, including in the Gaza Strip and Israel, writes ex-CIA…

The Why Behind Egypt’s Coup

Egypt’s military coup meshed with the geopolitical interests of Saudi Arabia and Israel, but the toppling of the country’s first democratically elected government was driven by other factors, including the history of a politically powerful military, as ex-CIA analyst Paul…

The Fragile Process for Engaging Iran

The diplomatic fracas over inviting and disinviting Iran to the Syrian peace talks only makes sense if you factor in President Obama’s fragile consensus for engaging Iran over its nuclear program while influential neocons keep pressing for confrontation. That mix…

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in December 2013 focused on the Saudi role in terrorism, the importance of national security “leakers,” the collapsing case pinning an infamous Sarin attack on Syria, and the renewed war over “the war on Christmas.”

Who Can Use Nazi Comparisons?

Israeli lawmakers are debating a bill to criminalize the careless use of the word Nazi, but face a problem since Prime Minister Netanyahu is one of the worst abusers when denouncing Iran and comparing a deal on its nuclear program…

Is Government Inept or Sinister?

The image of a bumbling government, fumbling the Healthcare.gov rollout, clashes with the image of NSA running a terrifying Big Brother dystopia. But these sharp contrasts often reflect the viewer’s opinions or political needs more than the shaded realities, says ex-CIA…

Keeping War Hopes Alive on Iran

The Israel Lobby and the many U.S. politicians in its thrall keep trying to sink President Obama’s negotiations limiting Iran’s nuclear program and thus keep hope alive for another Mideast war. But progress toward an agreement keeps moving forward, notes ex-CIA…

Robert Gates’s Blame-Shifting Memoir

A core myth about Robert Gates was that he was an “adult” who would bring wisdom and order to the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. But the reality was always different as his score-settling memoir reveals, writes…

Israel’s Elusive Search for Security

Israel has made its security the sin qua non of negotiations with the Palestinians, including insistence on military control of the Jordan River valley. But these escalating demands ignore questions of Palestinian security and the greater risk to Israel from worldwide opprobrium,…