The United States has blocked a conference aimed at banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East, thus shielding Israel from criticism for keeping a rogue nuclear arsenal even as it threatens to attack Iran for the mere “capacity” to build a bomb. This latest move is counterproductive, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Besides rejecting many aspects of science, the American Right despises the idea of international agreements as well, considering them infringements on U.S. “sovereignty.” That attitude among GOP senators turned back a global agreement on protecting the disabled, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Having learned some lessons about Republican intransigence, President Obama is taking his budget case to the American people, but he still avoids a public confrontation with another first-term obstacle, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Egyptian President Morsi is pressing for a quick vote on a new constitution which has drawn criticism from both secularists and Islamists. But the imperfect plan has the benefit of establishing some governing rules for the tumultuous country and can be changed later, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The ginned-up fury over what Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said about the Benghazi attack on TV shows obscures a bigger question, whether the U.S.-backed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi was smart policy. Libya remains a country in turmoil amid growing doubts about U.S. trustworthiness, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The United States and Israel continue to oppose the UN granting the Palestinians recognition as a “non-member state.” But the objections seem increasingly farfetched, as even Hamas has shown a more moderate side in endorsing this modest proposal, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Some of our special stories from October, focusing on the last weeks of the U.S. presidential campaign, the controversy over the Benghazi deaths, and historical mysteries from the Cuban Missile Crisis and JFK’s assassination to the October Surprise cases of 1968 and 1980.
A Congolese rebel group, M23, has won a series of victories against the disorganized troops of the central government, raising the prospect of more turmoil in that troubled African country. But more division of Congo – and even partitioning – may not be the worst outcome, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Cracks are forming in the old U.S. political paradigm of support for Israel whatever it does. Israeli leaders may compare mowing down each new generation of Palestinian militants to a chore like trimming the grass, but the moral depravity and diplomatic damage are growing too severe, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
In an age of spin and propaganda, one trick is to falsify the chronological order of events to turn reactions into instigations and vice versa, like when George W. Bush says he went to war in Iraq in response to bad intelligence when his decision predated the manufacturing of that intel, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul…