Religion Corrupting Policy—and Vice Versa

John Hagee delivers benediction at opening of US embassy in Jerusalem

 by Paul R. Pillar The most jarring takeaway from the ceremony redesignating a U.S. consulate building in Jerusalem as an embassy certainly was the juxtaposition of the self-congratulatory speechmaking with the killing on the same day. Forty miles away, Israeli… Continue Reading  

The Danger of Process-Free Foreign Policy

John Bolton (Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

by Paul R. Pillar The disturbing parallels between Donald Trump’s policy toward Iran and the run-up to the disastrous U.S. offensive war against Iraq keep piling up. There is a drumbeat of belligerent rhetoric, with no limit to what the… Continue Reading  

Hold the Deal-Killers Accountable

Donald Trump (Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

by Paul R. Pillar At least President Trump’s statement today about Iran made clear exactly what step he was taking: an outright material breach of U.S. obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the multilateral agreement that restricts… Continue Reading  

Drawing the Wrong Lesson about North Korea

Kim Jong Un (KCNA)

by Paul R. Pillar Believing one’s own puffery and press releases is a hazard for many public figures, but probably especially so for Donald Trump. Although the true beliefs of any demagogue may remain hidden, this hazard can be expected… Continue Reading  

New Deals, Old Deals, and Non-Deals with Iran

Brian Hook

by Paul R. Pillar The discussions at the White House with French President Emmanuel Macron about devising, in Macron’s words, a “new deal with Iran” may be an instance of different governments using similar words to mean very different things.… Continue Reading