Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea and Iran: Let the Comparisons Begin

North Korea's titular head of state Kim Yong Nam and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

by Paul R. Pillar North Korea and Iran represent significantly different nuclear-related challenges. The biggest difference is that North Korea has nuclear weapons while Iran doesn’t and never has. If North Korea really were to become no longer a nuclear… Continue Reading  

Land Grabs and the Rules-Based Order

Angela Merkel, Donald Trump, and other world leaders at the G-7 Meeting (Jesco Denzel)

by Paul R. Pillar The main takeaway from the recent G-7 summit obviously is the striking damage to U.S.-allied relations from Donald Trump’s posturing and accusations about trade. Also worth assessing, however, is a different and milder disagreement between the… Continue Reading  

McCarthyism Then and Now

Joseph Welch and Joseph McCarthy (McCarthy-Army hearings, June 9, 1954)

by Paul R. Pillar Sixty-four years ago this week came a pivotal moment in the overdue discrediting and downfall of an American demagogue. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations held a nationally televised inquiry from April to June of 1954… Continue Reading  

Motivations for the Dead-End Policy on Iran

Mike Pompeo (State Department via Fickr)

by Paul R. Pillar Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent speech on Iran, although titled “After the Deal: A New Iran Strategy,” was not new at all. It was mostly a recitation of the same arguments, with the same fallacies… Continue Reading  

North Korea and the Libya Model

Muammar Qaddafi (Wikimedia Commons)

by Paul R. Pillar It will take a while to piece together the strange story of the U.S.-North Korean summit that has been on, then off, then maybe on again. President Trump laid down a smokescreen by speaking, including in… Continue Reading