A Militarist Fourth

by Paul R. Pillar Ever since President Trump decided to intrude on the Independence Day celebration in the nation’s capital, this Fourth of July has promised to be one of the most prominent it’s-all-about-me events that the narcissist-in-chief has staged.… Continue Reading  

The JCPOA and Exiting the Iran Crisis

by Paul R. Pillar “No nuclear weapons,” declares President Trump, identifying that objective as his top priority regarding Iran. The contradiction with Trump’s own policy toward Iran is jarring. The starting point, and a continuing leitmotif, of that policy has… Continue Reading  

The Fog of Selling a War

by Paul R. Pillar The “fog of war,” about which Carl von Clausewitz wrote, refers to the confusion and lack of knowledge of what an adversary is up to on a chaotic battlefield. Currently, those promoting or welcoming a war… Continue Reading  

The Maximum Pressure Campaign Presses Toward War

by Paul R. Pillar The statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the latest incident involving tankers in the Gulf of Oman is questionable on multiple counts, beginning with his immediate, semi-automatic attribution of responsibility to Iran. The origin… Continue Reading  

Why Bullying Isn’t Working in Foreign Policy

by Paul R. Pillar Seemingly endless threats, insults, punishment, and attempts at coercion have been a leading feature of Donald Trump’s foreign policy. The pervasive bullying so far has not been matched by a comparable degree of positive results, as… Continue Reading