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  

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