Misusing Intelligence to Sell Conflict with Iran

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by Paul R. Pillar Although nobody knows exactly where Donald Trump intends to go with his campaign of seeking confrontation with Iran, his administration already has provided disconcerting parallels with the techniques an earlier U.S. administration used in selling its… Continue Reading  

Killing More Innocents Than We Admit

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by Paul R. Pillar Anyone willing to think carefully and critically about the use of armed force against a target such as the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) would do well to read the intensively researched piece in The New… Continue Reading  

Trump’s Speech on Iran: Warmed-Over Rejectionism

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by Paul R. Pillar Donald Trump’s speech on Iran is the latest chapter in his struggle to reconcile his overriding impulse to destroy any significant achievements of his predecessor with the fact that the most salient of those achievements in… Continue Reading  

It’s Time to Leave Afghanistan

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Grant Haefke, a Joint Terminal Attack Controller qualified Tactical Air Control Party Airman assigned to the 817th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron, and Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment (Iron Rakkasans), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) walk to an Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter before leaving Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, June 23, 2015.  Haefke and the Soldiers supported a NATO Resolute Support Train Advise Assist Command-Air mission.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford/Released)

by Robert E. Hunter President Barack Obama took several months, and his direct personal engagement throughout that period, to decide that the United States should remain militarily engaged in Afghanistan. President Donald Trump took far less time, was far less… Continue Reading  

The Safe Haven Notion

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by Paul R. Pillar President Trump’s statement on Afghanistan has numerous shortcomings. It portrays as a “new strategy” what is instead a familiar kicking of a can down the road. It combines Trump’s habit of heaping blame on his predecessors… Continue Reading