Subversive Politicians and How to Protect Against Them

Mike Trukhachev via Shutterstock

by Paul R. Pillar The acquisition of power, through the ballot box, in a democracy by political forces that undermine that very democracy—by surreptitiously channeling the influence of a foreign state or by using authoritarian tactics to retain power—is the… Continue Reading  

Trump on Iran: A Lie That May Lead to War

Michele Paccione via Shutterstock

by Paul R. Pillar On the first work day of the new year, President Trump held a cabinet meeting that was open to the press and consisted mostly of a rambling monologue by the president about border walls and assorted… Continue Reading  

Pompeo in Cairo: Anti-Obama, Anti-Iran, and Little Else

Mike Pompeo in Cairo (State Department via Flickr)

by Paul R. Pillar Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a campaign speech in Cairo that seemed written to please an audience of one—President Donald Trump—along with the domestic political base to which Trump’s own rhetoric is designed to appeal.… Continue Reading  

Bolsonaro and the Rainforest

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Wikimedia Commons)

by Paul R. Pillar Newly inaugurated Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro lives up to the label “Trump of the tropics” in many ways, including his misogynistic comments and a racist streak that surfaces in his disparaging treatment of minorities. But the… Continue Reading  

Mattis Resigns: Sky Will Not Fall

Donald Trump and James Mattis

by Paul R. Pillar   Take a deep breath, everyone, while contemplating the rapid-fire events that have culminated in Secretary of Defense James Mattis submitting his resignation. Mattis is a distinguished public servant and an uncommonly knowledgeable warrior. Although he… Continue Reading