Blogs: Paul Pillar

Educating Trump with Intelligence: Questions are as Important as Answers

Heartstrings and Aleppo

Paul Pillar

Looking beyond Mr. Obama, the prevailing treatment of the Aleppo episode threatens to inculcate damaging “lessons” to be applied to future civil wars.  It is interesting that several of the critics of current policy mention Rwanda as such a lesson, because Rwanda was cited (including by the self-described “genocide chick” who is the current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations) as a reason to intervene in Libya sufficiently to topple the incumbent regime there in 2011.  We now have five years of results.  Those results include a still-chaotic situation and continuing civil war in which the human suffering, including deaths well into the thousands, is far more than the genocide-in-the-making that supposedly was going to occur in Benghazi.

By all means sympathize with the people of Aleppo.  We should feel anguish over their suffering.  But don’t confuse anguish with policy analysis. 

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Partisan Tribalism and Attitudes Toward Russia

Paul Pillar

Looking beyond Mr. Obama, the prevailing treatment of the Aleppo episode threatens to inculcate damaging “lessons” to be applied to future civil wars.  It is interesting that several of the critics of current policy mention Rwanda as such a lesson, because Rwanda was cited (including by the self-described “genocide chick” who is the current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations) as a reason to intervene in Libya sufficiently to topple the incumbent regime there in 2011.  We now have five years of results.  Those results include a still-chaotic situation and continuing civil war in which the human suffering, including deaths well into the thousands, is far more than the genocide-in-the-making that supposedly was going to occur in Benghazi.

By all means sympathize with the people of Aleppo.  We should feel anguish over their suffering.  But don’t confuse anguish with policy analysis. 

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Why Intelligence Briefings Matter

Paul Pillar

Looking beyond Mr. Obama, the prevailing treatment of the Aleppo episode threatens to inculcate damaging “lessons” to be applied to future civil wars.  It is interesting that several of the critics of current policy mention Rwanda as such a lesson, because Rwanda was cited (including by the self-described “genocide chick” who is the current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations) as a reason to intervene in Libya sufficiently to topple the incumbent regime there in 2011.  We now have five years of results.  Those results include a still-chaotic situation and continuing civil war in which the human suffering, including deaths well into the thousands, is far more than the genocide-in-the-making that supposedly was going to occur in Benghazi.

By all means sympathize with the people of Aleppo.  We should feel anguish over their suffering.  But don’t confuse anguish with policy analysis. 

Pages

Americans Need a Demon, Even if it Isn't Russia

Paul Pillar

Looking beyond Mr. Obama, the prevailing treatment of the Aleppo episode threatens to inculcate damaging “lessons” to be applied to future civil wars.  It is interesting that several of the critics of current policy mention Rwanda as such a lesson, because Rwanda was cited (including by the self-described “genocide chick” who is the current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations) as a reason to intervene in Libya sufficiently to topple the incumbent regime there in 2011.  We now have five years of results.  Those results include a still-chaotic situation and continuing civil war in which the human suffering, including deaths well into the thousands, is far more than the genocide-in-the-making that supposedly was going to occur in Benghazi.

By all means sympathize with the people of Aleppo.  We should feel anguish over their suffering.  But don’t confuse anguish with policy analysis. 

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