Paul Pillar

Seeking Perfect Security in Yemen

U.S. officials are reportedly divided over a proposed large new military aid package for Yemen.  The aid would provide Yemen with $1.2 billion in military equipment and training over the next six years, a significant increase over what it gets now.  U.S. Central Command proposed the package, and former CENTCOM chief General David Petraeus has been its most enthusiastic supporter.  The proponents argue it is necessary to put out the fire represented by an al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen.

Connections to a Bygone War

On Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I was in the small town of Alexandria in western Minnesota to attend a ceremony dedicating a Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in honor of Max J. Beilke, who grew up in the area. Max Beilke was drafted during the Korean War and stayed in the army as a career.

Allies and Independent Thinking

Small parties and political independents often function as sand thrown into the political machinery of parliamentary systems.  Whatever seats they win in elections to national legislatures make it that much harder for the major parties that must take the lead in forming a government to put together a stable majority.  The result is often deadlock and the need for new elections.