Paul Pillar

The Gun Lobby Tackles Foreign Policy

Those of us who worry and write more about about foreign affairs than about domestic ones have largely been spared confrontation with the formidable U.S. gun lobby. There is only the sadness any citizen can feel at this country's political inability to regulate effectively the trade in implements used in the sorts of violent incidents that have led gun control to move back, at least for now, to a prominent place on the national agenda.

Karzai's Rant

Several explanations can account for Afghan President Hamid Karzai's outburst this week, in which he accused the United States of in effect working in parallel with the Taliban by keeping Afghanistan unstable and thereby having an excuse to keeping U.S. troops there indefinitely.

Warped Accountability

One regularly hears much talk in Washington about accountability, but also regularly sees examples of how the concept of accountability gets applied in this town in an inconsistent and warped way. There are the inevitable calls for heads to roll after any salient untoward event, and huzzahs to senior managers who do roll heads in response.

Is a New Intifada Imminent?

Conditions seem to be as ripe as they have been for some time for the outbreak of a new Palestinian uprising, or intifada, in territory occupied by Israel. A hunger strike by several Palestinian prisoners held by the Israelis has been building suspense over what will happen when striking prisoners die.