Paul Pillar

Iraq Comes Full Circle

Russian machine guns captured during Operation Iraqi Freedom.Back in the 1950s and 1960s, sales of munitions were a major instrument that the Soviet Union used, most conspicuously in the Middle East, to cultivate influence and close ties with other regimes. Such sales also had obvious benefits for the Soviet arms industry.

The Still-Missing Opposition Foreign Policy

Many realities of foreign policy do not lend themselves to clear, coherent positions in an election campaign. The reasons for this go beyond the fact that in most election years far more votes are to be won or lost on domestic issues than foreign ones, even during better economic times than we have now.

The Selfish Society and National Power

Frank Bruni had a thoughtful column the other day about how rarely anyone, including our leaders, talks about sacrifice anymore. That means sacrifice in personal situations for the sake of a larger national good. Bruni mentions several factors as both manifestations and causes of the children of the Greatest Generation being so much more selfish than their parents.

Second-Guessing About Benghazi

Barack Obama signs a condolence book in memory of Ambassador Christopher Stevens.The seemingly endless public rehashing of the attack in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans is not taking a form that serves any useful purpose.

Netanyahu Dumbs It Down

One naturally wonders what was going through the mind of the Israeli prime minister, or of his staff or speechwriters, when deciding to include in his address to the United Nations General Assembly such an obvious invitation for satire and ridicule. And on a deadly serious topic, which Mr.

More Posturing on Iran

Two actions at the end of last week, involving two different branches of the U.S. government, continued a pattern of unthinking support for anything that gets perceived as opposition to the Islamic Republic of Iran.