Paul Pillar

Paul Pillar

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University for security studies.

Articles by this author

U.S. service members are being dispatched to a foreign war for the purpose of somehow getting one Middle Eastern state that has had a longstanding security relationship with another Middle Eastern state to remove its personnel from that second state. (Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images) Views
Monday, September 10, 2018
An Unending U.S. War in Syria
Amid a week of attention-grabbing drama about the dysfunction of Donald Trump’s presidency, it almost escaped notice that his administration is putting U.S. troops in harm’s way in a foreign war for a new purpose—a purpose that does not entail countering a threat to the United States. Newly...
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Coalition airstrike in Sanaa, 2015 (Wikimedia Commons / Ibrahem Qasim) Views
Tuesday, September 04, 2018
War Crimes In Yemen
The war in Yemen has been for some time one of the worst current man-made humanitarian disasters. Now comes a report , from the United Nations Human Rights Council and based on extensive investigations of a group of experts examining the past four years of the war, documenting not only human...
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"The administration already has an ongoing campaign of ratcheting up tension with, and hostility toward, Iran, thus laying the political and psychological groundwork for a war." (Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com) Views
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Has a Diversionary War Just Become More Likely?
Michael Cohen’s guilty plea directly implicating President Trump in commission of a crime has stimulated new talk about possible impeachment. Given how the case involves sexual liaisons, it also has stimulated comparisons with the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Most such comparisons are focusing on...
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"It is especially plausible to assume that the interests motivating Trump were the interests of Donald Trump more than the interests of the United States." (Mike Trukhachev/Shutterstock/cc) Views
Thursday, July 19, 2018
The Multiple Facets of the Russia Problem
Two different issues—Russian interference in the U.S. election of 2016 and overall U.S. policy toward Russia—too often have been conflated. Donald Trump’s questioning of the interference and his submission to Russian President Vladimir Putin have tainted what in other circumstances would be seen as...
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"In continuing his agreement-killing campaign this week with another prop-dependent show-and-tell, Netanyahu has abandoned any effort to be logical in arguing against the JCPOA."(Photo: Screenshot) Views
Tuesday, May 01, 2018
Netanyahu Makes a Case for the JCPOA
Benjamin Netanyahu’s display of a cartoon bomb before the United Nations General Assembly nearly six years ago received much ridicule but at least was grounded in some facts about uranium enrichment levels and how they relate to the ability to make a nuclear weapon. These days, Netanyahu doesn’t...
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John Bolton (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/cc) Views
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
The Bolton-Pompeo Package
This week John Bolton assumes the job of national security advisor. Given that a key function of that position is to ensure that the bureaucracy provides the relevant options and most accurate information to the president before major national security decisions, it is hard to think of anyone more...
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"The intrusion of private interests into U.S. foreign policy under this administration is not limited to the Trumps’ own commercial interests." (Photo: White House) Views
Monday, February 26, 2018
The Privatization of U.S. Foreign Policy
The unethical blurring of private interests and public business is a hallmark of Donald Trump’s presidency. That blurring has increasingly involved U.S. foreign policy. The possible effects on U.S. foreign relations may be subtle and largely out of public view. But they arise every time, for...
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Donald Trump Views
Wednesday, July 05, 2017
The Plummeting of U.S. Standing in the World
The Pew Research Center released last week the results of one of its periodic surveys of global views of the United States and its leadership and policies. More than 40,000 people were polled in 37 countries across six continents between February and May. The most salient finding is a dramatic drop...
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Views
Saturday, April 01, 2017
Excusing Bahrain’s Human Rights Abuses
The Trump administration has decided to remove any conditions regarding human rights from sales of F-16 fighter aircraft and other arms to Bahrain. The rationale for doing so is the idea that hard power considerations ought to come before softer concerns for the rights of someone else’s citizens...
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Monday, December 26, 2016
Trump's Disappearing 'Neutral Guy'
Presidents-elect of the United States generally have hewn to the dictum that the country has only one president at a time, and that this is especially important with foreign policy. The incoming president plans, appoints, announces, and does anything else he wants to indicate what his course will...
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