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 Most RecentForeign Policy Archive
The American Conservative

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Ignorant of Iraq, void of strategic vision, and viewing the Mideast through the neoconservative prism, Bush steers...
Maj. Gen. J.F.C. Fuller, Britain’s leading military thinker of the 20th century, wrote that the object of war is not victory, but peace. A war that fails to achieve clear political objectives is merely an exercise in violence and futility. In its headlong rush to invade Iraq, the Bush administration is violating Fuller’s simple yet... Read More
An erratic regime with nuclear-armed missiles poses a more serious threat than hemmen-in Saddam
Never trust an axis of evil. That is what President Bush recently learned to his chagrin when North Korea stunned the world by admitting it possessed nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction. This bombshell from normally secretive Pyongyang enormously embarrassed the Bush administration just as it was gearing up for war against Iraq... Read More
Far from being a model for a “liberated” Iraq, Afghanistan shows how the U.S. can get bogged down Soviet-style.
For those worried that an American-occupied Iraq might become a quagmire, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld offered reassuring words on Valentine’s Day. The success story of U.S.-administered Afghanistan, he announced, will serve as a model for the new, “liberated” Iraq. Operation Enduring Freedom—the rapid conquest of Afghanistan in October 2001—indeed showed that small numbers of... Read More
Gordeev20 /
A menace grows from Bush’s Korean blind spot.
President George W. Bush looks like a man who is so obsessed with hunting a pesky but elusive mouse in his basement that he fails to notice that the top floor of his house is on fire. Two recent events capture the bizarre, almost surreal nature of the twin crises over Iraq and North Korea... Read More
Leo Strauss was not the wisest German refugee
In recent weeks articles have turned up in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Philadelphia Inquirer, Le Monde, Die Welt, and Boston Globe, linking the neo-conservatives in the Bush administration to University of Chicago political theorist Leo Strauss (1899-1973). Apparently, many of those who now advocate American imperial hegemony and a global democratic ideology,... Read More
A reshaped Al-Qaeda is more dangerous than before.
America’s war against terrorism is a conflict unlike any other in history. Amorphous and multi-faceted, it spans the globe and engages United States resources on battlefields where victory can never be declared. It is above all an intelligence war, in which detailed information on opponents, their travels, and plans are equivalent to the movement of... Read More
Sistani’s Shia refuse to play their assigned role.
In a remarkable example of historical irony, a scowling, black-turbaned Shia ayatollah has emerged from obscurity for the second time in a quarter century to vex and confound America’s plans for the Mideast. Twenty-four years ago, the U.S. encouraged Iraq’s ruler, Saddam Hussein, to invade Iran and overthrow the new revolutionary Islamic government of Grand... Read More
America’s allies rethink their Iraq commitment.
The Persian king Xerxes summoned his vassals to war against Athens in 426 B.C. thus: “… we shall bring all mankind under our yoke, alike those who are guilty and those who are innocent of doing us wrong. If you wish to please me, do as follows: when I announce the time for the army... Read More
Old soldiers don’t fade away
The observant will have noticed that we hear little from the troops in Iraq and see almost nothing of the wounded. Why, one might wonder, does not CNN put an enlisted Marine before a camera and, for 15 minutes without editing, let him say what he thinks? Is he not an adult and a citizen?... Read More
In Washington it is hardly a secret that the same people in and around the administration who brought you Iraq are preparing to do the same for Iran. The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be... Read More
spirit of america /
Billions of dollars have disappeared, gone to bribe Iraqis and line contractors’ pockets.
The United States invaded Iraq with a high-minded mission: destroy dangerous weapons, bring democracy, and trigger a wave of reform across the Middle East. None of these have happened. When the final page is written on America’s catastrophic imperial venture, one word will dominate the explanation of U.S. failure—corruption. Large-scale and pervasive corruption meant that... Read More
Who was behind the Niger uranium documents?
From the beginning, there has been little doubt in the intelligence community that the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame was part of a bigger story. That she was exposed in an attempt to discredit her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, is clear, but the drive to demonize Wilson cannot reasonably be attributed only to... Read More
By the time President Bush finally announced it, his surge strategy was old news. But an unexpected section of the speech jarred the normally somnolent mainstream media: “Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. … And we will seek out and destroy the networks... Read More
A special group at the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center, very similar to the group that tracked the activity of al-Qaeda through the 1990s, has been working on the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah over the past three years. In the wake of the failed Israeli incursion into Lebanon last summer, the White House asked these Hezbollah... Read More
CIA Can't Handle the Truth; Mossad's Bodysnatching
A special group at the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center, very similar to the group that tracked the activity of al-Qaeda through the 1990s, has been working on the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah over the past three years.In the wake of the failed Israeli incursion into Lebanon last summer, the White House asked these Hezbollah analysts... Read More
A new report gives the Pentagon intelligence peddler a pass.
Pentagon Inspector General Thomas Gimble’s narrow report on the activities of Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith’s Office of Special Plans was not quite a whitewash, but neither was it an indictment. The report, presented to Congress on Feb. 9, rightly condemned Feith’s attempt to create what it charitably called “an alternative intelligence assessment process,” lacking... Read More
The neocon propaganda machine turns toward Iran
Retired Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner warned in late 2006 that a sign that the U.S. is preparing to go to war with Iran would be an increase in leaks and disinformation designed to sell the war to the American public. There has been a steady drumbeat of negative reporting about Iran over the past... Read More
Tenet's Expensive Account; Powell Wins Turf War
Former Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet continues to come under fire for profiting directly from the Iraq War, about which he now claims to have had misgivings. Tenet has reportedly received a $4-million advance from HarperCollins for his book At the Center of the Storm, and he also commands a speaking fee of $50,000... Read More
Can terrorists get into Harvard?; Admitting Retreat; Karen of Arabia
Warren Bamford, the special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Boston, has warned local universities to be on the alert for spies and potential terrorists who might be trying to steal sensitive research information. Bamford’s office has met with representatives of the major universities in the Boston area, including Harvard, MIT, University... Read More
Eveything Israel wants you to know about its secret airstrike
On Sept. 6, Israeli F-15s and F-16s attacked a site near Dayr az-Zawr in northern Syria, though the strike wasn’t confirmed for nearly two weeks. The Washington Post reported on Sept. 13 that according to a former Israeli official, “it was an attack against a facility capable of making unconventional weapons.” Two days later, Syria... Read More
Israel plays war games with Syria
An Oct. 13 New York Times front-page story claiming American and foreign intelligence confirmation that the Israeli strike on Syria last month was on a nuclear reactor being constructed with North Korean aid was based on misleading information leaked by Eliott Abrams and Stephen Hadley at the National Security Council. Other than Hadley and Abrams,... Read More
Can Benazir Bhutto hold her country together?
It took one suicide bombing in Karachi to undermine the short-lived political marriage of convenience that Washington engineered between Pakistan's embattled president, Pervez Musharraf, and former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. The Musharraf government immediately blamed the usual Islamic suspects for the deadly explosions that greeted Bhutto's long awaited return to Pakistan from self-imposed exile. At... Read More
Turks Don't Give Thanks; Al Jazeera's Paranoia Play; White House Sends Back Undercooked Books
Turkish officials and senior military officers are angry about the results of the Nov. 5 meeting in Washington between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President George W. Bush. An agreement was reached whereby the U.S. would not oppose Turkey’s plans to launch air strikes against the PKK in Northern Iraq whenever the Turks have... Read More
A reality-based assessment of Iran’s nuclear capability
The bombshell National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear program asserted with a “high degree of certainty” that Tehran had abandoned its nuclear weapons in 2003 due to international pressure and as part of a negotiated agreement with the Europeans. The report stated that even if Tehran were to restart its program, it would not have... Read More
FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds spills her secrets.
Most Americans have never heard of Sibel Edmonds, and if the U.S. government has its way, they never will. The former FBI translator turned whistleblower tells a chilling story of corruption at Washington’s highest levels—sale of nuclear secrets, shielding of terrorist suspects, illegal arms transfers, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, espionage. She may be a first-rate... Read More
Flight Path to Damascus
Israel’s Sept. 6 bombing of a building in Syria continues to be shrouded in secrecy, but both American analysts and United Nations investigators now believe that the entire incident was the result of poor intelligence compiled by the Israelis and accepted by a gullible White House. The follow-up investigation has been hampered by the Bush... Read More
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad courts Iraq.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmad-inejad’s triumphant state visit to Iraq earlier this month offered particularly grim evidence of the epic failure of U.S. policy and ambitions. Iran’s controversial leader, the Bush administration’s public enemy number two after Osama bin Laden, received a warm official reception in downtown Baghdad, well outside the Fort Apache Green Zone beyond... Read More
Once as a colonial project, now as a moral playground, the ancient continent remains the object of Great Power maneuvering
George W. Bush’s seven-day, five-country trip around Africa generated much surprised comment about how popular our president is over there. The leaders of the nations Bush visited beamed with pride through their photo-ops. In Tanzania, local artists had emblazoned the president’s smiling face on fabric, which was made into dresses and smocks worn by citizens... Read More
Director of Central Intelligence General Michael Hayden’s assertion on “Meet the Press” on Sunday that he has a “personal belief” that Iran has a nuclear weapons program would not be so disturbing if it had not been preceded by statements from President Bush and Vice President Cheney. On March 19th, Bush was apparently speaking in... Read More
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been complaining to anyone willing to stand around and listen that his ill-conceived attack on rogue cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Medhi Army in Basra was carried out under orders from Dick Cheney, who had visited Baghdad the week before the fighting started. Per al-Maliki, Cheney told him that the time... Read More
There seems to be a lot of back-and-forthing on the TAC blog site about Barack Obama and, more specifically, whether conservatives and Republicans will vote for him. Forgive me, but it seems to me to be a bit of an egghead exercise speculating on what real Republicans and real conservatives think and what they will... Read More
The British Ministry of Defense has leaked a story that General Petraeus will damn Iran when he reports to the president and congress later this week, setting the stage for hostilities. The British fear that the all-too-political Petraeus is preparing to do the White House bidding to deal with the Iranian threat before Bush leaves... Read More
The campaign against Admiral Fallon.
Nineteenth century British statesmen believed that the national interest should drive all government policy. Twenty-first century America has no sense of a national interest and therefore has no energy policy, no industrial policy, no immigration policy, and no foreign policy. Maladroit Bush Administration global meddling has empowered the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, created a... Read More
Leading neocon pundit Charles Krauthammer's op-ed piece in today's Washington Post entitled "The Holocaust Declaration" is astonishing even by The Hammer's admittedly low standards. He calls on the next president to declare that any nuclear attack on Israel by Iran will be treated as if it were an attack on the United States. The warning... Read More
The conviction is growing in intelligence circles that Usama bin Laden's days might be numbered, but his demise will likely have nothing to do with Bush Administration efforts to kill him, which continue to be inept, unfocused, and overly reliant on allies like Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to do the heavy lifting. Many officers within... Read More
This is all far too serious. Time for a ghost story. About a month ago, my wife was sewing in her room where women do things that are incomprehensible to men. She heard a voice speaking in the kitchen, two rooms away, but I was the only other person in the house and I was... Read More
The story of Jimmy Carter's possible breakthrough with Hamas is predictably already disappearing from the media. It should have been good news that Hamas might be willing to consider recognizing the existence of an Israeli state and that Syria, desperate for peace, believes that 85% of outstanding differences with Tel Aviv have already been resolved,... Read More
Israeli sources are reporting that the FBI investigation of the Ben-Ami Kadish spy case resulted from a leak coming from inside the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The information on Kadish and on a number of other Americans who have spied for Israel was provided to the FBI anonymously, leading to the Bureau's opening... Read More
If the neocons ever leave us what will we do when we need a good laugh? A recent foray into the world of fantasy and invention, all presented with what one presumes to be a straight face, is the redoubtable neocon warrior couple Fred and Kimberly Kagan's piece in The Weekly Standard "The Patton of... Read More
The few people in US intelligence circles who were actually allowed to review the evidence provided by the Israelis regarding the alleged Syrian nuclear facility have called it "bullshit." Perhaps the mainstream media should note the implausibility of the tale being spun given the inability of Syria to support any nuclear program. They should challenge... Read More
Yesterday CIA Director Michael Hayden said "It is my opinion, it is the policy of the Iranian government, approved to highest level of that government, to facilitate the killing of Americans in Iraq. Just make sure there's clarity on that." Admittedly the whole statement is a bit awkward, but Hayden was speaking in Kansas at... Read More
I have had serious misgivings about CIA Director Michael Hayden, first because he is a tad too attached to his uniform and title "General" for someone who is heading a civilian agency. Not to mention that he is an Air Force officer who does not know how to fly while the rows of ribbons on... Read More
Maybe Iran didn't do it directly, but it is a member of OPEC. OPEC is at fault. The surge in gas pump prices, caused by a weak dollar due to unsustainable trade and government deficits as well as speculation on oil and gas futures, has become a political football. Hillary the populist wants to bring... Read More
There is considerable speculation and buzz in Washington today suggesting that the National Security Council has agreed in principle to proceed with plans to attack an Iranian al-Qods-run camp that is believed to be training Iraqi militants. The camp that will be targeted is one of several located near Tehran. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates... Read More
Has anyone noticed that the various “anti-terror” measures we see everywhere are just security theater—that is, utterly ineffective for their purported purpose and staged for political reasons? On Washington’s subway, the PA system admonishes passengers over and over to watch each other and report any unusual behavior to Metro personnel. “Let’s be prepared, not scared,”... Read More
The Saudi Arabian monarchy has privately sought advice on what is likely to happen in the November US presidential elections and is shaping its policy towards Washington accordingly. The US consulting firm they hired has provided them with a confidential assessment stating that the likely Democratic candidate Barack Obama will lose to Republican John McCain... Read More
There is an astonishing essay on today's New York Times editorial page by Errol Morris entitled "The Most Curious Thing." It is the story surrounding an Abu Ghraib photo showing a grinning American woman soldier giving a thumbs up over the body of an Iraqi who died under torture by the CIA. What is most... Read More
Republican candidate-presumptive John McCain is interviewing possible vice presidents this week end. A number of "conservative" Republicans including Romney, Crist, and Jindal will be involved, but the media is generally not reporting that Senator Joe Lieberman is also one of the finalists. I predicted back in February that McCain would opt for his sometime Democrat... Read More
On Memorial Day we must remember our honored dead but should also not forget the many living neoconservatives who have made the wars possible that have sent so many of our soldiers to their final resting places. I am particularly thinking of the first family of War for the Asking, the Kagans - Donald, Robert,... Read More