The Raucous Sound of AUKUS

September 20, 2021

The European Union received a serious shock last week that confirmed the seismic shock it received a month ago when US President Joe Biden made good on his decision to unilaterally abandon the 20-year NATO military campaign in Afghanistan. France had a more specific reason to complain. As AP...

America’s Post-9/11 Lessons and Lamentations

September 20, 2021

Earlier this month, Americans and people around the world commemorated a day that still resonates with disbelief, astonishment and profound sorrow. We don’t know how the world will look at the events of 9/11 in 100 years. But, after 20 years, the heaviness persists and the portents remain still...

Understanding and Misunderstanding the Biden Doctrine

September 17, 2021

US Foreign policy has long been more about the evocative vocabulary used to describe it than the geopolitical reality it is meant to address. The vocabulary politicians and the media use to define foreign policy belongs to a tissue of artificially generated illusions that serve not so much to...

The Handcuffing of Joe Biden

September 17, 2021

The far right would like to impeach Joe Biden, kick him out of the White House, perhaps even throw him in jail. “Lock him up” has been a predictable chant at Trump rallies going back to before the 2020 election. Even Republicans in Congress have joined this chorus. Bipartisanship? As...

The Roots of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

September 16, 2021

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has waxed and waned for several decades. The roots of it stem far beyond the most recent clashes in May that once again brought death and disaster to the region. The question arises: How far back do we look for an explanation of the current violence? Do we start...

For 20 Years in Afghanistan, Ignorance Was Bliss

September 16, 2021

The war in Afghanistan is over, but the commentary on what it was all about and where it leaves us is just beginning. The events that have unfolded over the past few weeks have predictably generated a plethora of credible and less credible theses that continue to appear in every serious...

General Petraeus and the Question of Torture

September 15, 2021

The end of the US engagement in Afghanistan has produced a moment of reckoning for the nation. Everything to do with that war will inevitably be reviewed by commentators. Its origins in the 9/11 attacks of 2001 are already the focus of everyone’s attention. So is its crucial role as the intended...

The 9/11 Boomerang Comes Back to America

September 13, 2021

The violent attack on the US Capitol that defiled the very foundations of “the beacon of democracy” not only violently jolted the American psyche but astonished the world. While many scratched their heads and asked why this was happening, many others pointed to Donald Trump as being culpable...

The War on Terror Drove Iraq Into Iran’s Orbit

September 13, 2021

After al-Qaeda targeted the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, then-US President George W. Bush declared his (in)famous doctrine of the global war on terror, which will continue to have a great effect on the Middle East and the world for the coming decades, if not...

Will the US Wake Up From Its Post-9/11 Nightmare?

September 10, 2021

Looking back on it now, the 1990s were an age of innocence for America. The Cold War was over and our leaders promised us a “peace dividend.” There was no TSA — the Transportation Security Administration — to make us take off our shoes at airports (how many bombs have they found in those...

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