Research

Commentary

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Why Haven’t We Defeated al-Shabaab?

by Diana Ohlbaum

LobeLog, Jan-30-2017 | Article

“We’ve been fighting al-Shabaab for a decade, why haven’t we won?” the Trump transition team asked the State Department. To foreign policy professionals, such questions may sound naïve and uninformed. They may reflect “an overwhelmingly negative and disparaging outlook” on Africa, as one expert characterized them, and extreme skepticism about the value of foreign aid. But rather than debating the motives of those asking the questions, the national security establishment ought to seize the opportunity to reexamine some long-standing assumptions... Read More »

“Wag the Dog,” Revisited

by Melvin A. Goodman

Counter Punch, Feb-20-2017 | Article

Twenty years ago, Hollywood produced a black comedy, “Wag the Dog,” that involved a sex scandal in the White House less than two weeks before the election. A spin doctor is brought in to distract the public from the scandal by constructing a diversionary war with Albania. When the CIA learns of the plot, it sends an agent to confront the spin doctor, who convinces the agency that revealing the deception would be against the best interests of the United States... Read More »

Flynn, Russia and the World of Conspiracy Thinking

by Melvin A. Goodman

Counter Punch, Feb-15-2017 | Article

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has a well deserved reputation for conspiracy thinking. Presumably he will assume that the U.S. intelligence community, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the former director of National Intelligence, conducted a campaign to force his removal from the Trump administration. Ironically, the Kremlin, which has lived historically in a world of conspiracy thinking, will view the ouster of Flynn as part of a campaign by the U.S. establishment to prevent any improvement in Russian-American relations... Read More »

Trump vs. the CIA

by Melvin A. Goodman

Counter Punch, Feb-10-2017 | Article

The unanimous rejection of the Trump administration’s efforts to reinstate the ban on travel from seven Muslim countries will lead to the first test between this White House and the intelligence community, particularly the CIA. The three-judge panel indicated that the travel ban did not bolster national security in the United States and that there was “no evidence” that anyone from the seven countries had committed terrorism in the United States. Former intelligence tsar James Clapper has stated that there is no intelligence to justify such a ban. However, the appeals court acknowledged that the president was owed deference on immigration and national security issues, which will compel the White House to tailor intelligence to document a threat... Read More »

America Has Too Many Military Bases

by William D. Hartung

The National Interest, Feb-06-2017 | Article

Members of Congress have a hard time agreeing on virtually anything, and they’re already butting heads with the new president. But one issue should unite them: a new initiative to shrink the Pentagon’s massive overhead... Read More »

Sojourner Truth Radio: February 3, 2017 – Weekly Roundtable

by Laura Carlsen

Sojourner Truth Radio, Feb-03-2017 | Video

On our weekly roundtable: the ban, the wall, the threats towards Iran, the Supreme Court pick, white nationalism in the White House, and "alternative facts." Two chaotic weeks into Trump's presidency, we break down the congressional, national and global reaction to the president's recent actions. Our panelists are Jackie Goldberg, Dr. Gerald Horne and Laura Carlsen. Barbara Arnwine, Civil Rights Movement veteran and human rights leader, also joins us to break down the judicial record of Neil Gorsuch and his potential impact on communities of color... Read More »

Borderline Personality: Trump’s Threats Against Mexico

by Laura Carlsen

Counter Punch, Feb-03-2017 | Article

Last week Donald Trump torpedoed the U.S.-Mexico relationship, forcing President Enrique Peña Nieto to cancel their meeting. Speculation buzzed as to the reasons behind his acts to sabotage cooperation with one of the U.S.’s closest allies and third-largest trade partner... Read More »

Return of the Torturers: Back to the Crime Scenes of the Past

by Melvin A. Goodman

CounterPunch, Feb-03-2017 | Article

The Trump administration has signaled that it is willing to return to the heinous crimes of the past two decades, including torture and abuse, secret prisons, and extraordinary renditions. The appointment of Gina Haspel as the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency clearly indicates that the use of torture, including the use of waterboarding, which has been endorsed by the President, the national security advisor, and the CIA director, could once again be a major part of the U.S. campaign against international terrorism... Read More »

Return of the Torturers: Back to the Crime Scenes of the Past

by Melvin A. Goodman

Counter Punch, Feb-03-2017 | Article

The Trump administration has signaled that it is willing to return to the heinous crimes of the past two decades, including torture and abuse, secret prisons, and extraordinary renditions. The appointment of Gina Haspel as the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency clearly indicates that the use of torture, including the use of waterboarding, which has been endorsed by the President, the national security advisor, and the CIA director, could once again be a major part of the U.S. campaign against international terrorism... Read More »

Tomgram: William Hartung, Investing in the Military (and Little Else)

by William D. Hartung

TomDispatch, Feb-02-2017 | Article

Last Friday, Donald Trump made his first visit to the Pentagon where he spoke of signing an order to begin “a great rebuilding of the armed services of the United States,” something he’s been advocating for quite a while. As TomDispatch regular Bill Hartung indicates today, this will mean a massive surge in federal dollars pouring into the abyss of the Pentagon, which has shown itself quite capable of absorbing such moneys in the past and seems to lack the slightest ability to account for what’s done with them. (The Pentagon has never even managed to pass an audit.) We already know that this will mean more troops, more ships, more planes, and as a draft executive order for the new president put it, “a desire to invest in a host of military capabilities, including Special Operations forces and nuclear weapons.”... Read More »

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CIP in the Press
  • Trump ready to approve weapons packages to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain that Obama blocked

    William D. Hartung quoted

    Bhatkallys.com, 02-08-17

    The Trump administration is poised to move quickly to approve major weapons packages for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain that President Obama blocked during his final months in office over human rights concerns in both nations, U.S. officials and congressional sources say...Read More »

  • Ex-Diplomat: Congress to Scrutinize Tillerson Efforts to 'Make Deal' With Russia

    Harry Blaney quoted

    Sputnik International, 02-02-17

    On Wednesday, the US Senate in a final vote confirmed Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, as President Donald Trump's secretary of state by a 56 to 43 vote, with Republicans backing the nominee and most Democrats opposing him...Read More »

  • Memorandum

    Bill Goodfellow

    01-31-17

    John Niles, the Center for International Policy’s board chair, has announced that I will be stepping down as executive director. After 42 years, I need a change and I believe CIP will benefit from a leader with new ideas and new energy. With Donald Trump in the White House, we face enormous challenges and we will have to dramatically ramp up our activities to respond to what I believe is the greatest threat to world peace since the end of World War II...Read More »