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William Pfaff

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William Pfaff
William Pfaff

William Pfaff is a globally respected political commentator and author on international relations, contemporary history and U.S. policy. He is...

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USAF / Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon

A War Fought in Ignorance

I have often asked for an explanation of why the United States should be at war with the Taliban. Of the several reasons given, none is satisfactory, and all fail to grasp the fundamental truth that peace is better than war.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


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U.S. Fear, U.S. Folly in Afghanistan

Except for the brief NATO intervention in Kosovo and Serbia, all of the significant U.S. military expeditions since the Cold War have been fought against Asians, and we have lost nearly all of them.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


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America’s Confused Cause in Central Asia

Exactly what do we think we are doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Are we there to liberalize their forms of religious observance, or conduct a war over theology, or establish permanent NATO bases there, or are we searching for Osama bin Laden? It seems that we are doing all of these things at the same time. But why?

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


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Israel’s Lose-Lose Election

Of the possible political combinations that have emerged from the Israeli parliamentary election, none will bring the region closer to peace. Israel will continue to persecute the Palestinians, whose hatred will only grow.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE


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In Washington, Public Policy and Private Wealth Are Hopelessly Tangled

Barack Obama in Washington reminds one of Diogenes in Athens, with his lantern in search of an honest man.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


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America’s ‘Strong Commitment to Error’

John Kenneth Galbraith once warned that U.S. foreign policy suffers from institutional rigidity with a “strong commitment to error.” What better proof than the planned surge in Afghanistan?

Posted on Feb 3, 2009 READ MORE


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America Faces the Music in Davos

The American participants in this year’s World Economic Forum have been the first to confront the full international blowback to the U.S.-created world economic crisis, which has devastated the nation’s reputation for competence, along with the justification for its six-decade role as world leader.

Posted on Feb 1, 2009 READ MORE


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Bio

William Pfaff
William Pfaff

William Pfaff is a globally respected political commentator and author on international relations, contemporary history and U.S. policy. He is published in five countries and his column is syndicated by Tribune Media Services.

Pfaff’s sometimes controversial opinions on international law, long-term U.S. policies and American foreign relations are noted for their deep concern with the influence of history on today’s affairs and their attention to the moral complexities of international politics and action.

Pfaff’s column studies European, Middle Eastern, Asian and American concerns through a prism influenced by the experiences of an American living abroad. He is regularly published in newspapers in Europe, the Middle and Far East, Latin America and the United States.

Pfaff is the author of eight books, including “The Wrath of Nations” (Simon and Schuster, 1993) and “Barbarian Sentiments: America in the New Century” (Hill and Wang, 2000). His latest book is “Fear, Anger and Failure: A Chronicle of the Bush Administration’s War Against Terror from the Attacks of September 11, 2001 to Defeat in Baghdad” (Algora Publishing, 2004). It offers a collection of his columns on the war on terror, from September 11th until December 2003, when the U.S. policy emphasis shifted from Iraq’s reconstruction to American withdrawal. The book has been praised by Russell Baker of The New York Times as “page after page in article after article {Pfaff was writing} what should have been said week after week as Bush’s cheery civilian warriors marched us into the Middle East. Really splendid work.”

Pfaff has contributed many political essays to The New Yorker magazine. In Europe, his articles have appeared in Commentaire (Paris), Lettre Internationale (Berlin), Politique Exterior (Madrid), Europaische Rundschau (Vienna), Moderna Tider (Stockholm), Forum (Munich), Die Zeit (Hamburg). In the United States he is published in the New York Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, World Policy Journal, and The National Interest, among other magazines. Pfaff is the former deputy director of Hudson Research Europe, the European affiliate of the well-known American policy research institute.

Pfaff is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He is based in Paris.

Bio   |   Book Reviews   |   Books   |   Columns