Philip Giraldi is the executive director of the Council for the National Interest and a recognized authority on international security and counterterrorism issues. He is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served eighteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was Chief of Base in Barcelona from 1989 to 1992 designated as the Agency’s senior officer for Olympic Games support. Since 1992 he consulted for a number of Fortune 500 corporate clients.
Mr. Giraldi was awarded an MA and PhD from the University of London in European History and holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of Chicago. He speaks Spanish, Italian, German, and Turkish.
His columns on terrorism, intelligence, and security issues regularly appear in The American Conservative magazine, Huffington Post, and antiwar.com. He has written op-ed pieces for the Hearst Newspaper chain, has appeared on “Good Morning America,” MSNBC, National Public Radio, and local affiliates of ABC television. He has been a keynote speaker at the Petroleum Industry Security Council annual meeting, has spoken twice at the American Conservative Union’s annual CPAC convention in Washington, and has addressed several World Affairs Council affiliates. He has been interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the British Broadcasting Corporation, Britain’s Independent Television Network, FOX News, Polish National Television, Croatian National Television, al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya, 60 Minutes, and other international and domestic broadcasters.
The American Conservative - There are plenty of pundits and activists willing to make excuses for Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Some suggest that he is behaving strategically, knowing that he must lock in support from certain GOP constituencies if he is to have any chance of winning the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Others have adopted a wait-and-see attitude, anticipating the Senate vote on the nomination of Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense as a test of how far Paul will go to do what is right rather than what is expedient. Finally there are supporters who follow Rand out of reverence for his father, former congressman Ron Paul, who challenged the political orthodoxy in a number of areas where his son is now mending fences.
AntiWar.com - Sports items do not often appear on Antiwar.com but I think that this year we Americans have an opportunity to show the world just how patriotic we are by combining the world’s greatest sporting event with some serious fun at the expense of our enemies. Since 9/11, there has been a melding of professional athletics with the United States military’s drive to rid the world of evil. The National Football League (NFL) has taken the lead by promising to "unfurl patriotic themes" at games but we all have a responsibility to show those Muslims what a wonderful country we have. And hats off also to a level of technology that beats everyone else’s hands down. Where else could you be watching a sporting event when suddenly the network switches you over via videolink to see the fine young men and women of the 413th Electric Shock Interrogation Brigade sitting down in Abu Ghraib Iraq to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast?
Antiwar - The second administration of President Barack Obama is being seen in some circles as a possible fork in the road. There will be a new national security and foreign policy team in place and it perhaps would not be remiss to describe potential shifts in policy as being dominated by "realists," which used to be the norm in Washington but was last seen during the presidency of the first George Bush. A realistic foreign and defense doctrine does not guarantee against mistakes of the magnitude of Vietnam, but its proponents would ideally proceed cautiously while viewing the world as it is framed by genuine American interests prioritized in light of available resources. All chest thumping about the United States being the only remaining superpower or any description of the president as the leader of the free world should well be considered to be in bad taste. Realists might even avoid interventions based on the humanitarian or idealistic concerns preferred by the Democrats or on the sugarplum visions of total global domination favored by the Republicans.
The American Conservative - A recent op-ed by the New York Times's compassionate conservative David Brooks demonstrates how to load an argument. In "Why Hagel Was Picked" Brooks complains about Americans choosing healthcare over military expenditures, arguing irrelevantly but emotionally that "voters and politicians care more about middle-class seniors than about poor children," a contention he then expands by observing that "as the federal government becomes a health care state" Chuck Hagel will "supervise the beginning of America's military decline." Brooks calls it "choosing welfare over global power."
AntiWar.com - Recently the words "fascism" and "fascist" have been used almost casually in political discourse, most notably in the form of the fusion word "Islamofascism" which seeks to conflate Islam with fascist ideology. The use of "fascism" to describe a political phenomenon is one of those convenient conversation stoppers, intended to evoke memories of the Second World War, of dictatorships and police states in Italy and Germany, and of racial laws and death camps as well as other atrocities.
The American Conservative - If there is one word missing from the United States government’s post-9/11 lexicon it is “accountability.” While perfectly legal though illicit sexual encounters apparently continue to rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors, leading to resignations, no one has been punished for malfeasance, torture, secret prisons, or extraordinary renditions.
Indeed, the Obama administration stated in 2009 that it would not punish CIA torturers because it prefers to “look forward and not back,” a decision not to prosecute that was recently confirmed by Attorney General Eric Holder in two cases involving the deaths of detainees after particularly brutal Agency interrogations. What the White House decision almost certainly means is that the president would prefer to avoid a tussle with the Republicans in congress over national security that would inevitably reveal a great deal of dirty laundry belonging to both parties.
Most Americans would prefer to forget that we are approaching the first anniversary of the expulsion of U.S. military forces from Iraq. The Republican Party, which rallied behind George W. Bush to invade the country and occupy it, has suffered from a short memory relating to that misbegotten war even as it agitates for new and similar military interventions.
AntiWar.com - There has been considerable debate over who “won” the recent fighting in and around Gaza, though the question itself might lack relevancy as both sides have largely returned to the  status quo ante. Hamas has indeed proven itself capable of resisting Israel and has gained the respect of its Arab neighbors while its political opponent Fatah has again looked weak and vacillating.
The American Conservative - Sunday’s Washington Post featured an op-ed by John Prados, described as a “national security expert,” entitled “He slept with her. Who cares?” in the print edition. Who cares indeed — apparently not Prados, who prefers to see a sex scandal surrounding General David Petraeus where the real issue is the pervasive corruption and entitlement mentality of Washington’s military elite. Or does Prados assume that most Americans travel around with a mistress doubling as a hagiographer on the taxpayer’s dime? He describes how the Petraeus/Broadwell affair has “done more to harm national security than the affair itself.” But he does not explain exactly how that is so before leading into a call for the intelligence community “to end the arbitrary and outdated rules that govern US intelligence employees.”
AntiWar.com - Most observers have become wearied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's frequently voiced demands that Iran must be attacked because it is a threat to the entire world. The reality is otherwise, that Iran's theocratic government's security apparatus oppresses mostly its own people and its military lacks the capabilities that would enable it to threaten either Israel or the United States. Israel's government knows that perfectly well and has even conceded that Iran currently has no nuclear weapons program, a viewpoint shared by America's CIA. It also knows that any attempt by its air force and navy to attack Iran would be fraught with peril, quite likely leading to a regional war in which Israel would sustain considerable damage even if it would ultimately prevail due to its superior armaments provided by the United States.
National Summit to Reassess the US-Israel "Special Relationship"
The public is invited to a nonpartisan symposium Nov. 8-9 that will examine the impact of the US-Israel relationship on Americans. Panels will include top military, diplomatic, intelligence, academic, governmental, and economic experts, as well as former Congressional representatives. Read more