All posts by Richard M. Pious

Richard M. Pious, professor of political science and Adolph S. and Effie Ochs Chair in History and American Studies, taught at Columbia College from 1968 through 1972, and joined the Barnard faculty in 1973. He also taught at York University, Toronto. Professor Pious's teaching includes courses on American politics, constitutional and public law, and political decision making. Professor Pious has written widely on American politics and the American presidency. He is the author of several books, including The American Presidency; The President, Congress, and the Constitution; and The War on Terrorism and the Rule of Law. His articles have appeared in the Wisconsin Law Review, the Journal of International Affairs, the Journal of Armed Forces and Society, Political Science Quarterly, and Presidential Studies Quarterly. He has written several books for young audiences, including The Young Oxford Companion to the Presidency of the United States. He is the editor of a ten-volume series of classic editions in public, comparative, and international law. Professor Pious's research in comparative and international politics includes work on Quebec and Canadian politics, the transitions from communist to post-communist politics, and Taiwanese-American relations. He writes research reports for Oxford Analytica, a newsletter for corporate executives and government officials around the world. Professor Pious has been an adviser to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Mission to the United Nations, and he regularly consults for the Foreign Ministry of Japan. His media appearances include many foreign radio and television broadcasts, and public service videos promoting voter turnout on MTV. He has been a commentator on Voice of America.

White House Decisionmaking Involving Paramilitary Forces

The standard framework for understanding presidential decision making in projecting American power and influence into other countries is to assume that the Administration develops diplomatic, military or covert options which the President then assigns to State, Defense or the CIA (sometimes in combination). This framework is incomplete, because diplomacy is carried on not only by officers of the United States but also by an “invisible presidency” of informal emissaries. Military operations are conducted not only by members of the U.S. Armed Forces – whether conventional or special operations forces – but also by others with arms (paramilitaries) with whom American armed forces or intelligence agents propose to have (or already have) a formal or informal working arrangement. Covert operations are supplied, financed and conducted not only by the CIA (and recently the Pentagon), but also by private organizations with ties to the government, such as in the Iran-Contra Affair, when arms dealers were granted extraordinary access to intelligence resources and stocks of military weapons.