Episode 21,

Mission Creep

Paul R. Pillar, Mark Bowden & Gordon Adams

The dangers of Mission Creep and the ever expanding role of the US military overseas as the Defense Department’s mission grows to cover tasks previously handled by diplomats and other civilians.

As US advisers and aircraft lead the battle to capture Raqa’a, Russian, Iranian and Syrian government forces are also converging on the Capital of the so-called Islamic State and US goals may be shifting. In a “Mission Creep” Edition of Truth Politics and Power, host Neal Conan discusses the complex situation in Syria with former CIA analyst Paul Pillar, talks with author Mark Bowden about “Black Hawk Down, “ the operationthateven a quarter century later continues to define the dangers of Mission Creep and looks at the ever expanding role of the US military overseas, as the Defense Department’s mission grows to cover tasks previously handled by diplomats and other civilians.


Paul R. Pillar spent 28 years at the CIA, including as the National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, which was the last position he held before retiring in 2005. He’s currently a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at Georgetown University. His articles appear frequently in the National Interest magazine.





Mark Bowden is the author of more than a dozen books. His most well-known book is Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, which details the October 1993 Battle of Mogadishu in which 18 American soldiers were killed. His most recent book, Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam, was published in June 2017. Bowden was a reporter and columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer for many years and currently writes for Vanity Fair and the Atlantic.




Gordon Adams is Professor Emeritus at the School of International Service at American University and is an expert on defense and national security. He’s also taught at The George Washington University. From 1993 - ‘97 he served as the senior White House official on national security and foreign policy budgets. He’s the co-editor, with Shoon Murray, of Mission Creep: The Militarization of US Foreign Policy.