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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Featured Profiles:

James Mattis

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In the lead up to hearings over Gen. James Mattis’ nomination to head the Pentagon, a host of neoconservative figures have spoken out on behalf of the controversial retired general. Trump critic Eliot Cohen, professor at the School of Advanced International Studies and longtime proponent of overseas military intervention, says that Mattis “would be a stabilizing and moderating force, preventing wildly stupid, dangerous and illegal things.” However, in contrast to most neocons, Mattis appears committed to honoring the Iran nuclear deal, which he reaffirmed during his nomination hearings.

Rudy Giuliani

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Overlooked for a cabinet post, Rudy Giuliani has been appointed to advise Donald Trump on cybersecurity matters. During the 2016 election campaign, Giuliani often justified many of Trump’s more wild campaign talking points in media interviews, including agreeing with Trump that President Obama “founded ISIS.”

 

 

 

Michael Flynn

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Trump’s National Security Adviser is facing intense scrutiny for promoting conspiracy theories and fake news items, his consistent attacks on Islam, and–most recently–his cosy relations with Russia. His positions on Russia have come under scrutiny in the wake recent U.S. intelligence reports on Russian hacking, which have presented “an especially awkward development for Mr. Flynn by indirectly casting a harsh spotlight on his relationship” with the RT Russian English-language news organization, characterized by intelligence agencies as “the Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet.”

 

Rick Perry

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Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas who was chosen by Donald Trump to head the Energy Department, once argued the department should be eliminated. Observers have expressed concern over Perry’s refusal to accept the scientific consensus on the importance of reducing carbon emissions to slow the impact of human-induced climate change. On foreign policy, Perry has defended the use of torture, said that that he would back out of the Iran agreement, and ridiculed detente with Cuba.

 

Elaine Chao

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Elaine Chao, Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of transportation, previously served as secretary of labor under George W. Bush administration, where she gained notoriety for citing Bush’s “war on terror” rhetoric as a rationale for pressing conservative policy on labor. A longtime associate of the Heritage Foundation, Chao has most recently worked as a distinguished fellow at the neoconservative Hudson Institute.

 

Mike Pompeo

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Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) is a “tea party” Republican nominated by Donald Trump to be director of the CIA. A vocal Iran critic, Pompeo has called for preemptive bombing of Iranian nuclear sites, introduced legislation that would block U.S. collaboration in the Iran nuclear deal, requested a visa from Iran to “monitor” its elections, and joined neoconservative congressional figures like Sen. Tom Cotton in misleadingly claiming that there were “secret side deals” that the Obama administration kept from the public to get the Iran deal through.

James Woolsey

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Unlike other neoconservative activists who staunchly opposed Donald Trump, former CIA director James Woolsey early on decided to join forces with the real estate mogul, claiming that Trump knew what he was doing with Putin and would reverse “harmful defense budget cuts.” However, Woolsey has now announced that he is no longer part of the transition team, reportedly because of his exclusion from policy discussions and alarm over Trump’s ideas for revamping the country’s intelligence services

 

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From the Wires

Not only is Monica Crowley, Donald Trump’s pick to head communications for the National Security Council, the subject of a wide-ranging plagiarism scandal, she pushed fringe conspiracy theories about “Islamist infiltration in the U.S.”


From a territorial perspective the Security Council resolution 2334, stating that Israel′s settlement activity constitutes a “flagrant violation” of international law, represents an escalation in the way the international community relates to Israel’s borders and its settlements in the West Bank.


On Oct. 27, 2016, the UN adopted a resolution to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapon. Two weeks later the US elected Donald Trump, who subsequently argued that the US must “greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability.”


As Trump supporters gear up for a fight to weaken or destroy the Iran nuclear deal, a new poll has found that nearly two-thirds of the U.S. public opposes withdrawing from the agreement.


For all of its faults, the Obama administration was acutely aware of the limits to the use of American military force, whether it was struggling with terrorist organizations or contemplating the impact the use of force would have on achieving U.S. national security objectives.


A senior Israeli government minister has announced that he will introduce legislation to effectively annex Israel’s third-largest settlement, part of a plan to incrementally annex parts of the West Bank .


A group of 37 American scientists–including Nobel laureates, nuclear specialists, and former White House advisers–has sent an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump in support of the Iran nuclear deal.


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