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

Featured Profiles

Frank Gaffney

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Frank Gaffney, the Islamophobic ideologue who heads the neoconservative Center for Security Policy, is one of a host of right-wing hawks who are serving as foreign policy advisers to Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign. Gaffney received widespread public attention after the deadly attack in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015 when Donald Trump’s cited a widely criticized CSP poll in demanding “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

 

Ilan Berman

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Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, is a frequent commentator on U.S. Iran policy who is known for making exaggerated claims about Iran and other Middle East countries. Berman characterized the historic 2015 Iran nuclear deal “as nothing less than a Marshall Plan for the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.”

Randall Fort

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Randall Fort, assistant secretary for intelligence and research in the State Department during President George W. Bush’s second term, helped direct State’s in-house intelligence unit, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). After leaving State in 2009, Fort joined the Raytheon Corporation, a major defense contractor, as a director of programs security.

Robert Kagan

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Robert Kagan, a key neoconservative figure behind groups like the Project of the New American Century, is concerned about the rise of Donald Trump, whom he calls “the most successful demagogue-charlatan in the history of U.S. politics.” Blaming the Republican Party for the creation of Trump and the emergence of other candidates like Sen. Ted Cruz, Kagan recently wrote that his “only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton.”

 

Andrew C. McCarthy

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Andrew McCarthy is a former federal prosecutor who is known for his extreme anti-Islamic views and wild conspiracy theories. He has argued that President Obama is a “bridge figure between the Left and the Islamists” and that it is the nature of Islam to radicalize its adherents. He has also long held that Iran had a role in the 9/11 attacks.

Jim Talent

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Former Senator Jim Talent is a stalwart advocate of Pentagon spending, war in the Middle East, and one-sided U.S. support for Israel, all of which explains why he was tapped by the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute to serve as a fellow. A foreign policy adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, Talent says he would have voted for the Iraq War even if he had known the Bush administration’s claims about WMDs were false. He also says that Donald Trump is wrong for urging Washington to be a “neutral broker” in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Michael Ledeen

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Michael Ledeen is a long-standing neoconservative activist based at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. An adviser to the Ted Cruz presidential campaign, Ledeen is also part of the campaign’s “Jewish leadership coalition.” He claims that the United States faces a new “Axis of Evil,” which he says is comprised of the usual suspects Iran and North Korea, as well as “Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and other countries, and terrorist groups including al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and the Islamic State.” He says that there is “no escape” from war with this axis.

 

 

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A recent “open-letter” to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and signed by a diverse group of U.S. foreign policy figures highlights neoconservative efforts to gain respectability within the foreign-policy establishment by persuading prominent experts to sign on to letters they circulate around Washington on specific issues of concern to them.


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