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

Blackwater and Erik Prince; Plus Profiles of Regnery Publishing, John Lehman, and Paul Wolfowitz

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Blackwater: The Real “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy”?
By Ali Gharib

Businessmen with ties to the GOP and right-wing ideologies and pedigrees are not uncommon. What makes Erik Prince special is the confluence of his core beliefs—militarism, right-wing Christianity, and privatization—in his controversial mercenary business, Blackwater Worldwide. At the center of a heated scandal over abuses committed by private military contractors in Iraq and elsewhere, Blackwater has begun to expand its business into intelligence gathering and a host of other security-related services. Its success is helping fill the coffers of some of the country’s most influential conservative political figures and prompting some observers to call it the “future of war.” Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Regnery Publishing
A conservative publishing house that has been an important disseminator of pro-“war on terror” materials and played a key role in attacking John Kerry as "unfit for command" is now preparing to give the same treatment to Barack Obama.

John Lehman
A former member of the 9/11 Commission and secretary of the Navy, Lehman is a prominent surrogate for the McCain campaign on defense issues.

Paul Wolfowitz
The former deputy secretary of defense and former World Bank president is the new chair of a U.S.-Taiwan business consortium.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Unrest Resurfaces in Fallujah
By Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail

Local militias and police in Iraq are losing popularity—as the U.S. forces did long ago. Read full story.

The Shadow of the U.S. Footprint
By Khody Akhavi

A new book of essays from blogger Tom Engelhardt serves as an effective rebuttal to neoconservative arguments for unilateral action. Read full story.

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Featured Profiles

The Foreign Policy Initiative, founded in 2009 by a host of neoconservative figures, was a leading advocate for a militaristic and Israel-centric U.S. foreign policies.


Billionaire investor Paul Singer is the founder and CEO of the Elliott Management Corporation and an important funder of neoconservative causes.


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and close ties to prominent neoconservatives.


Ron Dermer is the Israeli ambassador to the United States and a close confidante of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Blackwater Worldwide founder Erik Prince is notorious for his efforts to expand the use of private military contractors in conflict zones.


U.S. Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis is a retired U.S Marine Corps general and combat veteran who served as commander of U.S. Central Command during 2010-2013 before being removed by the Obama administration reportedly because of differences over Iran policy.


Mark Dubowitz, an oft-quoted Iran hawk, is the executive director of the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies.


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From the Wires

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The time has come for a new set of partnerships to be contemplated between the United States and Middle East states – including Iran – and between regimes and their peoples, based on a bold and inclusive social contract.


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Erik Prince is back. He’s not only pitching colonial capitalism in DC. He’s huckstering ex-SF-led armies of sepoys to wrest Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and perhaps, if he is ever able to influence likeminded hawks in the Trump administration, even Iran back from the infidels.


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Encouraged by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement late last month that Washington favors “peaceful” regime change in Iran, neoconservatives appear to be trying to influence the internal debate by arguing that this is Trump’s opportunity to be Ronald Reagan.


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When asked about “confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing in world affairs,” 22 percent of those surveyed as part of a recent Pew Research Center global poll expressed confidence in Donald Trump and 74 percent expressed no confidence.


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A much-awaited new State Department volume covering the period 1951 to 1954 does not reveal much new about the actual overthrow of Mohammad Mossadeq but it does provide a vast amount of information on US involvement in Iran.


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As debate continues around the Trump administration’s arms sales and defense spending, am new book suggests several ways to improve security and reduce corruption, for instance by increasing transparency on defense strategies, including “how expenditures on systems and programs align with the threats to national security.”


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Lobelog We walked in a single file. Not because it was tactically sound. It wasn’t — at least according to standard infantry doctrine. Patrolling southern Afghanistan in column formation limited maneuverability, made it difficult to mass fire, and exposed us to enfilading machine-gun bursts. Still, in 2011, in the Pashmul District of Kandahar Province, single…


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