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

From the Wires


Report Shows New Neocon Angle on Iran

A new report published by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) purports to show the reach and scope of Iranian influence across the Middle East…


Pentagon Brass Fear Iraq Troop Strain

As the man responsible for the health and strength of the U.S. military, Pentagon chief Robert Gates is increasingly finding himself between the devil and the deep…


Islam “Expert” Axed

Neoconservative hawks recently suffered another loss in the Bush administration when Stephen Coughlin, a controversial government expert on jihad, lost his post…


Trapping the Next Administration in Iraq

As President George W. Bush seeks to deeply entrench U.S. military forces in Iraq, the Congress and foreign policy pundits are looking beyond his…


When Did He Know?

White House officials have now admitted that George W. Bush was told that the intelligence assessment on a covert Iranian nuclear…


Détente with Damascus?

When the George W. Bush administration asked Damascus to attend last month’s Annapolis conference, Imad Moustapha, the Syrian…


Whose Disinformation?

The reported White House resistance to the conclusion of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that Iran had abandoned a nuclear…


NIE Aftermath

A little over a week after a U.S. intelligence report concluded that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, the…


The NIE Bombshell

Despite the White House spin that the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) supports its policy of increasing pressure on Iran, the…


Annapolis: Aimed at Iran?

It was initially billed as a "peace conference" to decisively address the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. But as President…


Not “What,” Just “Who”

What do the current Pakistani political crisis, Israel’s September air strike against Syria, and Iran’s continued pursuit of…


The Reality of the Raid

Until late October 2007, the accepted explanation about the September 6 Israeli airstrike in Syria, constructed in a series of press…


Attacking Annapolis

Despite near-universal skepticism about the prospects for launching a serious, new Middle East peace process at this week’s…


A New “Arc of Crisis”?

Just as the White House claims that it has finally turned the corner in what it defines as the "central front" in the war on…


Stifling Dissent

A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran has been held up for more than a year in an effort to force the intelligence community…


Distant Diplomacy

L. Bruce Laingen was working as a senior U.S. Foreign Service officer in Tehran in 1979 when student protestors, caught up in the…


The Warpath to Regime Change

Vice President Dick Cheney and his neoconservative allies in the George W. Bush administration only began agitating for the use of…


Whose EFPs?

When the U.S. military command accused the Iranian Quds Force last January of providing the armor-piercing explosively formed…


Islamofascist What?

Right-wing pundit David Horowitz was in rare form during a tightly controlled "public speech" at the George Washington…


Forgetting the Carrot

Last Thursday, the heads of the U.S. State and Treasury Departments jointly announced new sanctions aimed at the further economic…


Bracing the Brass on Iran

The George W. Bush administration’s shift from the military option of a massive strategic attack against Iran to a surgical strike…


White House Sharpens Its Words

The vice president gives a hostile assessment of Iran and the president links World War III to a nuclear Iran, while the secretary of…


Hillary’s “Soft Power”

In her most comprehensive—if characteristically cautious—foreign policy pronouncement to date, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton…


Genocide Politics

The George W. Bush administration has gone on the offensive against a non-binding House resolution recognizing as "genocide"…


Misinterpreting the Militias

Despite the U.S. military command’s frequent assertions that the primary threat to U.S. forces in Iraq comes from Iranian…


Soft Partition Or Hard Politics?

With a strong majority of U.S. citizens favoring withdrawal from Iraq within a year and presidential elections set for 2008, Democrats…


Condoning Torture?

Senate Democrats plan to closely question Michael Mukasey, the nominee for the next U.S. attorney general, about his views on torture…


Ahmadinejad as Hitler

He called for more "research" into the unequivocal facts of the Holocaust, said Iranian women were among the freest in the…


Disappearing Diplomacy

Amid growing speculation about prospects for U.S. military action against Iran, neoconservatives and other hawks won a…


Few Hearts or Minds for Bush Strategy

The George W. Bush administration is badly losing the so-called "war of ideas" in the Middle East, suggested a group of…


“Escalation Dominance”

The George W. Bush administration recently concluded that the increase in rocket attacks on coalition targets by Shiite forces over…


Targeting Syria

Nearly three weeks have passed since Israeli warplanes conducted a mysterious raid against an as yet unidentified target in northeast…


Diminished Religious Freedom in Iraq

Despite the addition of 30,000 U.S. troops to enhance security in Iraq, the freedom of average Iraqis to practice religion…


Who Killed Abu Risha?

In what was at least a symbolic blow to President George W. Bush, a prominent Iraqi tribal sheikh and self-styled leader of the "Sunni…


Pushing the Surge

In anticipation of U.S. Gen. David Petraeus’ final report on Iraq, supporters of the troop surge have been busily trying to set…


Surge Expansion?

On the same day that Gen. David Petraeus delivered to Congress his much anticipated progress report on the U.S. military’s…


Iraq: Feuding over Benchmarks

As the U.S. Congress prepares for a critical September assessment of progress in Iraq, a draft of an upcoming report by Congress’s nonpartisan…


A Different Tack

Israeli officials warned the George W. Bush administration that an invasion of Iraq would be destabilizing to the region and urged the United States…


The So-Called War Critics

September 15, 2007 is the deadline for the George W. Bush administration to submit a report to Congress defending its Iraq "surge…


Iran: The Terrorist Tag

The White House’s decision last week to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization could deal a double blow to…


Iraq War: Teaming Up with Insurgents

In hailing what he has called an "almost breathtaking" turnaround in Anbar Province that has weakened al-Qaida as a triumph for his new…


Reexamining the Middle East

The last few years have produced an enormous trove of literature about conflict and violence in the Middle East, no doubt because there appears to be…


U.S. Arms Trade: Maximizing Profits in the Middle East

When the United States sells state-of-the-art weapons systems to Arab nations, it invariably provides even more lethal and sophisticated arms to its…


An Unwitting War Machine?

A shocking thing happens midway through Norman Solomon’s documentary film War Made Easy. . While analyzing the George W. Bush…


Base Politics

A bill that would ban permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives last Wednesday. . But…


“This Is Our Munich”?

Last Thursday afternoon, in a tightly packed press room of the U.S. Capitol building, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi stood at the podium and smiled heartily…


Bombs Away?

At the end of June, a few members of Congress made a discreet move to limit U.S. exports of cluster bombs, which have been used around the world…


Sowing Division or Making Peace?

President George W. Bush’s major policy address on July 16, promoting a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, has been greeted with…


The Bush Breakdown

There may have been moments during their summit at his family’s compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, when President George W. Bush looked with envy…


Whose Arms, Whose Agenda?

In a development that underlines the tensions between the anti-Iran agenda of the George W. Bush administration and the preoccupation of its military…


The Media War

As the George W. Bush administration struggles through its last two years in office, it appears that the agenda of neoconservative ideologues has…


Blowback, from Palestine to Pakistan

Four years after the emergence of the first signs of a serious insurgency in Iraq, President George W. Bush finds himself beset with major crises…


The Let’s-Bomb-Iran Crowd Mobilizes

Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s (I-CT) recent call for air-strikes against Iran appears to be the culmination of a two-week-long campaign by proponents…


The Al-Qaida Gambit?

Following revelations of a George W. Bush administration policy to hold Iran responsible for any al-Qaida attack on the United States that could be…


Blame It on the Management

Outgoing World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, who announced his resignation in mid-May (which will go into effect June 30), may insist that his staff…


Heads in the Sand

Two major studies by the U.S. intelligence community—distributed to senior officials in every relevant agency two months before the U.S….


Creating "Proxy Armies"?

Newly proposed legislation would expand existing Pentagon security and military aid programs in Iraq and Afghanistan to "coalition…


Mugged by Reality?

With just over 18 months left in office, the administration of President George W. Bush appears once again to be moving in a more "realist"…


Resolving Israeli-Syrian Tensions

Israel should take advantage of the opportunity to renew peace negotiations with Syria while there is a real chance of success, or risk further…


Wolfowitz’s Quid Pro Quo?

Of the top five outside international appointments made by embattled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz during his nearly two-year tenure, three…


Elliott Abrams’ Repeat Performance

It has an all too familiar ring to it. A crisis area—in this case, the Middle East—finds itself in desperate need of a peace process…


The Bluster Offensive

When the George W. Bush administration launched a high-profile campaign in January and February accusing Iran of exporting armor-piercing bombs to…


Reading on the Right

Recent efforts to initiate dialogue with Iran and North Korea may give the impression that the Bush administration is gradually easing away from the…


Dueling for Leverage

As the dispute over Iran’s seizure of British sailors continues to twist and turn, what may have been an isolated incident at the outset is…


A Real Realist Takeover

It was just nine months ago that Newsweek spoke for the conventional wisdom at that moment when it pronounced "The End of Cowboy…


Leveraging the Surge

Two weeks ago, Pentagon officials allegedly discussed a strategy to escalate U.S. pressure on Iran with the intention of creating the impression that…


Rice Picks Promoter of Iraq War as Counselor

In a move that has surprised many foreign policy analysts, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has appointed a prominent neoconservative hawk and…


A “New Diplomatic Offensive”?

Two weeks after making major concessions for a nuclear accord with North Korea, the administration of President George W. Bush said last week it was…


A Tale of Two Interventions

For several weeks, Washington has been abuzz with rumors that President George W. Bush is preparing to attack nuclear and other sites in Iran this…


The Mideast Opinion Gap

U.S. and Israeli hopes of forging a Sunni Arab alliance to contain Iran and its regional allies may be misplaced, at least at the popular level,…


Haunting Mistakes in Iraq

The supreme irony of President George W. Bush’s campaign to blame Iran for the sectarian civil war in Iraq, as well as attacks on U.S. forces, is…


Grim Assessments

A long-awaited study by the U.S. intelligence community released last Friday concludes that there is little, if any, light at the end of the tunnel…


The Money Behind the “Surge”

While an in increasing number of Democratic and Republican legislators oppose the Bush administration’s plan to “surge” the number of…


Afghanistan: Upping the Ante

While most national and international observers focus their attention on plans by the Bush administration to increase the number of U.S. troops in…


Iraq: Who’s the Enemy?

Two incidents involving U.S. forces in the predominantly Shia southern Iraq over the past week appear to demonstrate the growing complexities and…


A Mideast Feast

The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) may have effectively closed up shop two years ago, and its key neoconservative allies in the…


Somalia: A Recipe for Regional War?

When former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan criticized the U.S. military invasion of Iraq as an “illegal” act, neoconservatives in the United…


Raising the Rhetoric on Iran

Even before Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Afghanistan this week and issued harsh words about Iranian activities in the Middle East,…


The Hawks’ Hawk

In putting together his long-awaited new strategy on Iraq, President George W. Bush relied heavily on the counsel of J.D. Crouch II, perhaps the most…


If Only Israel Had Won?

Neoconservative hawks inside and outside the administration of President George W. Bush had hoped that Israel would attack Syria during the conflict…


A Lose-Lose Situation with Iran

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been touring the Middle East with a clear message: To make peace in the Middle East, Iran must be isolated. ….


ISG Report Finds Few Friends

The highly touted and long-awaited final report of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group (ISG) appears headed toward an uncertain future, with hawks and…


Failing on Iran

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s months-long diplomatic effort to get five other powers to agree to a tough UN Security Council resolution…


Changing of the Guard

The abrupt replacement of Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld by former Central Intelligence Agency Director Robert Gates, combined with the Democratic…


The Damascus Dance

While U.S. President George W. Bush appeared last week to reject suggestions that Washington directly engage the government of Syrian President…


In Search of “Plan B”

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has endured recent speculation about how long his tenure in office will last, but it may be U.S. President…


The Baker Solution?

For the many foreign policy experts who have reached an advanced state of despair over the ever-plunging image and influence of the United States…


Neocons: Regime Change or Bust

Encouraging Japan to build nuclear weapons, shipping food aid via submarines, and running secret sabotage operations inside North Korea’s borders…


North Korea—Beyond the Point of No Return?

In its initial reaction to North Korea’s apparent nuclear test, the Bush administration indicated it would seek the strongest possible sanctions…


Scrapping the Geneva Conventions

In enacting new legislation last week governing the treatment and trial of suspects in Washington’s “global war on terror,” Congress has…


Don’t Ignore the Experts

The Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) recently retired top expert on radical Islamists has strongly denounced the conduct of U.S. President…


Gingrich on the Campaign Trail?

Nearly two years before the 2008 presidential election, Newt Gingrich, the former Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, is trying…


Iran: No Guarantees

Before Iran gave its formal counteroffer on August 22 to ambassadors of the six countries trying to negotiate with Tehran on its nuclear enrichment…


An Intel Air Ball

On August 23, the Republican-chaired House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a report suggesting that Iran might acquire nuclear…


The Hezbollah Maneuver

[Editor’s Note: On August 14, 2006, the New Yorker posted on its website “Watching Lebanon” by Seymour Hersh, in which Hersh interviewed…


Crisis Point?

By the end of the 35-day Israel-Hezbollah conflict in southern Lebanon, the atmosphere in Washington had become stifling as political alarm bells…


Lieberman’s Loss: What It Means

Sen. Joe Lieberman’s August 8 defeat in Connecticut’s Democratic primary by a little-known anti-war candidate marks a major setback to…


The Syria Option

A notion is gradually taking hold among some U.S. hardliners that is bound to make the Bush administration acutely uncomfortable. The idea? That…


The Iranian Specter

There is a growing consensus among the U.S. foreign policy elite that the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict is the result of a broader Iranian offensive…


Neocon Redux: Blame Iran, Back Israel

Israel’s military offensives in Gaza and Lebanon have reenergized the neoconservatives, who see an opportunity to regain influence lost as a…


Bush’s Choice: Escalation or Restraint?

The sudden opening on July 12 by Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia of a second front in Israel’s ongoing campaign against Hamas militants in Gaza…


The Demogogue Neocons Love to Hate

“Let us state the obvious,” wrote Reuel Marc Gerecht, the resident Gulf specialist at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute in…


Foreign Policy Aftermath of Katrina

It was Jim Hoagland, the Washington’s Post’s liberal hawk par excellence, who first pondered the possible foreign policy consequences…


Anti-Islamic Crusade Gets Organized

Daniel Pipes, the founder of the Middle East Forum and an anti-Islamist activist, is working to organize a new policy institute, which will be called the…


US right weaves tangled but effective web

WASHINGTON – While most of the world is still trying to come to terms with the neo-imperial ambitions of the post-September 11 Bush administration,…

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Featured Profiles

Rudolph Giuliani is a lawyer and Republican politician who was mayor of New York City from 1994-2001. A foreign policy hawk and vocal supporter of Donald Trump, Giuliani recently joined Trump’s legal team to add pressure on the special council to wrap up the investigation into alleged collusion with Russia in U.S. elections.


Bernard Marcus, the billionaire co-founder of The Home Depot, is a major funder of neoconservative, anti-Iran and pro-Likud causes and public figures.


David Makovsky, a fellow at the “pro-Israel” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, has been hawk on Iran, but largely quiet since Trump took office.


Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is an important financial backer of conservative politicians and right-wing “pro-Israel” groups. Although at one time a Donald Trump skeptic, Adelson has seen his investment in Trump pay off as the president has made highly controversial moves on two issues that are priorities for Adelson, withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.


Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is an outspoken promoter of aggressive U.S. foreign policies whose comments often combine right-wing Republican populism and neoconservativism.


I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a key neoconservative figure and former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted as part of the investigation into the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s and later pardoned by Donald Trump.


Since taking office Donald Trump has revealed an extremely hawkish approach to U.S. foreign affairs, which has been marked by controversial actions like dropping out of the Iran nuclear agreement that have raised tensions across much of the world and threatened relations with key allies.


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From the Wires

The US is suffering from the delusions of a hegemonic power that can no longer impose its will on other nations yet refuses to acknowledge the new reality. It has now manufactured another unnecessary, destructive, and imprudent crisis with Iran, which is bound to bring a future clash between US and Iran to the detriment of world peace.


Significant numbers of military combat operations across the globe are being outsourced to the private sector with little accountability, including in Syria where both Russia and the United States have put contractors to war.


Among the many disturbing images from the ceremony redesignating a U.S. consulate building in Jerusalem as the new U.S. embassy was the participation of two bigoted American preachers, Robert Jeffress and John Hagee, which reveals just how far removed the issue has become from any presumed effort to provide succor or shelter to a historically persecuted religious minority. Only dogma and raw power remain.


The costs of America’s “war on terror,” still spreading in the Trump era, are incalculable. Just look at photos of the cities of Ramadi or Mosul in Iraq, Raqqa or Aleppo in Syria, Sirte in Libya, or Marawi in the southern Philippines, all in ruins in the wake of the conflicts Washington set off in the post–9/11 years, and try to put a price on them. That number is not included in the $5.6 trillion that the “Costs of War Project” at Brown University’s Watson Institute estimates has been spent since September 12, 2001.


President Trump is a very powerful boat with no rudder. Unfortunately, John Bolton is now his rudder. Which effectively means, when it comes to foreign policy, that it’s Bolton’s administration now.


Given the chaotic policymaking process in the White House, Iran policy will likely be implemented in an ad hoc fashion subject to the interplay between President Trump’s continued incoherence and a drive toward confrontation pushed primarily by John Bolton.


Donald Trump and the GOP are deeply indebted to anti-Iran deal billionaires who aren’t afraid to advocate for policies that push the country closer to another war in the Middle East.


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