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

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Bill Schneider is a former CNN political analyst currently based at Third Way, a Wall Street-linked Democratic think tank.

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The National Interest is a realist-leaning foreign policy magazine founded by Irving Kristol and later taken over by the Nixon Center.

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The Weekly Standard is the flagship journal of neoconservative opinion and activism.

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The Washington Free Beacon is a news site published by the right-wing Center for American Freedom.

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Conservative journalist and diplomat best known for his prediction, made just before the stock market dropped, that the Dow Jones was on the verge of a tremendous upsurge, James Glassman is a former American Enterprise Institute fellow who hosts the TV show Ideas in Action and directs the George W. Bush Institute.

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Andrew Walworth is TV producer who served as executive producer of Ideas in Action, a weekly TV program hosted by James Glassman and produced by the George W. Bush Institute and Grace Creek Media.

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The erstwhile media mogul and conservative writer, Black was recently released from prison—after serving just over two years of his six-year sentence for fraud convictions—as a result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that limited the effect of a federal fraud law.

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The new owner of neocon mouthpiece the Weekly Standard is an Evangelical business tycoon whose media holdings provide a powerful voice for his rightwing views on taxes, national security, and family values.

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Philip Merrill, a minor media mogul and former president of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, was found dead in the Chesapeake Bay in late June 2006, apparently the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot…

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Erik Prince is the former CEO of Blackwater, which critics have called “a modern-day mercenary army.” Prince, who continues to sell security services around the world and has supported numerous right-wing causes, has become embroiled in the investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.


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.


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From the Wires

Israel, which is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, is paradoxically among the principal beneficiaries of the Iran deal, which has blocked a new candidate’s (Iran) access to the regional nuclear club, lifted an existential threat off its neck, and prevented a domino effect of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Israel could lose all of these if the move to terminate the JCPOA is successful.


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.


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