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

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A controversial U.S. Army general during the first Gulf War and former drug czar under President Bill Clinton, Barry McCaffery is a TV pundit who was featured prominently in a Pulitzer Prizing-winning New York Times article as one of several retired military officers who were debriefed by the Pentagon on messages to deliver during their TV appearances. Discussing McCaffery’s track record, Jeremy Scahill says that he has “made a tremendous amount of money off of war contracting and then he's brought onto these networks and treated as just an objective observer.”



Julie Finley is a former U.S.amabssador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and was a founding member of the now defunct U.S. Committee on NATO, a group that advocated using NATO as an instrument of U.S. military power. Recently, Finley co-signed an open letter stating that “the West must ratchet up serious sanctions against the Putin regime and immediately provide Ukraine with the full support, including military equipment and intelligence cooperation.”



Former governor of Arkansas and evangelical pastor Mike Huckabee has suspended his presidential campaign after a dismal showing in the Iowa caucuses, which he won in his 2008 campaign. Huckabee was rumored to be weighing an endorsement of Donald Trump, though when asked about it the former governor said “that’s nonsense.”





Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) suspended his Republican presidential campaign after finishing near the bottom during the Iowa caucuses. He has endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for the nomination, who like Santorum advocates a staunchly hawkish foreign policy. Santorum says he supports Rubio because the Florida senator is “a candidate that espouses the values we believe in … someone who has a real understanding of the threat of ISIS.”



Arthur Waldron is a professor of international relations at the University of Pennsylvania and a well-known China hawk. In a recent email to Right Web, Waldron wrote, “I can only express gratitude for the care and accuracy with which you track my activities.” He wittily added: “Occasionally when I can’t remember, I look you up.” Waldron appears to be concerned about the numerous associations with neoconservative groups that his Right Web profile documents, writing: “I am NOT a neoconservative, in favor of U.S. intervention all over the place. I am a conservative who thinks we should identify carefully what is and is not our interest. My basic passion is human rights, even for the Chinese.”


Since dropping out of the GOP primary contest, überhawk Senator Lindsey Graham has promoted the candidacy of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. He has also repeatedly lambasted other candidates, including in particular frontrunners Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz. Trump, according to Graham, “make no sense.”



The presidential campaign of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is floundering. With the first primary elections quickly approaching, many observers think that it “may be too late” for Bush to “save his candidacy,” particularly in view of his paltry poll results. Nevertheless, Bush has doubled down on his hardline foreign policy positions, recently calling for a “no-fly zone, or a series of no-fly zones” over Syria. On the other hand, Bush has said that he would try to pursue a foreign policy more akin to that of his father George H.W. Bush, who was excoriated by hawks for pursuing supposedly “realist” objectives in foreign affairs. 


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From the Wires

February 01, 2016

Middle East instability is in large part due to past dictators centralizing the state around themselves and a small cadre of elites.

January 31, 2016

More should be demanded of the 2016 presidential candidates than mindless bluster or vacuous pronouncements on the Middle East.

January 22, 2016

Similar to her 2008 attacks against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton is now criticizing Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) for his advocacy of diplomacy with Iran.

January 21, 2016

Neoconservative columnists like the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens continue to use the same discredited arguments to defend U.S. support for the staunchly authoritarian Saudi regime.

January 21, 2016

Rightwing foreign policy hawks have applied a double standard in their comments on the prisoner exchange between Iran and the United States.

January 17, 2016

The Iran nuclear deal was not a “triumph” for the sanctions policy against Iran, but rather was due to pragmatic Iranian elites viewing it as in their country’s interest.

January 16, 2016

The claims made by prominent neoconservatives about Iran’s detainment of 10 American sailors in its territorial waters have all been certifiably false.

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