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

Defense Contractors Operating with Weak Oversight; Who’s Benefitting from the Georgia Crisis;

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Going Soft on the Contractors?
By Nick Schwellenbach

In prosecuting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the “war on terror,” the Bush administration has relied on a huge number of contractors to do everything from building barracks to serving meals to soldiers and performing other vital jobs in conflict zones. But the Pentagon agency charged with oversight of defense contracts has been stymied by a crippling combination of too much work, too little time—and too much deference toward contractors—resulting in what one senator called a “debacle and an embarrassment.” Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Committee for the Liberation of Iraq
The short-lived committee, whose members were an influential cadre of hawkish Beltway think-tankers and politicians, closed up shop in 2003 after what it termed the “successful liberation of Iraq.”

Peter Rodman (1943-2008)
A Kissinger protégé who supported the Project for the New American Century and served as an assistant to ex-Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, Rodman passed away in early August.

Jack Kemp
A member of the revived Committee on the Present Danger, the former Republican congressman and standout NFL quarterback has championed the “war on terror,” arguing that “radical Islamists have declared war on freedom, democracy, and modernity.”

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Iran Could Benefit from Georgia Crisis
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

The U.S. invasion of Iraq has increased Iran’s political leverage in the Middle East, and the crisis in Georgia could further boost that clout. Read full story.

An End to Pax Americana?
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

The Russian invasion of Georgia seems to have marked a definitive end to the “unipolar moment”—as well as to Bush administration plans to impose its will on Eurasia. Read full story.

“Ally” Musharraf Facilitated Taliban
Analysis by Gareth Porter (Inter Press Service)

Pakistan’s willingness to help the United States in the “war on terror” was partly myth created by the Bush administration. Read full story.

Legal Battle Continues for Ex-Detainee
By William Fisher (Inter Press Service)

A Canadian citizen wrongly detained in the “war on terror” will get another day in court, but the Bush administration may invoke the state secrets privilege—a tactic it has used excessively, some say, to cover up embarrassing mistakes. Read full story.

LETTERS

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Featured Profiles

Although sometimes characterized as a Republican “maverick” for his bipartisan forays into domestic policy, Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks.


Former CIA director Michael Hayden, a stalwart advocate of the Bush-era policies on torture and warrantless wiretapping, has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump


The former GOP presidential candidate and Speaker of the House has been a vociferous proponent of the idea that the America faces an existential threat from “Islamofascists.”


David Albright is the founder of the Institute for Science and International Security, a non-proliferation think tank whose influential analyses of nuclear proliferation issues in the Middle East have been the source of intense disagreement and debate.


A right-wing Christian and governor of Kansas, Brownback previously served in the U.S. Senate, where he gained a reputation as a leading social conservative as well as an outspoken “pro-Israel” hawk on U.S. Middle East policy.


Steve Forbes, head of the Forbes magazine empire, is an active supporter of a number of militarist policy organizations that have pushed for aggressive U.S. foreign policies.


Stephen Hadley, an Iraq War hawk and former national security adviser to President George W. Bush, now chairs the U.S. Institute for Peace.


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From the Wires

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The Trump administration appears to have been surprised by this breach among its friends in the critical Gulf strategic area. But it is difficult to envision an effective U.S. role in rebuilding this Humpty-Dumpty.


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A recent vote in the European Parliament shows how President Trump’s relentless hostility to Iran is likely to isolate Washington more than Tehran.


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The head of the Institute for Science and International Security—aka “the Good ISIS”—recently demonstrated again his penchant for using sloppy analysis as a basis for politically explosive charges about Iran, in this case using a faulty translation from Persian to misleadingly question whether Tehran is “mass producing advanced gas centrifuges.”


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Trump has exhibited a general preference for authoritarians over democrats, and that preference already has had impact on his foreign policy. Such an inclination has no more to do with realism than does a general preference for democrats over authoritarians.


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The President went to the region as a deal maker and a salesman for American weapon manufacturing. He talked about Islam, terrorism, Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without the benefit of expert advice in any of these areas. After great showmanship in Riyadh, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, he and his family left the region without much to show for or to benefit the people of that war-torn region.


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Although the Comey memo scandal may well turn out to be what brings Trump down, this breach of trust may have had more lasting effect than any of Trump’s other numerous misadventures. It was an unprecedented betrayal of Israel’s confidence. Ironically, Trump has now done what even Barack Obama’s biggest detractors never accused him of: seriously compromised Israel’s security relationship with the United States.


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Congress and the public acquiesce in another military intervention or a sharp escalation of one of the U.S. wars already under way, perhaps it’s time to finally consider the true costs of war, American-style — in lives lost, dollars spent, and opportunities squandered. It’s a reasonable bet that never in history has a society spent more on war and gotten less bang for its copious bucks.


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