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

Defense Cuts; Whither the Hawks; and More

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Democrats Remold Military Budget
By John Isaacs | May 10, 2007

Despite vociferous support from some Republicans and from hardline outfits like the Center for Security Policy, a number of controversial weapons programs—like designing new nuclear weapons, placing missile defense sites in Europe, and developing space-based weapons—are being targeted for cuts by the Democrat-controlled Congress. Read full article.


Mugged by Reality?
Jim Lobe | May 8, 2007

Recent events, including Condoleezza Rice‘s overture to Syria and a growing list of hawks departing from the administration, suggest that Vice President Dick Cheney‘s power is declining in an administration that seems to have been mugged by reality. Read full article.


Last week’s resignations of J.D. Crouch II and Meghan O’Sullivan, two officials in the National Security Council who were closely involved with the implementation of Iraq War policies, helped spark considerable speculation about the future direction of Bush administration foreign policy. Wrote the Associated Press’s Matthew Lee this week: "Top members of President Bush’s national security team are leaving in one of the earliest waves of departures from a second-term administration—nearly two years before Bush’s term ends. As rancor in the nation rises over handling of the war in Iraq, at least 20 senior aides have either retired or resigned from important posts at the White House, Pentagon, and State Department in the past six months."

Notable about many of the officials and advisers who have exited early is their close association with the effort to push for war in Iraq and an expansive "war on terror." In this special section of Right Web News, we provide a rundown of some of the more controversial and hardline figures who have been a part of this exodus.

Right Web Profile: J.D. Crouch II
One of the architects within the National Security Council of the "surge" strategy in Iraq, Crouch, who announced his resignation late last week, is the most recent casualty in the ranks of the administration’s Cheney crowd.

Right Web Profile: John Bolton
The controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN has returned to his old stomping grounds at neocon central, the American Enterprise Institute, where he continues to harangue about the UN, the threat posed by Islam’s "theological revolution on the march," and the dangers of diplomacy.

Right Web Profile: Paul Wolfowitz
Rumsfeld’s Number 2 at the Pentagon, Wolfowitz left the Defense Department to head the World Bank, where his work has proved as controversial as it was while he was in the administration.

Right Web Profile: Donald Rumsfeld
The embattled former Pentagon chief was forced to step down in November 2006 after six tumultuous years, during which he bungled the invasion of Iraq, failed to adequately respond to the growing insurgency there, and dismissed accusations of torture and mistreatment of detainees at places like Abu Ghraib.

Right Web Profile: Richard Perle
As chair of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, a post he left after scandals erupted regarding alleged conflicts of interest between his government service and private business dealings, Perle was one of the leading advocates for invading Iraq after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Right Web Profile: Douglas Feith
Feith left his post at the Pentagon just as investigations began heating up over his alleged mishandling of intel to justify the invasion of Iraq. He then took up a teaching post at Georgetown University, where he teaches a class on the Bush administration’s "war on terror."

Right Web Profile: Robert Joseph
Joseph, a close associate of hardline outfits like the Center for Security Policy and a skeptic of pursing diplomatic strategies with U.S. opponents, resigned from his post as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security just as negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program began showing signs of progress in early 2007.

Right Web Profile: Stephen Cambone
A long-time Rumsfeld sidekick, Cambone served as the first-ever undersecretary of defense for intelligence. Before stepping down shortly after Rumsfeld’s ouster, he labored to justify the ill-fated invasion of Iraq and the abuses suffered by detainees as part of the "war on terror."

Right Web Profile: Peter Rodman
A Kissinger protégé who aligned himself with the clique of hardliners and neoconservatives in the Bush administration, Rodman, now based at the Brookings Institution, resigned from the Pentagon shortly after his boss Donald Rumsfeld was pushed out.


Right Web Profile: Mario Loyola
A former Pentagon consultant and frequent contributor to right-wing outlets like the National Review, Loyola is a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, where he regularly applauds the war effort and warns about the "pessimism of the center."

Right Web Profile: Stephen Hadley
Supporting the Iraq "surge" and searching for a "war czar" have been among Hadley’s claims to fame since taking over as the president’s national security adviser.

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Featured Profiles

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has been an outspoken proponent of militarist U.S. foreign polices and the use of torture, aping the views of her father, Dick Cheney.

United against Nuclear Iran is a pressure group that attacks companies doing business in Iran and disseminates alarmist reports about the country’s nuclear program.

John Bolton, senior fellow at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and the controversial former ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, has been considered for a variety of positions in the Trump administration, including most recently as national security adviser.

Gina Haspel is a CIA officer who was nominated to head the agency by President Donald Trump in March 2018. She first came to prominence because of accusations that she oversaw the torture of prisoners and later destroyed video evidence of that torture.

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), President Trump’s nominee for secretary of state to replace Rex Tillerson, is a “tea party” Republican who previously served as director of the CIA.

Richard Goldberg is a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who served as a foreign policy aide to former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL).

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has been advocating regime change in Iran since even before 9/11.

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From the Wires

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Hardliners at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies are working overtime to convince the Trump administration to “fix” the nuclear agreement with Iran on the pretext that it will give the US leverage in negotiations with North Korea.

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North Korea and Iran both understand the lesson of Libya: Muammar Qaddafi, a horrifyingly brutal dictator, gave up his nuclear weapons, was eventually ousted from power with large-scale US assistance, and was killed. However, while Iran has a long and bitter history with the United States, North Korea’s outlook is shaped by its near-total destruction by forces led by the United States in the Korean War.

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Europe loathes having to choose between Tehran and Washington, and thus it will spare no efforts to avoid the choice. It might therefore opt for a middle road, trying to please both parties by persuading Trump to retain the accord and Iran to limit missile ballistic programs and regional activities.

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Key members of Trump’s cabinet should recognize the realism behind encouraging a Saudi- and Iranian-backed regional security agreement because the success of such an agreement would not only serve long-term U.S. interests, it could also have a positive impact on numerous conflicts in the Middle East.

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Given that Israel failed to defeat Hezbollah in its war in Lebanon in 2006, it’s difficult to imagine Israel succeeding in a war against both Hezbollah and its newfound regional network of Shiite allies. And at the same time not only is Hezbollah’s missile arsenal a lot larger and more dangerous than it was in 2006, but it has also gained vast experience alongside its allies in offensive operations against IS and similar groups.

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Donald Trump should never be excused of responsibility for tearing down the respect for truth, but a foundation for his flagrant falsifying is the fact that many people would rather be entertained, no matter how false is the source of their entertainment, than to confront truth that is boring or unsatisfying or that requires effort to understand.

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It would be a welcome change in twenty-first-century America if the reckless decision to throw yet more unbelievable sums of money at a Pentagon already vastly overfunded sparked a serious discussion about America’s hyper-militarized foreign policy.