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

Defense Cuts; Whither the Hawks; and More

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FEATURED ARTICLE

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.

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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.

See also: THE DEPARTED, A SPECIAL SECTION

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.

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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

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s second secretary of state, is a long time foreign policy hawk and has led the public charge for an aggressive policy toward Iran.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


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From the Wires

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The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


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A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


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Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


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The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


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Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


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To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


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The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


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