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

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Although largely dormant in recent years, the Committee on the Present Danger—the Cold War-era pressure group that was re-launched after 9/11 with support from  leading neoconservatives—continues to use it website to plug fear-mongering media stories and op-eds, focusing mainly on Iran. One recent article, written by a CPD member, rails against efforts to reach a diplomatic compromise over Iran’s nuclear program, claiming: “It is hard to rationalize the past history of this fanatical Muslim regime’s secret nuclear efforts and any hope that it would abide by such an agreement, or, indeed, that UN or other surveillance would be more effective than in the past.”

 

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The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), a leading neoconservative think tank, sought to frame the 2014 midterm elections as a “foreign policy election,” even though only 13 percent of voters listed foreign policy as a top issue in exit polls. FPI nevertheless hopes that the Republican-controlled Senate will “actively lead on foreign policy issues” and has prioritized passing Sen. Robert Menendez’s controversial Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act. The bill would impose additional sanctions on Iran and would likely scuttle on-going negotiations with Iran.

 

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Thomas Donnelly, a fellow at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, is a longstanding proponent of U.S. military intervention overseas. Recently, he evoked America’s supposed “Jacksonian honor culture” in arguing for the use of U.S. ground forces in the fight against ISIS, saying that “war-weariness was never as broadly or deeply felt in the country as supposed” and that “if you’re serious about ‘eradicating’ ISIS…you must be prepared to commit U.S. land forces beyond special operating forces with laser designators and satellite radios.”

 

 

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Douglas Feith, the controversial former Pentagon official and current fellow at the neoconservative Hudson Institute, thinks that the United States should impose more sanctions on Iran, even though most observers agree such a move would effectively kill negotiations. Discounting the possibility of reaching a sustainable agreement with Iran, Feith wrote recently: “If Mr. Obama can justify his deal with Iran only by promising to ‘crank up’ the relaxed sanctions if and when the Iranian regime cheats, no one should buy it.”

 

 

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According to Liz Cheney, President Obama’s decision to admit that the United States tortured detainees after 9/11 was a “disgrace” and “despicable.” Channeling some of her father’s bombastic rhetoric, she added that the president “is expending more time, more energy, more passion, more aggressive activity in targeting and going after patriots, heroes. CIA officers and others who kept is safe after 9/11. He’s lying about what they did, he’s slandering them.”

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Devon Gaffney Cross is a neoconservative activist who has a track record promoting hawkish U.S. defense policies and overseas interventions. An adviser to the controversial pressure group Secure America Now, Cross also co-chairs the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s “Manhattan Salons,” an elite monthly gathering of prominent individuals to discuss U.S. foreign policy. 

 

 

 

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The former vice president has loudly criticized the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran, saying recently: “We should refuse to accept any deal that allows them to continue to spin centrifuges and enrich uranium. The regime in Tehran must be made to understand that the United States will not allow that to happen, and that we will take military action if necessary to stop it.” One commentator remarked, “Given his past record, Cheney’s certainties or lack of doubts about just about anything having to do with the Middle East … should be subject to a high degree of skepticism.”

 

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From the Wires

November 18, 2014

Israel’s chief fear in a possible nuclear deal with Iran is that it will lose an enemy that it shares in common with the United States, and thus Washington’s commitment to its security.


November 17, 2014

A Republican-controlled Senate could leave a huge imprint on President Obama’s foreign policy agenda during his last two years in office.


November 11, 2014

George W. Bush and Barack Obama both sought to convince former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s to keep U.S. troops being in Iraq. Both failed.


November 08, 2014

As the November 24 deadline for reaching a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran approaches, the different sides are scrambling to ensure all bases are covered before the official resumption of talks in Vienna on November 18.


November 06, 2014

Once a taboo topic in Washington, leading members of the foreign policy establishment now increasingly scrutinize Israel’s actions.


November 03, 2014

A recently launched website unveils U.S. security and military assistance to countries around the world.


October 31, 2014

Recent name-calling notwithstanding, US-Israel relations are not at a point of crisis, but could be in the near future.


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