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

Iran’s Nuclear Pursuits; Plus Noriega, Luti, Brooks, and More

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Iran and the Enduring Stockpile
By Anthony Newkirk

The Bush administration and many of the 2008 presidential hopefuls highlight the threat posed by Iran’s potential to develop nuclear weapons. Left unsaid in the rhetoric is how the U.S. arsenal, seen by some as a violation of international agreements, provides cover for countries that are looking for convenient justifications for going nuclear. Read full story.


Roger Noriega
A longtime proponent of hardline policies in Latin America, Noriega joined the American Enterprise Institute after serving two years as assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs at the State Department.

William Luti
A former naval officer, Luti achieved notoriety as the Pentagon staffer overseeing Douglas Feith‘s Office of Special Plans, which has been blamed for much of the faulty intelligence surrounding Iraq’s alleged WMD and al-Qaida ties.

Linton Brooks
A former Energy Department official in charge of overseeing the U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure, Brooks is also an experienced advocate of controversial weapons programs.

Brigitte Gabriel
Americans are dangerously oblivious to the existential threat to the West posed by Islam, according to Brigitte Gabriel.


Iran: The Terrorist Tag
By Trita Parsi

It is unclear how Washington expects diplomatic success in Iran if it designates the very same people it seeks help from as global terrorists. Read full article.


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Featured Profiles

John Bolton, the controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN and dyed-in the-wool foreign policy hawk, has been selected by President Trump to replace National Security Adviser McMaster, marking a sharp move to the hawkish extreme by the administration.

The Institute for the Study of War is a D.C.-based counterinsurgency think tank that has supported long-term U.S. military intervention in the Greater Middle East, especially Iraq and Afghanistan.

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.

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).

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From the Wires

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New NSA John Bolton represents an existential threat to the Iran nuclear deal and any hopes for peace in the region.

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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.