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

Joe Lieberman the Neocon

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Joe Lieberman
The former senator from Connecticut has joined the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he co-chairs with former Sen. Jon Kyl the American Internationalism Project. As one commentator put it, Lieberman “should feel right at home there…. His tenure at AEI will allow him to continue to pontificate to a sympathetic audience about why he regards even mild opposition to his intransigent bellicosity as benighted obstructionism.”

Michael Goldfarb
Michael Goldfarb is a neoconservative pundit, activist, and consultant who has proven adept at funneling anonymous Republican donations into high-profile advocacy efforts. Sensationalistic reports published by the Washington Free Beacon—a conservative blog of Goldfarb's Center for American Freedom—have cemented his reputation as a self-styled provocateur with little regard for the facts.

Institute for the Study of War
Founded in 2007, the Institute for the Study of War is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that has supported long-term U.S. military intervention abroad, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. Led by Kimberly Kagan, the group has increasingly attracted the support of military contractors with active stakes in the wars the group supports prolonging.

Charles Krauthammer
Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer is a trailblazing “pro-Israel” ideologue and an unapologetic advocate for U.S. overseas military intervention—but don’t call him a “neoconservative.” At a recent event hosted by the right-wing National Review, Krauthammer dismissed the neoconservative label as an “epithet” for “Jewish conservative,” suggesting that affording any scrutiny to neoconservative foreign policy was tantamount to anti-Semitism.

Gatestone Institute
The Gatestone Institute is a New York-based advocacy organization that is tied to neoconservative and other right-wing networks in the United States and Europe. The brainchild of Sears-Roebuck heiress Nina Rosenwald, Gatestone has played host to far-right anti-Islamic ideologues like Geert Wilders and produced a slew of commentaries railing against the purported influence of Sharia law in Europe and North America, the alleged nuclear ambitions of Iran, and the supposed malfeasances of Palestinians.

Nina Rosenwald
An heir to the Sears Roebuck fortune, Nina Rosenwald has been dubbed “the sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate” for her philanthropy supporting right-wing and anti-Islamic groups in the United States. She is the founder of the Gatestone Institute, an offshoot of the neoconservative Hudson Institute that has rolled out the red carpet for anti-Islamic polemicists like Geert Wilders and produced a slew of commentaries inveighing against Iran, Palestinians, and the purported creep of Sharia law.

Kimberly Kagan
Kimberly Kagan is founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a hawkish counterinsurgency think tank. With her husband Frederick—an American Enterprise Institute fellow often credited with helping to conceive the Iraq “surge”—Kagan has proven an influential advocate for a protracted counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan, receiving extraordinary accommodations from General David Petraeus during his tenure in the country. While she was advising Petraeus, Kagan continued to receive a paycheck from ISW, which is funded by military contractors with active interests in Afghanistan.

From the Wires

U.S. “Rebalancing” to Asia/Pacific Still a Priority
Amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and a brewing dispute over Chinese hacking, the Pentagon insists that the Obama administration's "pivot" to the Asia-Pacific region will not be derailed by defense cuts.

AIPAC on the Defensive
While its base remains active and invested, AIPAC is increasingly confronting a political landscape in which its membership seems more out of touch with Americans—Jewish or otherwise—than ever.

U.S. Wasted Billions of Dollars on Iraqi Reconstruction
A report by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has concluded that the U.S. wasted billions of dollars rebuilding Iraq by farming projects out to unreliable contractors and failing to account for local needs and circumstances in planning projects.

What Went Right at Almaty
Iran and the P5+1 powers are finally negotiating instead of just talking.

Obama and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: It’s Time to Act
As President Barack Obama travels to Israel and Palestine in the spring, Washington’s unconditional backing of Israel could soon begin to harm U.S. interests and security in Arab Muslim countries.

After Unprecedented Fight, Hagel Confirmed as Obama’s Pentagon Chief
Despite a massive effort by “pro-Israel” neoconservatives to derail his nomination, the Senate has voted to confirm Chuck Hagel as the next secretary of defense.

Former Hostages Call for Broadened Dialogue with Iran
On the eve of renewed P5+1 negotiations in Kazakhstan, at least two former hostages of the U.S. embassy crisis in Iran have called on the United States to engage with more direct dialogue with Iran.

Saudi Arabia Seen Unlikely to Seek Nukes If Iran Gets One
A new report suggests that, due to a combination of factors, countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey would be unlikely to seek nuclear weapons in the event that Iran develops one.

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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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