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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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Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), former chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, is a leading ”pro-Israel” hawk in Congress.


Brigette Gabriel, an anti-Islamic author and activist, is the founder of the right-wing group ACT! for America.


The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of the more effective U.S. lobbying outfits, aims to ensure that the United States backs Israel regardless of the policies Israel pursues.


Frank Gaffney, director of the hardline neoconservative Center for Security Policy, is a longtime advocate of aggressive U.S. foreign policies, bloated military budgets, and confrontation with the Islamic world.


Shmuley Boteach is a “celebrity rabbi” known for his controversial “pro-Israel” advocacy.


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.


Huntsman, the millionaire scion of the Huntsman chemical empire, is a former Utah governor who served as President Obama’s first ambassador to China and was a candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.


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From the Wires

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AIPAC has done more than just tolerate the U.S. tilt toward extreme and often xenophobic views. Newly released tax filings show that the country’s biggest pro-Israel group financially contributed to the Center for Security Policy, the think-tank that played a pivotal role in engineering the Trump administration’s efforts to impose a ban on Muslim immigration.


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It would have been hard for Trump to find someone with more extreme positions than David Friedman for U.S. ambassador to Israel.


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Just as the “bogeyman” of the Mexican rapist and drug dealer is used to justify the Wall and mass immigration detention, the specter of Muslim terrorists is being used to validate gutting the refugee program and limiting admission from North Africa, and Southwest and South Asia.


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Although the mainstream media narrative about Trump’s Russia ties has been fairly linear, in reality the situation appears to be anything but.


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Reagan’s military buildup had little justification, though the military was rebuilding after the Vietnam disaster. Today, there is almost no case at all for a defense budget increase as big as the $54 billion that the Trump administration wants.


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The very idea of any U.S. president putting his personal financial interests ahead of the U.S. national interest is sufficient reason for the public to be outraged. That such a conflict of interest may affect real U.S. foreign policy decisions is an outrage.


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The new US administration is continuing a state of war that has existed for 16 years.


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