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

Missing the Point in Pakistan; Plus, Profiles on the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and I

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Missing the Point on Pakistan
Commentary by Najum Mushtaq

The recent missile strike inside Pakistan’s terrorist-infested tribal areas revealed that despite the millions of dollars spent by the United States to improve security in the country, the situation is one of spiraling instability. But pumping millions into Pakistan to prevent the nightmare scenario of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons, a policy pushed by conservative think tanks and many Bush administration officials, misses the larger issue. Washington’s time and money would be better used to persuade Pakistan’s entrenched nuclear-military establishment to let go of its nuclear weapons entirely and concentrate on fighting terrorism.
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FEATURED PROFILES

Foundation for Defense of Democracies
A supposedly nonpartisan think thank aimed at fighting the causes of terrorism and promoting democracy, many of FDD’s Democratic supporters resigned recently after it targeted House Democrats in misleading attack ads.

Defense of Democracies
When its tax-exempt status got in the way of aggressive lobbying, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies created a brand new organization. Its first project was a controversial ad campaign that has raised concerns about partisanship.

Max Kampelman
A longtime supporter of hawkish groups like the Committee on the Present Danger and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Kampelman, an arms control negotiator under Reagan, has more recently advocated global nuclear disarmament.

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When the Brass Doesn

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Featured Profiles

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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