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

Paul Ryan’s Foreign Policy Creds and Connections

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FEATURED PROFILES

Paul Ryan

Though better known for his austere budget proposals, Paul Ryan shares Mitt Romney’s faith in American exceptionalism and is an unrepentant proponent of aggressive U.S. military intervention abroad.

Empower America

The now defunct Empower America, where Ryan once served as a speechwriter working for the likes of William Bennett and Jack Kemp, advocated right-wing economic policies and launched the pro-war advocacy group Americans for Victory over Terrorism in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Jack Kemp

A former congressman and standout NFL quarterback who passed away in May 2009, Kemp has been credited with helping shape the modern Republican Party, pushing it to adopt a plank of rightist social policies as well as an interventionist overseas military agenda. Kemp was also an early mentor of Paul Ryan, who worked with Kemp at Empower America and during the failed Dole-Kemp presidential campaign in 1996.

William Kristol

Regarded as the leading public face of contemporary neoconservatism, Kristol used his various media perches—including the pages of his Weekly Standard magazine—to vigorously promote Paul Ryan as VP, a fact that might give Romney pause given Kristol’s previous role as a leading Sarah Palin booster.

Sam Brownback

A right-wing Christian and governor of Kansas, Brownback previously served in the U.S. Senate, where he gained a reputation as a leading social conservative as well as an outspoken “pro-Israel” hawk on U.S. Middle East policy. In the mid-1990s, Ryan served as a legislative aide to Brownback.


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Featured Profiles

The Foreign Policy Initiative, founded in 2009 by a host of neoconservative figures, was a leading advocate for a militaristic and Israel-centric U.S. foreign policies.


Billionaire investor Paul Singer is the founder and CEO of the Elliott Management Corporation and an important funder of neoconservative causes.


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and close ties to prominent neoconservatives.


Ron Dermer is the Israeli ambassador to the United States and a close confidante of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Blackwater Worldwide founder Erik Prince is notorious for his efforts to expand the use of private military contractors in conflict zones.


U.S. Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis is a retired U.S Marine Corps general and combat veteran who served as commander of U.S. Central Command during 2010-2013 before being removed by the Obama administration reportedly because of differences over Iran policy.


Mark Dubowitz, an oft-quoted Iran hawk, is the executive director of the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies.


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From the Wires

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The time has come for a new set of partnerships to be contemplated between the United States and Middle East states – including Iran – and between regimes and their peoples, based on a bold and inclusive social contract.


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Erik Prince is back. He’s not only pitching colonial capitalism in DC. He’s huckstering ex-SF-led armies of sepoys to wrest Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and perhaps, if he is ever able to influence likeminded hawks in the Trump administration, even Iran back from the infidels.


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Encouraged by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement late last month that Washington favors “peaceful” regime change in Iran, neoconservatives appear to be trying to influence the internal debate by arguing that this is Trump’s opportunity to be Ronald Reagan.


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When asked about “confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing in world affairs,” 22 percent of those surveyed as part of a recent Pew Research Center global poll expressed confidence in Donald Trump and 74 percent expressed no confidence.


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A much-awaited new State Department volume covering the period 1951 to 1954 does not reveal much new about the actual overthrow of Mohammad Mossadeq but it does provide a vast amount of information on US involvement in Iran.


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As debate continues around the Trump administration’s arms sales and defense spending, am new book suggests several ways to improve security and reduce corruption, for instance by increasing transparency on defense strategies, including “how expenditures on systems and programs align with the threats to national security.”


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Lobelog We walked in a single file. Not because it was tactically sound. It wasn’t — at least according to standard infantry doctrine. Patrolling southern Afghanistan in column formation limited maneuverability, made it difficult to mass fire, and exposed us to enfilading machine-gun bursts. Still, in 2011, in the Pashmul District of Kandahar Province, single…


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