Right Web

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

U.S. Committee on NATO

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Print Friendly

The U.S. Committee on NATO, a rightist advocacy organization committed to increasing U.S. influence through expansion of the transatlantic military alliance, was originally founded in the mid-1990s as the U.S. Committee to Expand NATO. Its founders, Bruce Jackson and Greg Craig, later renamed the group the U.S. Committee on NATO (USCN). The committee’s motto was “Strengthen America. Secure Europe. Defend Values. Expand NATO.”[1] It ceased operations in 2003.

Following the group’s termination, Jackson and two other principals of the committee—Randy Scheunemann and Julie Finley—used the committee’s office space to found a successor group, the Project on Transitional Democracies.

Among USCN’s initial board members were two high-profile neoconservative figures, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. Other board members included Stephen Hadley, who served in the George W. Bush administration as deputy national security adviser to Condoleezza Rice; Randy Scheunemann, later a key aide to Sen. John McCain and Sarah Palin; Julie Finley, a Republican Party operative and founding member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq; and Gary Schmitt, a former director of the Project for the New American Century and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.[2]

The committee was well placed to service the needs of a number of factions, including both hawkish ideologues and the defense industry. NATO expansion requires integrating national militaries, a process that opens up lucrative weapons markets, including jet fighters, electronics, attack helicopters, communication networks, among other trappings of modern military forces. “Add them together,” Joel Johnson, vice president of the Aerospace Industries Association, told the New York Times, “and we’re talking about real money.”[3]

Until 2002 Bruce Jackson was planning and strategy vice president at Lockheed Martin, where he served as the advance man for global corporate development projects.[4] One prominent neocon described Jackson as “the nexus between the defense industry and the neoconservatives. He translates us to them, and them to us.”[5]

In the estimation of John Laughland, a trustee of the British Helsinki Human Rights Group and a close observer of Jackson's work in Eastern Europe: “Far from promoting democracy in eastern Europe, Washington is promoting a system of political and military control not unlike the once practiced by the Soviet Union. Unlike that empire, which collapsed because the center was weaker than the periphery, the new NATO is both a mechanism for extracting Danegeld [tribute levied to support Danish invaders in medieval England] from new member states for the benefit of the U.S. arms industry and an instrument for getting others to protect U.S. interests around the world, including the supply of primary resources such as oil.”[6]

In the lead-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Jackson helped draft the declaration by the Vilnius Ten governments supporting the planned U.S. invasion with or without UN approval. Eager for U.S. support for their entry into NATO, the countries of what Donald Rumsfeld called the “New Europe” joined the war coalition, at least in name. Slovenia later backed away from the statement after revelations that its foreign minister “had buckled…under Bruce Jackson’s threat.”[7]

The U.S. Committee on NATO and the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, both of which were organized by Jackson, were disbanded in late 2003, apparently because its members believed that they had accomplished their mission.[8]

Funding

The U.S. Committee on NATO did not offer any information about funding sources on its now-defunct website. According to Bruce Jackson, “I finance myself, with money I made from investment banking [he was chief strategist on the proprietary trading desk at Lehman Brothers from 1990 to 1993]. It's not as if it's some individual project though. A lot of people volunteer their time for the NGO. Volunteer work is much more normal in Washington than in Europe."[9]

Share RightWeb

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Sources


[1] Jeff Gerth and Tim Weiner, “Arms Makers See Bonanza in Selling NATO Expansion,” New York Times, June 28, 1997; J.J. Richardson, “Going For Broke--or Just Broke?” MoJo Wire, Mother Jones Magazine.



[2] Jeff Gerth and Tim Weiner, “Arms Makers See Bonanza in Selling NATO Expansion,” New York Times, June 28, 1997; John B. Judis, “Minister Without Portfolio,” The American Prospect, May 2003, http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=minister_without_portfolio; Stephen Gowans, “War, NATO expansion, and the other rackets of Bruce P. Jackson,” What’s Left, November 25, 2002, http://www3.sympatico.ca/sr.gowans/jackson.html.



[3] Jeff Gerth and Tim Weiner, "Arms Makers See Bonanza in Selling NATO Expansion," New York Times, June 28, 1997.



[4] Jeff Gerth and Tim Weiner, “Arms Makers See Bonanza in Selling NATO Expansion,” New York Times, June 28, 1997



[5] John B. Judis, “Minister Without Portfolio,” The American Prospect, May 2003, http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=minister_without_portfolio.



[6] John Laughland, “The Prague racket: Nato is now a device to exert control and extract cash. Those who resist, like Belarus, are punished,” The Guardian, November 22, 2002, http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,845129,00.html



[7] John B. Judis, “Minister Without Portfolio,” The American Prospect, May 2003, http://www.prospect.org/print/V14/5/judis-j.html; John Laughland, “The Prague racket: Nato is now a device to exert control and extract cash. Those who resist, like Belarus, are punished,” The Guardian, November 22, 2002, http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,845129,00.html.



[8] Jim Lobe, "Committee for the Liberation of Iraq" Sets Up Shop,” Foreign Policy in Focus Policy Report, November 2002



[9] Julian Evans, “The Man Who Brought NATO East,” Euromoney, December 2003.


Share RightWeb

U.S. Committee on NATO Résumé


Motto



“Strengthen America. Secure Europe. Defend Values. Expand NATO.”





Founded



1996





Disbanded



2003





Former Principals

  • Bruce Jackson, Co-Founder

  • Greg Craig, Co-Founder

  • Julie Finley, Board of Directors

  • Stephen Hadley, Board of Directors

  • Richard Perle, Board of Directors

  • Randy Scheunemann, Board of Directors

  • Paul Wolfowitz, Board of Directors

Related:

For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly

Contrary to some wishful thinking following the Trump administration’s decision to “put Iran on notice” and seemingly restore U.S.-Saudi ties, there are little signs of apprehension in Tehran.


Print Friendly

“The fundamental conflict at the heart of Israeli-Russian views on Syria is that Israel’s redline is the establishment of a permanent Iranian presence in Syria and Russia’s redline is the elimination of a permanent Iranian presence in Syria.”


Print Friendly

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.


Print Friendly

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


Print Friendly

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.


Print Friendly

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


Print Friendly

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.


RightWeb
share