Right Web

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

American Enterprise Institute

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The Washington-based American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) has been a leading member of the neoconservative advocacy community for several decades. During Republican presidential administrations, AEI tends to be one of the more prominent U.S. policy institutions, with associated scholars and fellows populating numerous upper echelon policy posts in the administration. Commenting on AEI’s influence in the broader right-wing milieu, Republican Rep.Paul Ryan called the think tank “one of the beachheads of the modern conservative movement.”[1]

AEI’s advocacy agenda extends from free-market economics to militarist security policies. According to its website, AEI is “committed to expanding liberty, increasing individual opportunity, and strengthening free enterprise. AEI pursues these unchanging ideals through independent thinking, open debate, reasoned argument, facts and the highest standards of research and exposition. Without regard for politics or prevailing fashion, we dedicate our work to a more prosperous, safer and more democratic nation and world.”[2]

AEI has been less prominent since the election of Donald Trump, attempting to maintain its place among conservatives while being occasionally critical of Trump’s policies, and rarely enthusiastic about them. AEI scholars have expressed concern about Trump’s rhetoric,[3] his stance on immigration,[4] his various scandals,[5] his response to investigations of his conduct,[6] and his trade[7] and tariff[8] policies.

AEI has been particularly critical of Trump’s aggressive trade policies and his misuse of “national security” to justify those policies. For example, after Trump imposed tariffs on steel imports using national security as the rationale, AEI scholar Benjamin Zycher wrote, “Because there is no obvious limit on the national-security rationale for protectionism, this policy will engender substantial uncertainty in the economy. It will also conflict with the goals of Trump’s deregulatory efforts and of the recent tax reform. … Let us hope that rationality prevails in the context of trade policies as they evolve in the Trump administration.”[9]

AEI trade analyst James Pethokoukis went further, saying of Trump’s proposed steel tariffs, “[T]he purported reason why Trump is saying that he will announce these steep global tariffs next week is for national security—at least, that claim forms the legal basis of the action. And who knows, maybe Trump even kind of believes it himself. … That reasoning is pretty much ridiculous, unless the Pentagon has given Trump reason to think it’s possible that the 1st Armored Division might one day be racing toward Toronto, or Army Rangers parachuting into Rio de Janeiro.”[10]

But just as central to AEI is U.S. policy on Israel and the Middle East, which has shaped its response to the Trump administration. AEI has long positioned itself within the right-wing “pro-Israel” advocacy community. A case in point was its September 2015 announcement that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the winner of that year’s “Irving Kristol Award,” the organization’s top honor which is “given to individuals who have made exceptional practical and intellectual contributions to improve government policy, social welfare, or political understanding.”[11]

This positon in has led AEI to be supportive of many of Trump’s geostrategic policies, particularly with respect to the Middle East. Thus, for example, several[12] prominent AEI figures[13] spoke out in support of the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, with no concomitant attention paid to the Palestinian claim to a capital in the same city. Senior vice president Danielle Pletka echoed Netanyahu’s claim that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem could actually be a step toward peace, stating, “The truth is that the Israelis have had their capital in Jerusalem for almost 70 years, and Washington has maintained an embassy outside Jerusalem for the same time period, and none of that has led to a resolution between the Arabs and the Jews. There is no reason to believe that acknowledging reality will prejudice that particularly hopeless cause. Perhaps it will have the opposite effect.”[14]

However, on other foreign policy fronts, AEI has been divided. After Trump held his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June 2018, AEI scholars were unenthusiastic about the result. Resident scholar Marc Thiessen wrote, “Trump made no real concessions in Singapore. He did not lift sanctions, unfreeze North Korean assets or send secret planes loaded with hard currency to Pyongyang. He did not sign an agreement ending the Korean War or offer Pyongyang diplomatic recognition. All the president did was, as a goodwill gesture, suspend military exercises with South Korea—a decision he can easily reverse.”[15]

Others were critical. AEI political economist Nicholas Eberstadt declared Kim the “winner” of the summit. “At the end of the day, the incontrovertible fact is that President Trump showed himself to be hungry for this summit, no matter what. Whether President Moon’s flattering comments about the Nobel Peace Prize had any impact on that appetite cannot yet be determined. What is clear is that Team Trump, which had consistently avoided the sorts of mistakes previous administrations had made, stumbled into a series of North Korean negotiating traps.”[16]

From Bush to Obama

Among the better known figures with long-standing connections to the institute are several former George W. Bush administration officials and advisers who were key promoters of the Bush administration’s “war on terror” policies, including John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and John Yoo. President Bush highlighted the enormous influence the institute had in his administration during a January 2003 speech at an AEI dinner celebrating neoconservative trailblazer Irving Kristol. After commending AEI for having “some of the finest minds in our nation,” the president said, “You do such good work that my administration has borrowed 20 such minds.”[17]

Although the George W. Bush presidency marked a high-point for AEI’s influence in the White House, the think tank continued to play a role influencing public debate on U.S. foreign and defense policies through the Barack Obama. In 2013, AEI brought on retired Sens. Joe Lieberman(I-CT) and Jon Kyl(R-AZ) as visiting fellows, tasking the two long-time hawks with heading the institute’s new “American Internationalism Project.”

The think tank has long promoted U.S. military entanglements in the Middle East, advocating intervention in Syria’s civil war, a hard line against Iran, and a prolonged U.S. presence in Afghanistan. These positions were often at odds with the policies of the Obama administration and, while they may be a bit closer to Trump’s aggressive style, they are also out of step with Trump’s simultaneous isolationist streak. A 2012 AEI briefing called U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan “a recipe for endless war fought on American soil.”[18]In April 2018, AEI resident scholar Marc Thiessen wrote that Trump’s attacks in Syria, “were just muscular enough not to get mocked. As a result, they did more damage to the United States’ credibility on the world stage than they did to the Assad regime.”[19]

In 2014, as the Obama administration announced a campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, Frederick Kagan, the director of AEI’s “Critical Threats” Project, came out strongly in favor of escalating the conflict by sending U.S. ground troops, arguing for a strategy that “includes a real American commitment—including some forces on the ground and the vital military and political enablers that only America can provide.”[20]

Writing with his spouse, Kimberly Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War, Kagan suggested that the United States should send as many as 25,000 ground troops to Iraq and Syria. “Two battalion-sized quick reaction forces (QRF) will need to be available at all times, one in Iraq and one in Syria,” the couple wrote in September 2014.[21]

During the fial years of the Obama administration, AEI scholars wrote extensively about strategies Republicans in control of Congress should pursue to thwart the president’s foreign policies.

Writing for the National Review, AEI scholars John Yoo and Arthur Herman purported that a Republican controlled Senate “would present an extraordinary opportunity for the GOP to take leadership and reverse the course of American decline, not just at home but abroad as well.” They added: “A strong Congress can pressure a weak president, and when such a president refuses to lead on foreign policy, Congress must do it for him. Congress may lack executive powers, including those of a commander-in-chief, but it controls the purse, the size and shape of the armed forces, and foreign commerce, including arms exports. While Congress cannot make international agreements such as treaties, it can provide material assistance to other countries. While it cannot launch attacks, Congress can fund new classes of weapons, such as cyber technologies, that improve our defenses.”[22]

Summing up the views of many AEI figures, AEI scholar Thomas Donnellyquipped in June 2013 that the Obama administration’s purported bid to back out “of perceived military overcommitments in the Muslim world” had resulted in Washington being “no better liked, no longer feared, regarded as an increasingly inconstant ally or as an enemy prone to blink” in the Middle East. In a similarly timed op-ed decrying the Obama administration’s overtures to Russia on nuclear disarmament, John Bolton lampooned Obama’s foreign policy philosophy as “peace through weakness.”

AEI has drawn some scrutiny for its sources of funding. The organization generally does not disclose its donors except to acknowledge that it takes money from individuals, foundations, corporations, and the government. A 2009 “schedule of contributors” leaked in May 2013, however, listed the right-wing Donors Capital Fund, the Kern Family Foundation, and the Chamber of Commerce as high-dollar donors.[23]

Also disclosed in the leaked document was a $550,000 donation from the de facto Taiwanese embassy in Washington. As journalist Eli Clifton noted in The Nation, numerous AEI figures, including Daniel Blumenthal and Gary Schmitt, had agitated for U.S. arms sales to Taiwan that year, and the Taiwanese president himself had lauded AEI for having “long supported the various policy stances of the ROC government” in a personal meeting with AEI president Arthur Brooks. Clifton quoted Bill Allison of the pro-transparency Sunlight Foundation, who said that if any Taiwanese money had yielded research or reports that AEI had used to lobby the U.S. government, then AEI “should disclose the contribution and probably should register” as an agent of the Taiwanese government.[24]

On Iran

AEI scholars have long identified Iran as a key Middle East threat, insisting—despite contrary assessments from U.S. and Israeli intelligence services—that Iran was actively engaged in building a nuclear weapon prior to the 2015 nuclear agreement. In a December 2011 report exploring the plausibility of containing a nuclear Iran, authors Danielle Pletka, Thomas Donnelly, and Maseh Zarif cast doubt on the possibility of effectively containing a nuclear Iran, but suggested that such a scenario was inevitable in the absence of preemptive action. “Though containment and deterrence are possible policies and strategies for the United States and others to adopt when faced with a nuclear Iran, we cannot share the widespread enthusiasm entertained in many quarters,” they concluded. “It may be the case that containing and deterring is the least-bad choice. However, that does not make it a low-risk or low-cost choice. In fact, it is about to be not a choice but a fact of life.”[25]

AEI scholars strongly opposed the July 2015 Iran nuclear deal. In September 2015, AEI hosted former Vice President Dick Cheneyat an event where he denounced the deal as “madness” and accused the Obama administration of agreeing “to guarantee that the means of its own destruction will be in the hands of another nation.”[26]

AEI provided the stage for one of the pivotal moments in the Trump administration’s buildup to its violation of the Iran nuclear deal. In September 2017, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations spoke at the institute, laying out what would become the rationale for the United States’ eventual withdrawal the following year.

Haley laid down the framework for holding Iran to a standard far beyond the one agreed to in the nuclear deal. “Many observers…think, “Well, as long as Iran is meeting the limits on enriched uranium and centrifuges, then it’s complying with the deal. That’s not true. This is a jigsaw puzzle.”[27]

Responding to her speech, former C.I.A. analyst Paul Pillar wrote, “A rhetorical challenge that Trump, Haley, and the drafters of her speech have faced is how to justify reneging on an agreement that, as the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency have confirmed, Iran is observing. One of the techniques used in the speech was to sow confusion about exactly what Iranian compliance entails. Haley tried to make the subject sound like it is more complicated than looking at the terms of the detailed and laboriously drafted JCPOA (the nuclear agreement itself) and having IAEA inspectors, through continuous and highly intrusive monitoring, determine whether Iran is complying with the terms.”

Pillar described Haley’s “jigsaw puzzle” analogy as consisting of three pillars, “the JCPOA, United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (which was the international community’s formal endorsement of the JCPOA), and the Corker-Cardin legislation that governs the relationship of Congress to the president on Iran policy. The big problem with Haley’s formulation is that Iran is a party to only one of those three ‘pillars,’ the JCPOA. The requirements for Iranian compliance are found entirely within the JCPOA. Certainly Iran cannot be held responsible for whatever happens to go into U.S. legislation enacted by the U.S. Congress. Some of the clauses in Resolution 2231 do reflect understandings reached during negotiation of the JCPOA, but the resolution does not incorporate additional obligations that Iran negotiated and undertook. The much-commented upon clause regarding ballistic missile activity was carefully and intentionally drafted so as not to constitute a legal obligation.”[28]

Just a few weeks after Haley’s speech, John Bolton—who would become Trump’s third national security adviser but was, at that time, still a scholar at AEI—called on Trump to fully withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran. “I have previously argued that only U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA can adequately protect America from the Iranian nuclear threat. Casuistry deployed to persuade President Trump to stay in the deal may succeed this Thursday, but it does so only at grave peril to our country. This is no time to let our guard down,” Bolton wrote.[29]

Other AEI scholars urged a more cautious approach regarding the nuclear deal. Kenneth Pollack, a resident scholar at AEI, wrote, “I remain convinced that it would be a mistake for the United States to unilaterally abrogate or violate the [Iran nuclear] agreement. Its flaws notwithstanding, we cannot lose sight of the fact that (a) the JCPOA has significantly constrained Iran’s nuclear activities, and (b) the rest of the world strongly favors it and could well break with the United States if we gut it.  Given the critical role of our allies to make push back work, that is a risk we should not run.”[30]

When Trump finally did withdraw from the deal, AEI scrambled to balance their opposition to the deal with their recognition that the abrogation of U.S. commitments would undermine U.S. credibility and opened real questions about how to prevent an Iranian march to a nuclear weapon, if Iran ever chose to pursue one. AEI senior vice president, Danielle Pletka stated, “Washington has lost some leverage by walking away from the JCPOA. Now all of the sanctions that were imposed are coming back. The Europeans have already said they have no intention of reimposing sanctions. And the Iranians have said they’re staying in the agreement without the United States. What have we achieved? Well, more sanctions. But those are nothing more than a tool to get Iran to . . . what? Will Iran unilaterally begin behaving in order to restore tenuous business ties with the United States? Will the Europeans see the light and begin trying to write a new deal, or a side deal that Trump has already rejected? What is our strategy?”[31]

Militarism

Although AEI’s scholars focus on a range of social and domestic policy issues, the institute has long been identified with hawkish U.S. foreign policy advocacy. Many of its scholars were vociferous public promoters of attacking Iraq—even before the 9/11 terrorist attacks—and pushed for an expansive “war on terror.” AEI was closely associated with the now-defunct Project for the New American Century(PNAC), a neoconservative letterhead group that served as an important vehicle for forging a broad coalition of conservatives behind an aggressive post-Cold War U.S. agenda.

AEI played an important role in buttressing arguments for the continued U.S. occupation of Iraq and served as a key advocacy organization for the push to approve the 2007 troop “surge.” Following the 2006 November midterm elections—which swept in Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate on a wave of antiwar sentiment—AEI scholar Frederick Kagan, an outspoken proponent of increasing troop levels in Iraq, wrote in the Weekly Standard, “We face a stark choice now. We can either maintain bases and large forces in Iraq, or we can withdraw. If we withdraw, the Iraqi Army will collapse, and we will not be able to help it except by re-entering the country in large numbers and in a much worse situation.”[32]

In early 2007 Kagan coauthored, with retired Gen. Jack Keane, an AEI plan titled “Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq,” which was meant to serve as a blueprint for a U.S. troop surge in Iraq.[33]The report was produced with the help of an AEI study group called the Iraq Planning Group, which seemed directly aimed at countering the influence of the similarly named Iraq Study Group (ISG), a group of experts enlisted by the Bush administration in early 2006 to make recommendations to help resolve the growing problems with the Iraq War. The ISG, which was co-chaired by the realist-inclined former Secretary of State James Baker and former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN), concluded in its final report released in December 2006 that there was “no magic bullet” that could solve the debacle in Iraq. It argued that the United States needed to approach Iraq’s neighbors, including Syria and Iran, as part of a “diplomatic offensive” aimed at easing tension in the region.[34]Initially, the Bush administration seemed to ignore the ISG’s advice and implemented a troop surge smaller than that proposed by AEI but in line with many of its other recommendations. By the summer of 2008, some influential administration figures appeared more willing to consider diplomacy in the region, against AEI recommendations.

At a July 24, 2008 AEI event, Kagan and Keane, echoing the presidential campaign message of Sen. John McCain(R-AZ), argued that the surge had accomplished all of its goals.[35]Ignoring conflicting assessments that place major responsibility for the decreasing violence in parts of Iraq on Sunni opposition to the insurgency and payouts from the U.S. government to armed groups,[36]the events’ speakers stressed that only by keeping troops indefinitely in Iraq could the gains purportedly won by the surge be secured. “All the trends are in the right direction … [and] the only way [they] can be reversed is if we walk away,” argued Keane.[37]

AEI scholars and fellows have remained unapologetic about the war. “Despite all the criticism of what happened after Saddam’s defeat,” wrote John Bolton in a February 2013 Guardianop-ed marking the tenth anniversary of the U.S. invasion, it is “indisputable” that the United States “accomplished its military mission with low casualties and great speed, sending an unmistakable signal of power and determination throughout the Middle East and around the world.”[38]

AEI writers have also continued to embrace some of the more controversial security policies pursued during the Bush years, including torture. Shortly after the U.S. assassination of Osama bin Laden, for example, two visiting AEI fellows—John Yoo and Marc Thiessen—spearheaded an aggressive messaging campaign to embellish the role that intelligence gathered from Bush-era “enhanced interrogations” had played in locating bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. These “torture apologists” persisted even after journalistic reports from the New York Timesand other outlets cast doubt on the notion that torture had helped locate the late al-Qaeda leader.[39]

In 2018, when President Donald Trump nominated accused torturer Gina Haspelto replace his new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, as head of the C.I.A., AEI scholar Marc Thiessen leapt to Haspel’s defense, positing, “To vote down someone so obviously qualified as political retribution for the CIA’s now-defunct interrogation program would be a travesty. President Barack Obama’s Justice Department concluded that no crimes had been committed.”[40]

A number of AEI scholars, past and present, have also been outspoken proponents of military action against Iran. In September 2007, for example, AEI held a forum that addressed Michael Ledeen’s then-newly published book, The Iranian Time Bomb: The Mullah Zealots’ Quest for Destruction.[41]Among those speaking at the event were Ledeen (who was AEI’s “Freedom Scholar”), Clifford Mayof the closely associated Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and former CIA head James Woolsey. Reporter Jim Lobe said of the book, “Judging by the excerpts that have been released to date, Ledeen’s latest tract will be entirely predictable, although, in addition to emphasizing, as he has for much of the last several years, the urgent need to support and fund the [Iranian] regime’s domestic opposition, he concludes that ‘[t]his presidential administration or the next will likely face a terrible choice: appease a nuclear Iran, or bomb it before their atomic weapons are ready to go. While a sad exclamation point at the end of nearly 30 years of failed policy, confrontation may be virtually inescapable. Like other ideological wars of the 20th century, this war will likely only end when one side has lost.'”[42]

According to Middle East analyst Gareth Porter, former AEI resident fellow Gerecht was “more aggressive than anyone else” in making the misleading argument “that Iraq’s Shiites, liberated by U.S. military power, would help subvert the Iranian regime.”[43]In September 2005 testimony to the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, Gerecht argued that diplomacy with Tehran was a dead end. Pointing to the Clinton administration’s efforts to “give peace a chance,” which Gerecht said had included apologizing for “the supposedly bad behavior of the entire Western world toward Iran for the last 150 years,” Gerecht argued, “American apologies in revolutionary clerical eyes mean only one thing—weakness. And showing weakness to power-politic-loving Iranian clerics is not astute. This is 101 in Iranian political culture. Yet I’m willing to bet that most analysts dealing with Iran at the State Department and the CIA probably thought American soul-searching was a good thing, that the political elite in Tehran would respect us more.”[44]

A Change of Guard?

By late 2008, as the George W. Bush presidency was drawing to a close, the institute appeared to have second thoughts about its intimate association with hardline neoconservatives. In particular, three high-profile scholars—Michael Ledeen,Joshua Muravchik, and Reuel Marc Gerecht—appear to have been forced out of the think tank toward the end of the Bush’s second term. All three were regarded as key proponents of the president’s “war on terror” policies, including the invasion of Iraq and antagonism toward Iran, and each had been based at AEI for several years.

Although the exact reasons for their departures were unclear, one observer reported that many neoconservatives saw them as part of a “vicious purge” that was being spearheaded by an opposing faction within the think tank.[45]The National Interest’s Jacob Heilbrunn (author of the 2007 book They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons), wrote, “If neocon influence really is on the wane at AEI … it would signal the end of its domination over the think tank over the past several decades. Like Bush, AEI may be on the verge of trying to reinvent itself. The change that [Barack] Obama promised during the campaign seems to be reaching Washington in unexpected places.”[46]

More recently, in mid-2015, observers noted the distinct absence of long-standing AEI figure Richard Perle, the notorious neoconservative ideologue who served roles in both the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations. By 2015, he was no longer listed as a scholar or fellow at AEI, and just as importantly he was largely silent during the heated debate over the historic Iran nuclear deal, which was finalized in July 2015. Wrote Jim Lobe: Perle’s “virtually total absence from the Iran nuclear debate over the past two years was perhaps one of the most remarkable features of the whole controversy. Ubiquitous in the major media in the run-up to and aftermath of the Iraq war debacle and a long-time advocate of ‘regime change’ by whatever means in Iran … Washington’s leading neoconservative operative for several decades, seems almost to have entirely disappeared from public view.”[47]

Sources told Lobe that AEI’s Danielle Pletka, a Perle protégé, apparently maneuvered to have Perle removed from the AEI stable, in part because of his controversial overseas investment ventures and consulting work, which raised serious conflict of interest questions. “If it’s true that Pletka has maneuvered Perle out of AEI,” wrote Lobe, “it marks something of a watershed. Probably Washington’s most influential neocon operative of his generation, he played a critical role in driving the U.S. to war in Iraq, along with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith (another Perle protégé).”[48]

Despite these moves in recent years, many AEI scholars have continued to exhibit a distinctly neoconservative edge and right-wing “pro-Israel” bias, particularly with respect to U.S. policy on Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as noted previously in this profile. According to Lobe: “None of this means … that AEI’s foreign policy team has lost its belligerent and militaristic stripes. Its most visible ‘scholar,’ after all, remains John Bolton, while Paul Wolfowitzhas occupied a perch there since his unceremonious departure from the World Bank. Pletka, who, like Bolton, once worked for Jesse Helms, has herself become something of a television regular as the acerbic critic of the ‘weakness’ and ‘appeasement’ of the Obama administration. Meanwhile, the albeit much more obscure Perle protégé, Michael Rubin, continues to uphold hardline neocon orthodoxy in his contributions to National Reviewand Commentary’sContentions blog.”[49]

History

Founded in 1943, AEI is one of the oldest policy institutes in Washington. AEI traces its origins to a New York City-based business association called the American Enterprise Association (AEA), which was founded in 1938 and soon after World War II opened a Washington office to lobby against government intervention in the domestic economy. AEA, which brought together some of the country’s largest corporate firms, substituted “institute” for “association” and became one of the nation’s first policy think tanks. Lewis Brown, president of Johns-Manville Corp., was the principal figure behind AEA, which from its beginning had a strong pro-business posture. Like the AEA, AEI is dedicated to the “maintenance of the system of free, competitive enterprise.”[50]

One of the institute’s earliest supporters on Capitol Hill was Gerald Ford, who as a congressional representative praised the institute in 1950, beginning what AEI describes as a “long and happy relationship with the president-to-be.” A key figure in AEI’s early history was William Baroody, who joined AEI as president in 1954 and was responsible for bringing some of the country’s most conservative economists into the institute, including Milton Friedman and Paul McCracken. Under Baroody’s leadership, AEI succeeded in injecting conservative reform ideas into national news media. Baroody also helped ensure not only that congressional and executive officials heard the policy ideas of AEI scholars, but also that AEI associates moved into high government positions, especially in the Ford, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush administrations.[51]

After his presidency ended in 1976, Ford went to AEI, bringing with him a retinue of conservative figures, including Arthur Burns, Robert Bork, David Gergen, and James Miller III. The institute boasts about this era that “AEI had become a hotbed of innovative ideas—on deregulation, tax reform, trade policy, social welfare, and the revitalization of defense and foreign policy—that were about to debut on the political stage.”[52]

It was also during the 1970s that neoconservative icon Irving Kristol, father of Weekly Standardeditor William Kristol, became closely involved in AEI’s fortunes. In his 1995 book Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea, Kristol recounts how Baroody, having been attracted by Kristol’s writings in The Public Interestand the Wall Street Journal, invited him to be an honorary fellow at the institute. The relationship, Kristol implies in the book, resulted in AEI expanding its free enterprise focus to include social issues and Cold War defense policies, topics closely covered by neoconservative writers. Attracted by the emergence of this new ideological grouping, writes Kristol, Baroody “made a determined effort to recruit ‘neoconservatives’ to AEI, and did in fact recruit, early on, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Michael Novak, Ben Wattenberg, as well as many others…. [Baroody’s] task was facilitated by the appearance on the scene of a rejuvenated Bradley FoundationandJohn M. Olin Foundation, now staffed by younger men and women who had been exposed to, and influenced by, ‘neoconservative’ thinking. Among them special note has to be made of Michael Joyceof Bradley, who turned out to be an accomplished neoconservative thinker in his own right.”[53]

In the 1980s, the Reagan administration recruited an array of AEI associates, leaving AEI offices relatively empty. Whether on foreign policy issues, such as support for the Nicaraguan contras or the “freedom fighters” in Africa, or on domestic issues such as corporate deregulation, former AEI figures played a prominent role. Though the Reagan years were a heyday for AEI ideas, the time was difficult for the institute. Baroody, who had authored AEI’s slogan, “Competition of ideas is fundamental to a free society,” died in 1981, and it wasn’t until the late 1980s that the think tank started recovering from the organizational and financial crises that followed his death.

With the emergence of several new conservative think tanks, including the Heritage Foundationand Cato Institute, AEI’s influence appeared to diminish. Despite this, President Ronald Reagan in 1988 acknowledged the institute’s pervasive influence in spearheading the “Reagan Revolution.” According to Reagan, “The American Enterprise Institute stands at the center of a revolution in ideas of which I, too, have been a part. AEI’s remarkably distinguished body of work is testimony to the triumph of the think tank. For today the most important American scholarship comes out of our think tanks—and none has been more influential than the American Enterprise Institute.”[54]

With the 1986 appointment of Christopher DeMuthas president, AEI’s fortunes and reputation began to recuperate. DeMuth, who served as an administrator of the Office of Management and Budget in the first Reagan administration before moving to AEI, served as head of the organization for 22 years and oversaw tremendous growth. AEI’s annual revenue increased dramatically during DeMuth’s tenure, rising to nearly $40 million by 2005,[55]though this declined by $10 million the following year.[56]

DeMuth also oversaw the institute during what was perhaps its most influential period—the first administration of George W. Bush. Nearly two dozen AEI fellows were given administration roles or advisory posts. AEI predicted it would play a prominent role in the Bush administration. In a December 2000 Washington Postarticle, Dana Milbank wrote, “It’s noon in the American Enterprise Institute’s 12th-floor dining room, where Irving Kristol, Norman Ornstein, and other luminaries lunch. On the menu is swordfish and white wine. On the agenda is a Bush transition. If George W. Bush becomes president, says AEI scholar Douglas Besharov, beckoning to the dining room, ‘this whole place empties out.'”[57]

In mid-2008, AEI named a new president, Arthur Brooks, who formally took over the post on January 1, 2009.[58]According to his AEI biography, Brooks “researches and writes about the connections between culture, politics, and economic life in America.… He is the author of Who Really Cares, which examines American charitable giving; Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America—And How We Can Get More of It; and a textbook on social entrepreneurship.”[59]Brooks left his position as the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs to take over the AEI presidency.

Activities and Staff

AEI headquarters are located in a building on Washington’s 17th Street that is a warren of right-wing operations. Before it shuttered most of its operations in 2006, the Project for the New American Century had its offices there. Several PNAC principals, including Gerecht, Bruce Jackson, Gary Schmitt, and Tom Donnelly, moved from PNAC to AEI. Also located in the same building are the offices of the Weekly Standard, a flagship neoconservative publication that often serves as a favored outlet for AEI scholars. The Philanthropy Roundtable, the rightist association of foundations that split off from the Council of Foundations in the early 1980s, also once found a home in the AEI building.

According to AEI’s website, as of 2012, it had 185 staff members working at its headquarters in Washington alongside “about 50” adjunct fellows based elsewhere. AEI conducts and publicizes policy research through various research divisions and publications. According to its “about” page, “AEI research is conducted through seven primary research divisions: Economics, Foreign and Defense Policy, Politics and Public Opinion, Education, Health, Energy and the Environment and Society and Culture.” Its publishing outlets include a blog, an online magazine called The American, and the AEI Press.[60]

AEI has teamed up with several other research institutes to undertake joint projects. In 2003, for example, AEI and the conservative judicial association Federalist Societylaunched a project and website called NGOWatch to monitor nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), especially those involved in foreign policy and international relations. Later reorganized and renamed Global Government Watch,[61]the initiative was initially launched at an AEI conference entitled “NGOs: The Growing Power of an Unelected Few,” which was cosponsored by the Institute of Public Affairs, a rightist Australian think tank. According to the conference organizers, “NGOs have created their own rules and regulations and demanded that governments and corporations abide by those rules.”[62]

Presumably, AEI’s own influence on policy making was not one of its primary concerns, an irony alluded to by some commentators in their criticism of the initiative. Ralph Nader wrote, “During the past 22 years, the AEI, their nearby corporate patrons, their allied trade associations and corporate think tanks have, in effect, taken over the executive branch, the Congress, and promoted the judgeships of right-wing corporate lawyers…. What’s left to do? How to keep its corporate supremacists writing those big checks? Why, go after the liberal or progressive nongovernmental associations. Describe them as a collage of Goliaths running an all-points wrecking machine over government and business.”[63]

AEI has also copublished hawkish reports on security issues with the Institute for the Study of War, whose founding president Kimberly Kaganis married to AEI’s Frederick Kagan.

In a more unusual move in 2018, AEI partnered with the centrist, Democrat Party-aligned Center for American Progress (CAP) to create a primer called “Drivers of Authoritarian Populism in the United States.” The paper took clear aim at the authoritarian leanings of Donald Trump and his supporters. It purports to examine “the political, economic, cultural, and racial factors driving authoritarian populism in the United States. It also provides recommendations to face this challenge moving forward.” AEI and CAP explained their unusual partnership at the beginning, writing, “Scholars at the Center for American Progress and at the American Enterprise Institute have often found themselves on opposing sides of important policy discussions. Yet, at a time when the fundamental character of Western societies is at stake, what unites us is much stronger than the disagreements that we have.

“The threat of authoritarian populism will not recede unless a new generation of political leaders offers a credible agenda for improving people’s lives that is more appealing to the public than the populist alternatives. The defense and rebuilding of democratic politics and discourse, however, requires sustained intellectual engagement. It demands a reinvigorated case for how liberal democracy, openness, pluralism, and a rules-based international order can deliver on the promise of shared prosperity and common security.”[64]

The membership of AEI’s board of trustees reveals the institute’s strong ties to the corporate community. Members include Bruce Kovner(Caxton Associates), Pete Coors (Molson Coors Brewing Company), John Faraci (International Paper), Raymond Gilmartin (formerly of Merck), Harvey Golub (formerly of American Express), Mel Sembler(Sembler Company), and Wilson Taylor (CIGNA), among many others.[65]Over the past several decades, AEI’s board of trustees has included representatives of scores of the nation’s top corporations, including Rockwell, Amoco, Hewlett Packard, Exxon Mobil, Texas Instruments, Eli Lilly, Enron, and Citicorp. Also listed is Dick Cheney, whose spouse Lynneis an AEI fellow.

Among the many corporate contributors to AEI is the Walton Family Foundation, which was founded by the family that started Wal-Mart. According to the New York Times, Wal-Mart “has discovered a reliable ally: prominent conservative research groups like the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Manhattan Institute.”[66]In August 2006, AEI visiting scholar Richard Vedder wrote an opinion article for the Washington Timesclaiming that “Wal-Mart has helped poor and middle-class consumers, in fact more than anyone else.” The article prominently identified his ties to AEI but failed to mention Wal-Mart’s contributions to the group.[67]

AEI’s council of academic advisers has included such leading conservatives as Jeremy Rabkin and Eliot Cohen.[68]AEI “scholars” include Nicholas Eberstadt, Jonah Goldberg, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Roger Noriega, Richard Perle,Danielle Pletka, and Michael Rubin.[69]Newt Gingrichand David Frumare former fellows.

Funding 

AEI has received funding from an array of sources, including foreign governments (Taiwan in 2009, for example[70]), right-wing foundations, corporations, and individual donors. Of its 2011-2012 revenues, 39 percent came from foundations, 15 percent from corporations, and most of the remainder from individual contributions.[71]

According to its 2012 annual report, AEI collected $37.4 million in revenues during the fiscal year that ended in June 2012.[72]This was a marked decline from previous years, as the organization reported raising nearly $60 million in both 2008 and 2009, according to its 2011 Form 990.[73]

AEI’s major donors have included the heavy hitters of the conservative foundation world: the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Olin Foundation, the Scaife Foundation, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, as well as smaller right-wing foundations such as Carthage, Earhart, and Castle Rock. From 1985 through 2005, AEI received more than $40 million from right-wing foundations.[74]

A statement on AEI’s website explicitly invites corporate support for the institute. “The growth in the size and scope of the federal government represents a direct threat to the values AEI shares with the private sector—the engine of America’s freedom and prosperity,” it reads. “Corporate support of the Institute helps keep AEI scholars at the forefront of public policy debates, evaluating the impact of policy proposals and regulations while advancing sound reforms.” Corporations who donate $100,000 are invited to join AEI’s “Corporate Leadership Circle,” with “additional opportunities” offered to “Circle members who support AEI with a gift of $150,000 or more.”[75]

According to People for the American Way, corporate donors to AEI have included the General Electric Foundation, Amoco, Kraft, Ford Motor Company Fund, General Motors Foundation, Eastman Kodak Foundation, Metropolitan Life Foundation, Procter & Gamble Fund, Shell Companies Foundation, Chrysler Corporation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, General Mills Foundation, Pillsbury Company Foundation, Prudential Foundation, American Express Foundation, AT&T Foundation, Corning Glass Works Foundation, Morgan Guarantee Trust, Alcoa Foundation, and PPG Industries.[76]

SOURCES

[1]American Enterprise Institute, 2012 Annual Report, http://www.aei.org/files/2012/12/04/-annualreport2012_093903420972.pdf.

[2]American Enterprise Institute, “AEI’s Organization and Purpose,” http://www.aei.org/about/.

[3]Claude Barfield, “Trump’s G-7 Mistake is Clear,” The National Interest, June 8, 2018, http://nationalinterest.org/feature/trumps-g-7-mistake-clear-26214

[4]Romesh Ponnuru, “Furor over Trump’s ‘animals’ remark misses the point,” Bloomberg, May 22, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-05-18/trump-s-animals-remark-wasn-t-the-real-issue

[5]Jonah Goldberg, “Could Trump pardon himself?” National Review, June 6, 2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/06/donald-trump-can-president-pardon-himself-complicated-question/

[6]Jonah Goldberg, “President Trump’s unhealthy obsession with the Mueller investigation,” USA Today, June 8, 2018, https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/06/07/donald-trump-mueller-investigation-russia-witch-hunt-whining-column/673780002/

[7]Desmond Lachman, “Trump trade policy ungrounded in economics, oblivious to history,” AEI, June 18, 2018, http://www.aei.org/publication/trump-trade-policy-ungrounded-in-economics-oblivious-to-history/

[8]Mark J. Perry, “Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs could seriously derail his ‘energy dominance’ agenda,” Washington Examiner, March 6, 2018, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trumps-steel-and-aluminum-tariffs-could-seriously-derail-his-energy-dominance-agenda/article/2650880

[9]Benjamin Zycher, “How Trump’s Steel Tariffs Could Harm National Security,” National Review, May 30, 2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/trump-steel-tariffs-undermine-national-security/

[10]James Pethokoukis, “Trump’s promised tariffs will start a trade war, not ensure national security,” NBC News, March 2, 2018, https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-s-promised-tariffs-will-start-trade-war-not-ensure-ncna852626

[11]AEI Media, “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to receive 2015 AEI Irving Kristol Award,” September 22, 2015, https://www.aei.org/press/israeli-prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-to-receive-2015-aei-irving-kristol-award/.

[12]Jonah Goldberg, “Jerusalem is Israel’s true capital,” National Review, December 8, 2017, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454455/donald-trump-jerusalem-israel-capital-decision-recognizes-reality

[13]Michael Rubin, “Moving the embassy isn’t enough — tear down the old one,” Washington Examiner, May 9, 2018, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/moving-the-israeli-embassy-isnt-enough-tear-down-the-old-one

[14]Danielle Pletka, “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” Newsday, December 21, 2017, https://www.newsday.com/opinion/commentary/jerusalem-israel-capital-1.15534674

[15]Marc Thiessen, “On North Korea, Trump deserves more latitude and less attitude,” Washington Post, June 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-deserves-more-latitude-and-less-attitude/2018/06/15/3be1edde-6fee-11e8-bd50-b80389a4e569_story.html

[16]Nicholas Eberstadt, “Kim Wins in Singapore,’ National Review, June 21, 2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2018/07/09/kim-jong-un-singapore-summit-north-korea-wins/

[17]Quoted in Michael Flynn, “The War Hawks,” Chicago Tribune, April 13, 2003.

[18]AEI, “Why we must win in Afghanistan,” December 3, 2015, http://www.aei.org/publication/why-american-leadership-still-matters/

[19]Marc Thiessen, “Trump’s Syria strike was meant to project strength. It did the opposite.” Washington Post, April 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trumps-syria-strike-was-meant-to-project-strength-it-did-the-opposite/2018/04/15/f9e37fa6-40b8-11e8-8569-26fda6b404c7_story.html

[20]Frederick and Kimberly Kagan, “In fight against ISIS, the US must lead, and not rely on allies,” The New York Times, September 15, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/09/15/does-the-us-have-allies-it-needs-to-fight-isis/in-fight-against-isis-the-us-must-lead-and-not-rely-on-allies.

[21]Frederick and Kimberly Kagan, “In fight against ISIS, the US must lead, and not rely on allies,” The New York Times, September 15, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/09/15/does-the-us-have-allies-it-needs-to-fight-isis/in-fight-against-isis-the-us-must-lead-and-not-rely-on-allies.

[22]John Yoo and Arthur Herman, “Fighting Obamapolitik,” American Enterprise Institute, October 20, 2014, http://www.aei.org/publication/fighting-obamapolitik/.

[23]Eli Clifton, “The Secret Foreign Donor Behind the American Enterprise Institute,” June 25, 2013, http://www.thenation.com/article/174980/secret-foreign-donor-behind-american-enterprise-institute#ixzz2XSUgy57P.

[24]Eli Clifton, “The Secret Foreign Donor Behind the American Enterprise Institute,” June 25, 2013, http://www.thenation.com/article/174980/secret-foreign-donor-behind-american-enterprise-institute#ixzz2XSUgy57P.

[25]Danielle Pletka, Thomas Donnelly, Maseh Zarif, “Containing and deterring a nuclear Iran,” AEI, December 6, 2011, http://www.aei.org/papers/foreign-and-defense-policy/regional/middle-east-and-north-africa/containing-and-deterring-a-nuclear-iran/.

[26]Aliyah Frumin, “Dick Cheney: Iran nuclear deal is ‘madness,’” MSNBC, September 8, 2015, http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/dick-cheney-iran-nuclear-deal-madness.

[27]“Nikki Haley Address on Iran and the JCPOA,” AEI, September 5, 2017, https://www.aei.org/publication/nikki-haley-address-on-iran-and-the-jcpoa/

[28]Paul Pillar, “Haley’s Dishonest Speech About The Iran Nuclear Agreement,” Lobelog, September 6, 2017,https://lobelog.com/haleys-dishonest-speech-about-the-iran-nuclear-agreement/

[29]John Bolton, “John Bolton: Mr. President, don’t put America at risk with flawed Iran deal,” The Hill, October 9, 2017, http://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/354484-john-bolton-mr-president-dont-put-america-at-risk-with-flawed-iran

[30]Kenneth Pollack, “Pushing back on Iran, part 2: An overview of the strategy,” AEI, February 13, 2018, https://www.aei.org/publication/pushing-back-on-iran-part-2-an-overview-of-the-strategy/

[31]Danielle Pletka, “How to think about the end of the JCPOA,” AEI, May 8, 2018, http://www.aei.org/publication/how-to-think-about-the-end-of-the-jcpoa/

[32]Frederick Kagan, “Reality Check II,” Weekly Standard, November 15, 2006.

[33]Frederick Kagan, “Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq,” AEI, January 5, 2007, http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.25396/pub_detail.asp.

[34]Leon Hadar, “The Baker-Hamilton Recommendations: Too Little, Too Late?” Right Web analysis, December 12, 2006.

[35]American Enterprise Institute, “AEI Event: The 2008 Iraq Debate: An Assessment from the Ground,” July 24, 2008, http://www.aei.org/events/eventID.1761,filter.all/event_detail.asp.

[36]See, for example, Juan Cole, “A Social History of the Surge,” Informed Comment, July 24, 2008, http://www.juancole.com/2008/07/social-history-of-surge.html.

[37]American Enterprise Institute, “Summary: Iraq: American Troops Need to Stay,” July 24, 2008,http://www.aei.org/events/filter.all,eventID.1761/summary.asp.

[38]John Bolton, ” Overthrowing Saddam Hussein was the right move for the US and its allies,” The Guardian, February 26, 2013, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/26/iraq-war-was-justified?commentpage=1.

[39]See Peter Certo, “Enhanced Embellishment Techniques,” Right Web, June 8, 2011, http://rightweb.irc-online.org/articles/display/enhanced_embellishment_techniques.

[40]Marc Thiessen, “Gina Haspel is too qualified to pass up,” Washington Post, May 9, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/gina-haspel-is-too-qualified-to-pass-up/2018/05/08/3cf5b7ba-52dd-11e8-9c91-7dab596e8252_story.html

[41]”Book Forum: The Iranian Time Bomb,” American Enterprise Institute, September 10, 2007, http://www.aei.org/events/filter.all,eventID.1565/event_detail.asp.

[42]Jim Lobe, “AEI to Roll Out The Iranian Time Bomb,” LobeLog.com, August 28, 2007, http://www.ips.org/blog/jimlobe/?p=58.

[43]Gareth Porter, “The Warpath to Regime Change,” Right Web, November 6, 2007.

[44]Reuel Marc Gerecht, “Clerical Iran: The Threat,” prepared testimony for the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, September 29, 2005.

[45]Jacob Heilbrunn, “Flight of the Neocons,” National Interest online, December 19, 2008.

[46]Jacob Heilbrunn, “Flight of the Neocons,” National Interest online, December 19, 2008.

[47]Jim Lobe, “The Disappearing Prince of Darkness,” Lobelog, 19 October 2015,  http://lobelog.com/the-disappearing-prince-of-darkness/

[48]Jim Lobe, “The Disappearing Prince of Darkness,” Lobelog, 19 October 2015,  http://lobelog.com/the-disappearing-prince-of-darkness/

[49]Jim Lobe, “The Disappearing Prince of Darkness,” Lobelog, 19 October 2015,  http://lobelog.com/the-disappearing-prince-of-darkness/

[50]”AEI’s Diamond Jubilee 1943-2003,” American Enterprise Institute, http://www.aei.org/about/contentID.20031212154735838/default.asp.

[51]”AEI’s Diamond Jubilee 1943-2003,” American Enterprise Institute, http://www.aei.org/about/contentID.20031212154735838/default.asp.

[52]”AEI’s Diamond Jubilee 1943-2003,” American Enterprise Institute, http://www.aei.org/about/contentID.20031212154735838/default.asp.

[53]Irving Kristol, Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea (New York: Free Press, 1995),p. 33.

[54]Ronald Reagan, “Remarks to the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research,” December 7, 1988, American Presidency Project, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/print.php?pid=35239.

[55]American Enterprise Institute, “2006 Annual Report,” http://www.aei.org/docLib/20061220_2006ARweb.pdf.

[56]American Enterprise Institute, “2007 Annual Report,” http://www.aei.org/about/filter.,contentID.20038142214000053/default.asp.

[57]Dana Milbank, “White House Hopes Gas Up A Think Tank: For Center-Right AEI, Bush Means Business,” Washington Post, December 8, 2003, p. A3.

[58]Patricia Cohen, “New Chief for Conservative Policy Group,” New York Times, July 15, 2008.

[59]American Enterprise Institute, “Arthur C. Brooks,” http://www.aei.org/scholars/scholarID.125/scholar.asp.

[60]American Enterprise Institute, “AEI’s Organization and Purpose,” http://www.aei.org/about/.

[61]Global Governance Watch, http://www.globalgovernancewatch.org/.

[62]Jim Lobe, “Bringing the War Home: Right Wing Think Tank Turns Wrath on NGOs,” Foreign Policy In Focus, June 13, 2003.

[63]Ralph Nader, “Has the American Enterprise Institute Lost Contact with Reality?” Common Dreams, June 13, 2003.

[64]Dalibor Rohac, Liz Kennedy, and Vikram Singh, “Drivers of Authoritarian Populism in the United States,” Center for American Progress, May 10, 2018, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/democracy/reports/2018/05/10/450552/drivers-authoritarian-populism-united-states/

[65]American Enterprise Institute, “2007 Annual Report,” http://www.aei.org/about/filter.,contentID.20038142214000053/default.asp.

[66]”Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa,” New York Times, September 8, 2006.

[67]Richard Vedder and Bryan O’Keefe, “Wal-Mart against the Wall?” Washington Times, August 27, 2006.

[68]American Enterprise Institute, “Council of Academic Advisers,” http://www.aei.org/about/council-of-academic-advisers/.

[69]American Enterprise Institute, “Find a Scholar,” http://www.aei.org/scholar/.

[70]Eli Clifton, “The Secret Foreign Donor Behind the American Enterprise Institute,” June 25, 2013, http://www.thenation.com/article/174980/secret-foreign-donor-behind-american-enterprise-institute#ixzz2XSUgy57P.

[71]American Enterprise Institute, 20121 Annual Report, http://www.aei.org/files/2012/12/04/-annualreport2012_093903420972.pdf.http://www.aei.org/files/2012/01/10/-ar2011new_15462528616.pdf.

[72]American Enterprise Institute, 2012 Annual Report, http://www.aei.org/files/2012/12/04/-annualreport2012_093903420972.pdf.

[73]Guidestar.org, AEI profile, http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/53-0218495/american-enterprise-institute-public-policy-research.aspx.

[74]”American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research,” Media Transparency, http://www.mediatransparency.org/recipientprofile.php?recipientID=19; MediaTransparency.org, Foundation Grants: American Enterprise Institute, http://www.mediatransparency.org/recipientgrants.php?recipientID=19.

[75]American Enterprise Institute, “Support: Corporations,” http://www.aei.org/support/corporations/.

[76]People for the American Way: American Enterprise Institute, http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=4456.

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Sources

[1] American Enterprise Institute, 2012 Annual Report, http://www.aei.org/files/2012/12/04/-annualreport2012_093903420972.pdf.

[2] American Enterprise Institute, “AEI’s Organization and Purpose,” http://www.aei.org/about/.

[3] Quoted in Michael Flynn, “The War Hawks,” Chicago Tribune, April 13, 2003.

[4] AEI Media, “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to receive 2015 AEI Irving Kristol Award,” September 22, 2015, https://www.aei.org/press/israeli-prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-to-receive-2015-aei-irving-kristol-award/.

[5] AEI Media, “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to receive 2015 AEI Irving Kristol Award,” September 22, 2015, https://www.aei.org/press/israeli-prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-to-receive-2015-aei-irving-kristol-award/.

[6] Jon Kyl and Joe Lieberman, “American Internationalism Project,” March 11, 2013, http://www.aei.org/issue/foreign-and-defense-policy/american-internationalism-project/.

[7] AEI, “Why we must win in Afghanistan,” October 17, 2012, http://www.aei.org/issue/foreign-and-defense-policy/why-we-must-win-in-afghanistan/.

[8] Frederick and Kimberly Kagan, “In fight against ISIS, the US must lead, and not rely on allies,” The New York Times, September 15, 2014,http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/09/15/does-the-us-have-allies-it-needs-to-fight-isis/in-fight-against-isis-the-us-must-lead-and-not-rely-on-allies.

[9] Frederick and Kimberly Kagan, “In fight against ISIS, the US must lead, and not rely on allies,” The New York Times, September 15, 2014,http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/09/15/does-the-us-have-allies-it-needs-to-fight-isis/in-fight-against-isis-the-us-must-lead-and-not-rely-on-allies.

[10] John Yook and Arthur Herman, “Fighting Obamapolitik,” American Enterprise Institute, October 20, 2014, http://www.aei.org/publication/fighting-obamapolitik/.

[11] Eli Clifton, “The Secret Foreign Donor Behind the American Enterprise Institute,” June 25, 2013, http://www.thenation.com/article/174980/secret-foreign-donor-behind-american-enterprise-institute#ixzz2XSUgy57P.

[12] Eli Clifton, “The Secret Foreign Donor Behind the American Enterprise Institute,” June 25, 2013, http://www.thenation.com/article/174980/secret-foreign-donor-behind-american-enterprise-institute#ixzz2XSUgy57P.

[13] Frederick Kagan, “Reality Check II,” Weekly Standard, November 15, 2006.

[14] Frederick Kagan, “Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq,” AEI, January 5, 2007,http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.25396/pub_detail.asp.

[15] Leon Hadar, “The Baker-Hamilton Recommendations: Too Little, Too Late?” Right Web analysis, December 12, 2006.

[16] American Enterprise Institute, “AEI Event: The 2008 Iraq Debate: An Assessment from the Ground,” July 24, 2008,http://www.aei.org/events/eventID.1761,filter.all/event_detail.asp.

[17] See, for example, Juan Cole, “A Social History of the Surge,” Informed Comment, July 24, 2008, http://www.juancole.com/2008/07/social-history-of-surge.html.

[18] American Enterprise Institute, “Summary: Iraq: American Troops Need to Stay,” July 24, 2008,http://www.aei.org/events/filter.all,eventID.1761/summary.asp.

[19] John Bolton, ” Overthrowing Saddam Hussein was the right move for the US and its allies,” The Guardian, February 26, 2013,http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/26/iraq-war-was-justified?commentpage=1.

[20] See Peter Certo, “Enhanced Embellishment Techniques,” Right Web, June 8, 2011, https://rightweb.irc-online.org/articles/display/enhanced_embellishment_techniques.

[21] “Book Forum: The Iranian Time Bomb,” American Enterprise Institute, September 10, 2007,http://www.aei.org/events/filter.all,eventID.1565/event_detail.asp.

[22] Jim Lobe, “AEI to Roll Out The Iranian Time Bomb,” LobeLog.com, August 28, 2007, http://www.ips.org/blog/jimlobe/?p=58.

[23] Gareth Porter, “The Warpath to Regime Change,” Right Web, November 6, 2007.

[24] Reuel Marc Gerecht, “Clerical Iran: The Threat,” prepared testimony for the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, September 29, 2005.

[25] Jacob Heilbrunn, “Flight of the Neocons,” National Interest online, December 19, 2008.

[26] Jacob Heilbrunn, “Flight of the Neocons,” National Interest online, December 19, 2008.

[27] Jim Lobe, “The Disappearing Prince of Darkness,” Lobelog, 19 October 2015, http://lobelog.com/the-disappearing-prince-of-darkness/

[28] Jim Lobe, “The Disappearing Prince of Darkness,” Lobelog, 19 October 2015, http://lobelog.com/the-disappearing-prince-of-darkness/

[29] Jim Lobe, “The Disappearing Prince of Darkness,” Lobelog, 19 October 2015, http://lobelog.com/the-disappearing-prince-of-darkness/

[30] Danielle Pletka, Thomas Donnelly, Maseh Zarif, “Containing and deterring a nuclear Iran,” AEI, December 6, 2011, http://www.aei.org/papers/foreign-and-defense-policy/regional/middle-east-and-north-africa/containing-and-deterring-a-nuclear-iran/.

[31] Aliyah Frumin, “Dick Cheney: Iran nuclear deal is ‘madness,’” MSNBC, September 8, 2015, http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/dick-cheney-iran-nuclear-deal-madness.

[32] “AEI’s Diamond Jubilee 1943-2003,” American Enterprise Institute, http://www.aei.org/about/contentID.20031212154735838/default.asp.

[33] “AEI’s Diamond Jubilee 1943-2003,” American Enterprise Institute, http://www.aei.org/about/contentID.20031212154735838/default.asp.

[34] “AEI’s Diamond Jubilee 1943-2003,” American Enterprise Institute, http://www.aei.org/about/contentID.20031212154735838/default.asp.

[35] Irving Kristol, Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea (New York: Free Press, 1995),p. 33.

[36] Ronald Reagan, “Remarks to the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research,” December 7, 1988, American Presidency Project,http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/print.php?pid=35239.

[37] American Enterprise Institute, “2006 Annual Report,” http://www.aei.org/docLib/20061220_2006ARweb.pdf.

[38] American Enterprise Institute, “2007 Annual Report,” http://www.aei.org/about/filter.,contentID.20038142214000053/default.asp.

[39] Dana Milbank, “White House Hopes Gas Up A Think Tank: For Center-Right AEI, Bush Means Business,” Washington Post, December 8, 2003, p. A3.

[40] Patricia Cohen, “New Chief for Conservative Policy Group,” New York Times, July 15, 2008.

[41] American Enterprise Institute, “Arthur C. Brooks,” http://www.aei.org/scholars/scholarID.125/scholar.asp.

[42] American Enterprise Institute, “AEI’s Organization and Purpose,” http://www.aei.org/about/.

[43] Global Governance Watch, http://www.globalgovernancewatch.org/.

[44] Jim Lobe, “Bringing the War Home: Right Wing Think Tank Turns Wrath on NGOs,” Foreign Policy In Focus, June 13, 2003.

[45] Ralph Nader, “Has the American Enterprise Institute Lost Contact with Reality?” Common Dreams, June 13, 2003.

[46] American Enterprise Institute, “2007 Annual Report,” http://www.aei.org/about/filter.,contentID.20038142214000053/default.asp.

[47] “Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa,” New York Times, September 8, 2006.

[48] Richard Vedder and Bryan O’Keefe, “Wal-Mart against the Wall?” Washington Times, August 27, 2006.

[49] American Enterprise Institute, “Council of Academic Advisers,” http://www.aei.org/about/council-of-academic-advisers/.

[50] American Enterprise Institute, “Find a Scholar,” http://www.aei.org/scholar/.

[51] Eli Clifton, “The Secret Foreign Donor Behind the American Enterprise Institute,” June 25, 2013, http://www.thenation.com/article/174980/secret-foreign-donor-behind-american-enterprise-institute#ixzz2XSUgy57P.

[52] American Enterprise Institute, 20121 Annual Report, http://www.aei.org/files/2012/12/04/-annualreport2012_093903420972.pdf.http://www.aei.org/files/2012/01/10/-ar2011new_15462528616.pdf.

[53] American Enterprise Institute, 2012 Annual Report, http://www.aei.org/files/2012/12/04/-annualreport2012_093903420972.pdf.

[54] Guidestar.org, AEI profile, http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/53-0218495/american-enterprise-institute-public-policy-research.aspx.

[55] “American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research,” Media Transparency, http://www.mediatransparency.org/recipientprofile.php?recipientID=19; MediaTransparency.org, Foundation Grants: American Enterprise Institute, http://www.mediatransparency.org/recipientgrants.php?recipientID=19.

[56] American Enterprise Institute, “Support: Corporations,” http://www.aei.org/support/corporations/.

[57] People for the American Way: American Enterprise Institute, http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=4456.


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American Enterprise Institute Résumé

Contact Information
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
1789 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-862-5800
Fax: 202-862-7177
E-mail: joseph.kosten@aei.org
Website: www.aei.org
Mission (as of 2018)
The American Enterprise Institute conducts original research on the world economy, U.S. foreign policy and international security, and domestic political and social issues. AEI is dedicated to preserving and strengthening the foundations of a free society—limited government, competitive private enterprise, vital cultural and political institutions, and vigilant defense—through rigorous inquiry, debate, and writing. The Institute is home to some of America’s most renowned economists, legal scholars, political and social scientists, and foreign policy specialists. AEI is an independent, nonpartisan organization
Founded
1943
Board of Trustees (as of 2018)
Tully M. Friedman, Co-Chairman
Daniel A. D’Aniello, Co-Chairman
Clifford S. Asness
Gordon M. Binder
Arthur C. Brooks
The Honorable Richard B. Cheney
Peter H. Coors
Harlan Crow
Ravenel B. Curry III
Dick DeVos
John V. Faraci
Christopher B. Galvin
Harvey Golub
Robert F. Greenhill
Frank J. Hanna
John K. Hurley
Bruce Kovner
Marc S. Lipschultz
John A. Luke Jr.
Kevin B. Rollins
Matthew K. Rose
Edward B. Rust Jr.
D. Gideon Searle
Mel Sembler
Wilson H. Taylor
William H. Walton
Emeritus Trustees
Paul F. Oreffice
Henry Wendt
Selected Scholars (as of 2018)
Lynne Cheney
Thomas Donnelly
Nicholas Eberstadt
Jonah Goldberg
Frederick Kagan
Jon Kyl
Roger Noriega
Danielle Pletka
Kenneth Pollack
Dalibor Rohac
Michael Rubin
Gary Schmitt
Jim Talent
Marc Thiessen
Paul Wolfowitz
John Yoo
 

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