Right Web

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

Project on Transitional Democracies

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

The Project on Transitional Democracies (PTD), a successor group to the U.S. Committee on NATO, aims to push democratic reforms in post-Soviet countries. Founded by long-standing Republican Party operative Bruce Jackson, the PTD describes itself in tax documents as a “micro-organization which concentrates exclusively on democratic change and societal transformation in the post-Soviet and post-Yugoslav world. We refer to this project as the Project on the Frontiers of Freedom or, alternatively, the Project on Europe’s East.”[1]

Formerly led by a cadre of neoconservative-aligned policy activists, including Randy Scheunemann and Julie Finley, PTD appeared to function largely as a vehicle for the work of its director, Jackson, as of 2010. Tax documents from 2009 listed Jackson as the organization’s only paid employee. It had two unpaid employees at that time: Irina Krasovskaya (treasurer) and Paige Reffe (secretary).[2]

Jackson is perhaps best known for his role in founding the now-defunct Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, an advocacy group that helped build public support for invading Iraq after the 9/11 attacks. He also helped found the U.S. Committee on NATO; served as advisor to the American Enterprise Institute and Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy; was a director of the Project for the New American Century; and was a member of a now-defunct Freedom House program called the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya.

A former defense industry executive, Jackson stepped down from his position as vice president at Lockheed Martin in 2002 to focus on the Project on Transitional Democracies. In his capacity as director of PTD, Jackson has lectured on the relationships of the Balkans and other former Soviet republics with the United States and NATO at domestic and international think tanks. 

He’s also spoken to the press on these issues. In November 2010, an Armenian news agency interviewed Jackson about a possible U.S. on the Armenian genocide. The news agency, ARMINFO, paraphrased Jackson’s response, reporting, “Jackson said that after an intense election, the leaders of both [U.S] parties will be reluctant to engage in international activism, such as recognizing that World War I era killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide. The incoming House Republican generally believe that passing an Armenian resolution in not the foreign policy of the United States.”[3]

Russia has long been a target of PTD activism. In 2006, the project released an “Open Letter to G7 Heads of State” in advance of the G8 meeting in St. Petersburg, stating that Russia was moving “in the wrong direction” with its increasingly authoritarian form of government. It urged them to put Vladimir Putin “on notice that Russia’s current domestic and foreign policies are unacceptable to its neighbors, to the international community and to many of its own citizens.”[4] The letter also recommended the revocation of Russia’s membership to the then-G8 if it refused to comply.[5]

According to the 2009 Form 990, the Project on Transitional Democracies received nearly $430,000 that year in contributions and grants, but does not list the sources of revenue.[6]

According to Media Matters Action Network, from 2003-2007 PTD received a combined total of nearly $500,000 from three conservative foundations: the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the William H. Donner Foundation.[7]

The Smith Richardson Foundation grants included one in 2005 grant of $75,000 for the “Frontiers of Freedom” project, so that Jackson could “develop strategies to advance democratic and free-market reforms in Eastern and Central Europe and to integrate those countries into Western institutions. The project will analyze obstacles to reform and integration and provide the policy makers of these countries with recommendations for accelerating these processes.” A 2004 grant of $54,400 for the “Belarus: Europe's Next Flashpoint?” project had Arkady Cherepansky and Rodger Potocki examining the “political and economic trends in Belarus. They will convene a working group to assess the level of political repression and economic decline in Belarus and develop strategies to encourage political change and the integration of Belarus into the West.” Both projects’ findings were to be published.[8]

Share RightWeb

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

Sources

[1]PTD’s Form 990s are available on Guidestar, http://www2.guidestar.org/.

[2]PTD’s Form 990s are available on Guidestar, http://www2.guidestar.org/.

[3]ARMINFO, “Passing an Armenian Resolution Is Not the Foreign Policy of the United States, American Politician Thinks,” November 15, 2010.

[4]PRNewswire, “The Project on Transitional Democracies Releases Open Letter to G7 Heads of State on Democracy in Russia,”PRNewswire.com, http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-project-on-transitional-democracies-releases-open-letter-to-g7-heads-of-state-on-democracy-in-russia-55963732.html.

[5]PRNewswire, “The Project on Transitional Democracies Releases Open Letter to G7 Heads of State on Democracy in Russia,”PRNewswire.com, http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-project-on-transitional-democracies-releases-open-letter-to-g7-heads-of-state-on-democracy-in-russia-55963732.html.

[6]PTD’s Form 990s are available on Guidestar, http://www2.guidestar.org/.

[7]Media Matters Action Network, “Conservative Transparency: Project on Transitional Democracies,” Media Matters, http://mediamattersaction.org/transparency/organization/Project_on_Transitional_Democracies/funders.

[8]Media Matters Action NetworkMediatransparency, “Project on Transitional Democracies,” http://mediamattersaction.org/transparency/organization/Project_on_Transitional_Democracies/funders.

Share RightWeb

Project on Transitional Democracies Résumé

Contact Information

Project on Transitional Democracies
3312 Rowland Place, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 202-986-1949

 

Founded

2002

 

About

“The Project on Transitional Democracies has been organized to exploit the opportunities to accelerate democratic reform and integration which we believe will exist in the broader Euro-Atlantic region over the next decade. The Project is a multi-year endeavor aimed at accelerating the pace of reform in Europe's post-1989 democracies and advancing the date for the integration of these democracies into the institutions of the Euro-Atlantic.”
 

Selected Principals

Related:

Project on Transitional Democracies News Feed


Right Web is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

The Right Web Mission

Right Web tracks militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy.

For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.


For the past few decades the vast majority of private security companies like Blackwater and DynCorp operating internationally have come from a relatively small number of countries: the United States, Great Britain and other European countries, and Russia. But that seeming monopoly is opening up to new players, like DeWe Group, China Security and Protection Group, and Huaxin Zhongan Group. What they all have in common is that they are from China.


The Trump administration’s massive sales of tanks, helicopters, and fighter aircraft are indeed a grim wonder of the modern world and never receive the attention they truly deserve. However, a potentially deadlier aspect of the U.S. weapons trade receives even less attention than the sale of big-ticket items: the export of firearms, ammunition, and related equipment.


Soon after a Saudi-led coalition strike on a bus killed 40 children on August 9, a CENTCOM spokesperson stated to Vox, “We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the U.S. sold to them.”


The West has dominated the post-war narrative with its doctrine of liberal values, arguing that not only were they right in themselves but that economic success itself depended on their application. Two developments have challenged those claims. The first was the West’s own betrayal of its principles: on too many occasions the self interest of the powerful, and disdain for the victims of collateral damage, has showed through. The second dates from more recently: the growth of Chinese capitalism owes nothing to a democratic system of government, let alone liberal values.


RightWeb
share