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

SPECIAL REPORT: An In-Depth Look at the Rise and Decline of an Influential Political Faction

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The Rise and Decline of the Neoconservatives:
A Right Web Special Report
By Jim Lobe and Michael Flynn | November 17, 2006

Shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, an influential neoconservative-led pressure group called the Project for the New American Century issued a letter to the president calling for a dramatic reshaping of the Middle East as part of the war on terror. Although many of the items on the neoconservatives’ agenda, including ousting Saddam Hussein, were eventually adopted by the George W. Bush administration, the group’s remarkable string of successes has gradually given way to a steady decline, culminating most recently in the president’s decision after the November midterm elections to replace Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, an important erstwhile ally of the neocons, with Robert Gates. This special, in-depth report examines the rise and decline of the neoconservatives and their post-Cold War agenda. The authors conclude that although the neoconservatives and their allied aggressive nationalists like Vice President Dick Cheney retain sufficient weight to hamper efforts to push through major reversals in U.S. foreign policy, the increasing isolation of this political faction coupled with recent political events in the United States point to the potential emergence of a more cautious, realist-inspired agenda during the final two years of the Bush presidency. Read full report.

Rumors of a Neocon Death Are Highly Exaggerated
By Leon Hadar | November 15, 2006

It’s a new day dawning for neoconservatives. Yesterday’s power players and today’s apparent losers, the ideological band of brothers is making a desperate attempt to stay on top, as evidenced by their efforts to blame everyone but themselves. Read full story.

ALSO NEW THIS WEEK ON RIGHT WEB

Changing of the Guard
By Jim Lobe | November 13, 2006

The abrupt replacement of Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld by former Central Intelligence Agency Director Robert Gates, combined with the Democratic sweep in last Tuesday’s midterm elections, appears to signal major changes in U.S. foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East. Read full story.

Right Web Profile: Donald Rumsfeld

Rumsfeld, who steered the United States to war with Iraq, is leaving his helm at the Pentagon under a cloud of public criticism.

ODDS AND ENDS

In this week’s Right Web News, Leon Hadar, a scholar based at the Cato Institute, argues (in

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Featured Profiles

Although sometimes characterized as a Republican “maverick” for his bipartisan forays into domestic policy, Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks.


Former CIA director Michael Hayden, a stalwart advocate of the Bush-era policies on torture and warrantless wiretapping, has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump


The former GOP presidential candidate and Speaker of the House has been a vociferous proponent of the idea that the America faces an existential threat from “Islamofascists.”


David Albright is the founder of the Institute for Science and International Security, a non-proliferation think tank whose influential analyses of nuclear proliferation issues in the Middle East have been the source of intense disagreement and debate.


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.


Steve Forbes, head of the Forbes magazine empire, is an active supporter of a number of militarist policy organizations that have pushed for aggressive U.S. foreign policies.


Stephen Hadley, an Iraq War hawk and former national security adviser to President George W. Bush, now chairs the U.S. Institute for Peace.


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From the Wires

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The Trump administration appears to have been surprised by this breach among its friends in the critical Gulf strategic area. But it is difficult to envision an effective U.S. role in rebuilding this Humpty-Dumpty.


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A recent vote in the European Parliament shows how President Trump’s relentless hostility to Iran is likely to isolate Washington more than Tehran.


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The head of the Institute for Science and International Security—aka “the Good ISIS”—recently demonstrated again his penchant for using sloppy analysis as a basis for politically explosive charges about Iran, in this case using a faulty translation from Persian to misleadingly question whether Tehran is “mass producing advanced gas centrifuges.”


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Trump has exhibited a general preference for authoritarians over democrats, and that preference already has had impact on his foreign policy. Such an inclination has no more to do with realism than does a general preference for democrats over authoritarians.


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The President went to the region as a deal maker and a salesman for American weapon manufacturing. He talked about Islam, terrorism, Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without the benefit of expert advice in any of these areas. After great showmanship in Riyadh, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, he and his family left the region without much to show for or to benefit the people of that war-torn region.


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Although the Comey memo scandal may well turn out to be what brings Trump down, this breach of trust may have had more lasting effect than any of Trump’s other numerous misadventures. It was an unprecedented betrayal of Israel’s confidence. Ironically, Trump has now done what even Barack Obama’s biggest detractors never accused him of: seriously compromised Israel’s security relationship with the United States.


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Congress and the public acquiesce in another military intervention or a sharp escalation of one of the U.S. wars already under way, perhaps it’s time to finally consider the true costs of war, American-style — in lives lost, dollars spent, and opportunities squandered. It’s a reasonable bet that never in history has a society spent more on war and gotten less bang for its copious bucks.


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