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

The Funders of the Right

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A Special Issue of Right Web News featuring profiles on some of the key foundations and financial backers, past and present, of the U.S. Right.

Bradley Foundation
A major backer of neoconservatism, in 2007 the Bradley Foundation gave $1 million to conservative publisher Encounter Books; nearly $1 million to the Hudson Institute; and $30 million to other projects.

Castle Rock Foundation
A major financier of right-wing causes, the Coors family’s Castle Rock Foundation provided seed money for both the Heritage Foundation and the Free Congress Foundation.

Earhart Foundation
One of the oldest conservative foundations, the Earhart Foundation has funded the work of several key rightists scholars and think tanks, including the American Enterprise Institute and the Hudson Institute, as well as several Nobel-winning economists.

Olin Foundation
When it shuttered in 2005, the Olin Foundation—one of the principal financiers of the rise of the News Right—claimed job well done.

Smith Richardson Foundation
The Smith Richardson Foundation, a backer of militarist defense policies since the 1980s, has supported both neoconservative and centrist policy organizations.

Scaife Foundations
From Cold War anticommunism to the “war on terror,” the Scaife Foundations have been a major patron of U.S. militarism for decades.

Richard Scaife
Beset by a string of marital and legal problems, the iconic financier of the U.S. Right has been forced to cut back his charitable giving in recent years.

Melvin Sembler
A high-powered Republican Party donor and a real estate magnate, Sembler has funded groups like Freedoms Watch and sits on the board of trustees of the American Enterprise Institute.


U.S.-Israeli Relations: Storm Clouds Ahead?
Analysis by Jim Lobe | Posted February 24, 2009

A likely Likud-led coalition government in Israel will likely find itself at loggerheads with an Obama administration intent on talking to Iran and stabilizing southwest Asia. Read story.

Signs of a U.S.-Syria Thaw?
By Ali Gharib | Posted February 23, 2009

Planned U.S. congressional delegations to Syria underscore Obama’s desire to restore diplomatic relations with Damascus. Read story.

Generals Seek to Reverse Obama Withdrawal Decision
By Gareth Porter | Posted on February 9, 2009

President Obama’s decision to stick to his campaign pledge regarding troop withdrawal from Iraq is facing strong opposition within the military. Read story.

More Troops, More Worries, Less Consensus on Afghanistan
Analysis by Jim Lobe | Posted on February 9, 2009

Critics fear that Obama’s potential “surge” in Afghanistan may incite, rather than resolve, violence and resentment from Al Qaeda. Read story.

Israeli Settlements Expanding
By Daniel Luban | Posted on January 30, 2009

The arrival in Israel of U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell, a long time critic of Israeli settlements, coincides with a newly released study detailing settlement expansion. Read story.

Obama’s Quick Start Raises Hopes
By Jim Lobe | Posted on January 30, 2009

Within days of his inauguration, Obama had already begun to take substantive steps toward jumpstarting Arab-Israeli peace process. Read story.


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Featured Profiles

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), President Trump’s nominee for secretary of state to replace Rex Tillerson, is a “tea party” Republican who previously served as director of the CIA.

Richard Goldberg is a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who served as a foreign policy aide to former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL).

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has been advocating regime change in Iran since even before 9/11.

John Hannah, Dick Cheney’s national security adviser, is now a leading advocate for regime change in both Iran and Syria based at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Dennis Ross, a U.S. diplomat who served in the Obama administration, is a fellow at the “pro-Israel” Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Sheldon Adelson is a wealthy casino magnate known for his large, influential political contributions, his efforts to impact U.S. foreign policy discourse particularly among Republicans, and his ownership and ideological direction of media outlets.

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

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From the Wires

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North Korea and Iran both understand the lesson of Libya: Muammar Qaddafi, a horrifyingly brutal dictator, gave up his nuclear weapons, was eventually ousted from power with large-scale US assistance, and was killed. However, while Iran has a long and bitter history with the United States, North Korea’s outlook is shaped by its near-total destruction by forces led by the United States in the Korean War.

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Europe loathes having to choose between Tehran and Washington, and thus it will spare no efforts to avoid the choice. It might therefore opt for a middle road, trying to please both parties by persuading Trump to retain the accord and Iran to limit missile ballistic programs and regional activities.

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Key members of Trump’s cabinet should recognize the realism behind encouraging a Saudi- and Iranian-backed regional security agreement because the success of such an agreement would not only serve long-term U.S. interests, it could also have a positive impact on numerous conflicts in the Middle East.

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Given that Israel failed to defeat Hezbollah in its war in Lebanon in 2006, it’s difficult to imagine Israel succeeding in a war against both Hezbollah and its newfound regional network of Shiite allies. And at the same time not only is Hezbollah’s missile arsenal a lot larger and more dangerous than it was in 2006, but it has also gained vast experience alongside its allies in offensive operations against IS and similar groups.

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Donald Trump should never be excused of responsibility for tearing down the respect for truth, but a foundation for his flagrant falsifying is the fact that many people would rather be entertained, no matter how false is the source of their entertainment, than to confront truth that is boring or unsatisfying or that requires effort to understand.

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It would be a welcome change in twenty-first-century America if the reckless decision to throw yet more unbelievable sums of money at a Pentagon already vastly overfunded sparked a serious discussion about America’s hyper-militarized foreign policy.

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President Trump and his advisers ought to ask themselves whether it is in the U.S. interest to run the risk of Iranian withdrawal from the nuclear agreement. Seen from the other side of the Atlantic, running that risk looks dumb.