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

The Greening of National Security; Plus Profiles on David Frum, Robert Lieber, and Michael Goldfarb

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Green Security?

By Ali Gharib

Neoconservatives, despite their appreciable influence on President George W. Bush’s administration, have never numbered very many people. By forming tactical alliances and associations with groups like evangelical Christians and hardline nationalists to promote their policy goals, neocons became a powerful faction in Washington, D.C., especially after the 9/11 attacks. Now, with their influence clearly on the wane, some neocons seem to be trying to forge what might be their most unexpected alliance yet—with environmentalists. Read full story.


David Frum
Frum, a conservative writer based at the American Enterprise Institute, criticized the Sarah Palin vice presidential nomination and questioned the direction of the Republican Party.

Robert J. Lieber
A professor at Georgetown University and member of the Committee on the Present Danger, Lieber is a leading academic apologist for the Bush Doctrine of preemption.

Michael Goldfarb
A blogger for the McCain campaign and an editor at the Weekly Standard, Goldfarb outraged many observers when he accused some of Barack Obama’s associates of antisemitism.


Obama Pressured to Back Off Iraq Withdrawal
By Gareth Porter (Inter Press Service)

Some question whether the Obama administration will follow through with its campaign promise to quickly get U.S. troops out of Iraq. Read full story.

Pundits Debate the Inevitability of Nuclear Iran
By Ali Gharib (Inter Press Service)

It seems increasingly unlikely to happen, a U.S. strike against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is still a hot topic of discussion. Read full 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.