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

The myth of Mideast dominance; profiles on Steve Rosen, Dennis Ross, John Yoo, Peter Wehner, Blackwa

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FEATURED ARTICLES

U.S.-Iranian Engagement: When and How?
By Ahmad Sadri

On Norouz, the day when Iranians celebrate the coming of spring and the new Iranian calendar year, President Barack Obama put the United States on a path to a fresh relationship with Iran. But given the upcoming Iranian presidential elections in June, the real question for the U.S. administration is when and how to further engage Iran. One thing is clear, the two countries have a number of shared concerns, which could provide them with a new basis for relations. Read full story.

Military Dominance in Mideast a Costly Myth?
By Gareth Porter

The United States might not be the dominant power in the Middle East that the Obama administration seems to presume, which could have far reaching consequences on its actions in the region. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Steve Rosen
One of the key pundits involved in the effort to overturn the nomination of Charles Freeman to a top intelligence post, Rosen recently sued his former employer, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, for defamation in connection to his federal indictment for allegedly passing U.S. secrets to Israel.

Dennis Ross
A career diplomat with close ties to neoconservatives, Ross was recently given an appointment in the Obama administration, which includes advising on Iran policy.

John Yoo
Newly released Justice Department memos shed light on the controversial opinions issued by Yoo regarding the use of the military on U.S. soil to fight the war on terror.

Peter Wehner
The former head of strategic initiatives in the Bush White House, Wehner has used his perch at the neocon Ethics and Public Policy Center to defend the Bush record and issue warnings about the direction of the new president.

XE (Blackwater Worldwide)
Recently rechristened as Xe, the Blackwater private security company—notorious for its work in Iraq—claims to be shifting its focus to training and logistics, including training pro athletes in self-defense.

Erik Prince
After six of his company’s contractors were indicted last December for killing civilians in Iraq, Prince argued that Blackwater was a company driven by patriotic duty and woefully misunderstood.

Christopher DeMuth
DeMuth served as director of the American Enterprise Institute for more than 20 years before stepping down early this year.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

From "Axis of Evil" to "Happy New Year"
By Ali Gharib (Inter Press Service)

President Obama issued well wishes to Iran on that country’s New Year’s celebration last Friday, striking a dramatically different tone to that adopted by his predecessor. Read article.

Bipartisan Experts Urge "Partnership" with Russia
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

A recent report suggests how the new administration can find common ground with Russia, after the U.S.-Russia relationship reached a new post-Cold War low last summer. Read article.

Vetting Nominees, Hampering Policy?
Analysis by Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

Will the lengthy and intrusive vetting process for nominees hamper the Obama’s administration ability to confront a number of foreign policy issues? Read article.

Islamist Governments Not the Enemy, Say Mideast Experts
By Ali Gharib (Inter Press Service)

U.S. policy must end its misguided fear of Islamist parties and concentrate on human rights, experts assert in open letter to Obama. Read article.

Freeman Withdrawal Marks Victory for “Israel Lobby”
By Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

A vitriolic battle waged by Republican lawmakers and Israel-centric hardliners spurred Charles “Chas” Freeman to withdraw from consideration to chair the National Intelligence Council. Read article.

"Resist and Deter" Iran
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

A recent report by a hawkish U.S. think tank urges the administration to exert increasing pressure on Tehran to abandon its enrichment program and be prepared to launch military strikes. Read article.

Dutch Foe of Islam Goes to Washington
By Daniel Luban and Eli Clifton (Inter Press Service)

Dutch MP Geert Wilders tours the United States, soliciting conservatives for financial and ideological support. Read article.

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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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