Right Web

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

The Narco-Terror War and Fallout from Libya to Afghanistan

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FEATURED ARTICLE

The Narco-Terror War

By Charles Davis

Despite vocal efforts by some foreign policy hawks to view the war on drugs as an extension of the war on terror, the emerging consensus—even among the political establishment—is that the war on drugs has been a dismal failure. Drug production—and body counts—surge in Latin America, opium is a staple crop in Afghanistan despite the presence of tens of thousands of occupying troops, and anti-drug policies that have helped put hundreds of thousands of non-violent offenders behind bars have had no discernible impact on usage. But for much of the rightwing establishment, drug prohibition is just like any other war: deserving of uncritical support even in the face of defeat. Read article.


MILITARIST MONITOR

With President Obama’s announcement that he would withdraw 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2011 and an additional 23,000 the following year, the president effectively ruptured the uneasy alliance his administration had maintained with prominent foreign policy hawks and neoconservatives ever since his progressive base began to question his escalation of the war. However much Obama’s conservative critics accused him of “dithering” in advance of his earlier decision to “surge” U.S. forces in the country, they were nonetheless among his more reliable backers when it came to the war in Afghanistan. This alliance, however, is no more. Militarist Monitor.


FEATURED PROFILES

Zalmay Khalilzad

The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United Nations during the Bush presidency, Khalilzad is president of the international consulting firm Khalilzad Associates and an outspoken supporter of aggressive U.S. support for toppling Mideast regimes caught up in the “Arab Spring” as part of an effort to contain Iran.

David Gompert

Gompert, a former vice president of the RAND Corporation known for his hawkish views on defense, served briefly as President Barack Obama’s acting director of national intelligence before becoming a director at Pentagon contractor Global Integrated Security.

Michael Rubin

Rubin, a “scholar” at the American Enterprise Institute who has attacked what he call’s Right Web’s “fake, conspiracy riddled biographies,” views the revolt in Egypt through the lens of Iran’s Islamic revolution.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Hirsi Ali, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who has a made a career denouncing Islam, argues that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood may be more dangerous than Al Qaeda precisely because it has given up armed struggle.

Jay Garner

Garner, the erstwhile “mayor of Baghdad,” has capitalized on his experiences in Iraq to pursue oil deals in Kurdish areas of the country.


ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Kerry, McCain Come to Obama’s Rescue Over Libya

In the face of growing congressional criticism over the legal basis for the Libyan War, Barack Obama received a lifeline from two Senate allies: John Kerry and John McCain.

Obama Leaves Door Open to Long-Term US Afghan Combat

Despite Barack Obama's announcement of a gradual withdrawal from Afghanistan, the reality is that U.S. troops are far from coming home.

Obama Takes the Centrist Option on Withdrawal

By announcing a small troop drawdown, but refraining to set a deadline for full troop withdrawal, Barack Obama is trying to stake out a middle ground in the Afghan war debate.

Neoconservatives Losing Hold Over Republican Foreign Policy

Neoconservative dominance of Republican Party foreign policy trends is steadily waning, with leading 2012 candidates expressing doubt about U.S. military engagements abroad and massive majorities of Republican voters turning their backs on the Bush-era “Freedom Agenda.”

Obama’s Claim of Libya War Powers Widely Disputed

The lengthening U.S. intervention in Libya has prompted Congress to angrily claim President Obama is not complying with the 1973 War Powers Act.


LETTERS

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Featured Profiles

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s second secretary of state, is a long time foreign policy hawk and has led the public charge for an aggressive policy toward Iran.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


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From the Wires

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The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


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A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


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Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


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The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


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Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


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To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


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The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


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