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

The Next SecDef?

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FEATURED PROFILES

Michele Flournoy

Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense for policy and a possible candidate for defense secretary in the second Obama administration, co-founded the Center for a New American Security, a “liberal hawk” think tank that has been a key source of counterinsurgency strategy for the Obama administration. Sometimes regarded as a “liberal realist,” Flournoy’s Pentagon candidacy has been supported by leading neoconservatives, in part of because of their opposition to other candidates, but also because of her backing for extended U.S. military engagement in the Middle East and “pro-Israel” sentiments.

Ashton Carter

Described by the Boston Globe as “the favorite” choice of the Pentagon bureaucracy to replace outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Ashton Carter is an accomplished academic and longtime Pentagon official who currently serves as deputy secretary of defense in the Barack Obama administration. Carter has been adamant in his insistence that the United States place force on the table in its efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons programs, arguing in numerous venues over the years that “coercion” should be seen as a legitimate tool to halt presumed weapons programs in countries hostile to the United States, including Iran.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

The Neocon Attack on Chuck Hagel

The pro-war and “pro-Israel” lobbies have pulled out all the stops to prevent former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel from receiving the nod to be the Obama administration’s next Pentagon chief.

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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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