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

The Nowhere Debate; Profiles on Blackwater, Julie Finley, Michael Evans; And More.

FEATURED ARTICLE A Nowhere Foreign Policy Debate By Leon Hadar The next occupant of the White House will inherit a number of sensitive international situations left over from the Bush presidency, all of which will require fresh insight and new approaches. But with a financial crisis looming and foreign policy slipping downward on the public’s…

FEATURED ARTICLE

A Nowhere Foreign Policy Debate
By Leon Hadar

The next occupant of the White House will inherit a number of sensitive international situations left over from the Bush presidency, all of which will require fresh insight and new approaches. But with a financial crisis looming and foreign policy slipping downward on the public’s list of priorities, any significant change to the course of U.S. foreign policy in any new administration seems unlikely—a fact made sorely obvious during the recent McCain-Obama debate, during which the candidates made clear that they share a similar vision of America’s position in the world. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Blackwater
For some observers, Erik Prince’s controversial private security firm Blackwater Worldwide serves as a potential model for how countries can fight unpopular wars.

Michael Evans
A prominent Christian Zionist writer who claims that “Islamofascists” pose the “greatest threat America has faced since the Civil War,” Evans has also been a strident proponent of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Julie Finley
After raising millions for her political party and supporting the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Julie Finley, a founding member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, was appointed ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Pushing Islamophobia
By Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton (Inter Press Service)

A network of hardline neoconservatives in the United States who support right-wing settler groups in Israel is funding the mass distribution of a controversial DVD that critics have denounced as Islamophobic. Read full story.

The Most Secretive Government Ever?
By William Fisher (Inter Press Service)

Government secrecy and surveillance have increased dramatically during the George W. Bush administration, and billions in no-bid contracts have been awarded to contractors in the Iraq War, according to a new report. Read full story.

EU Takes the Diplomatic Lead on Georgia
Analysis by Zoltán Dujisin (Inter Press Service)

The European Union, driven by pragmatic concerns over energy supplies and a desire to avoid a new Cold War, has split dramatically with the United States over the best way to encourage peace between Georgia and Russia. Read full story.

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Featured Profiles

On August 16, 2018, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the formation of the Iran Action Group (IAG). It would “be responsible for directing, reviewing, and coordinating all aspects of the State Department’s Iran-related activity, and it will report directly to me,” he stated. Amid speculation that the Donald Trump administration was focused on…


Norm Coleman is a lobbyist for the Saudi Arabian government, chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition, and former senator from Minnesota, known for hawkish, pro-Likud, and anti-Iran foreign policy views.


The millionaire pastor of the Cornerstone Church in Texas, John Hagee argues that U.S. support for Israel will play a “a pivotal role in the second coming” of Jesus. He has also risen to new prominence during the Trump administration.


Michael Gerson, an evangelical Christian who served as a chief aide and speechwriter in the George W. Bush White House, is a conservative columnist for the Washington Post and one of Donald Trump’s harshest critics on the right, calling him an “unhinged president.”


Robert Kagan, a cofounder of the Project for the New American Century, is a neoconservative policy pundit and historian based at the Brookings Institution.


Mira Ricardel, former weapons marketer for Boeing, is the deputy national security adviser under John Bolton. She is a well-known foreign policy hawk who has served in key positions in the administration of George W. Bush and, earlier, in the office of former Senator Robert Dole (R-KS).


Fred Fleitz left his role as chief of staff at the National Security Council under John Bolton to succeed notorious Islamophobe Frank Gaffney as president and CEO of the Center for Security Policy.


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From the Wires

Although a widespread movement has developed to fight climate change, no counterpart has emerged to take on the rising danger of nuclear disaster — yet.


U.S. supporters of Israel are in a bind: public opinion is changing; there are more actors publicly challenging Israel; and the crude, heavy-handed tactics they have successfully used in the past to silence criticism now only aggravate the situation.


As the civilian death toll from Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen grows and the backlash against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in Khashoggi’s murder escalates, former Sen. Norm Coleman’s control of Republican Party campaign purse strings positions him as a key influencer of Republican congressional action, or inaction, in curtailing the increasingly aggressive and reckless actions of Saudi Arabia.


Increasingly, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are positioned as rivals, each with pretensions to Middle Eastern influence or even hegemony. It’s not clear whether they can continue to coexist without one or the other—or both—backing down. This has made it more difficult for the United States to maintain its ties with both countries.


What does President Trump’s recent nomination of retired Army General John Abizaid to become the next U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia signify? Next to nothing — and arguably quite a lot.


The Donald Trump administration’s handling of nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia promises to lay bare some realities about security issues and nuclear programs in that part of the world that the administration has refused to acknowledge.


Eminent U.S. foreign policy expert Stephen Walt’s new book critique’s the “liberal hegemony” grand strategy that has dominated U.S. foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.


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