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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.

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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

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a vocal critic of Donald Trump, whom Romney he a threat to “a safe and prosperous future.”


Clare Lopez is a former CIA officer and rightwing activist who has argued that the Muslim Brotherhood and a shadowy “Iran Lobby” are working to shape Obama administration policy.


Michael Ledeen, a “Freedom Scholar” at the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has long been obsessed with getting the U.S. to force regime change in Tehran.


Michael Flynn is a former Trump administration National Security Advisor who was forced to step down only weeks on the job because of his controversial contacts with Russian officials before Trump took office.


The daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney has emerged as the most visible advocate of hardline security policies in the Cheney family.


Bret Stephens is a columnist for the New York Times who previously worked at the Wall Street Journal and the neoconservative flagship magazine Commentary.


Joe Lieberman, the neoconservative Democrat from Connecticut who retired from the Senate in 2013, co-chairs a foreign policy project at the American Enterprise Institute.


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From the Wires

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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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Trump’s reorganization of the foreign policy bureaucracy is an ideologically driven agenda for undermining the power and effectiveness of government institutions that could lead to the State Department’s destruction.


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Spurred by anti-internationalist sentiment among conservative Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration, the US is headed for a new confrontation with the UN over who decides how much the US should pay for peacekeeping.


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Decent developments in the Trump administration indicate that the neoconservatives, at one point on the margins of Washington’s new power alignments, are now on the ascendent?


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