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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

The Foreign Policy Initiative, founded in 2009 by a host of neoconservative figures, was a leading advocate for a militaristic and Israel-centric U.S. foreign policies.


Billionaire investor Paul Singer is the founder and CEO of the Elliott Management Corporation and an important funder of neoconservative causes.


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and close ties to prominent neoconservatives.


Ron Dermer is the Israeli ambassador to the United States and a close confidante of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Blackwater Worldwide founder Erik Prince is notorious for his efforts to expand the use of private military contractors in conflict zones.


U.S. Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis is a retired U.S Marine Corps general and combat veteran who served as commander of U.S. Central Command during 2010-2013 before being removed by the Obama administration reportedly because of differences over Iran policy.


Mark Dubowitz, an oft-quoted Iran hawk, is the executive director of the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies.


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From the Wires

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The time has come for a new set of partnerships to be contemplated between the United States and Middle East states – including Iran – and between regimes and their peoples, based on a bold and inclusive social contract.


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Erik Prince is back. He’s not only pitching colonial capitalism in DC. He’s huckstering ex-SF-led armies of sepoys to wrest Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and perhaps, if he is ever able to influence likeminded hawks in the Trump administration, even Iran back from the infidels.


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Encouraged by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement late last month that Washington favors “peaceful” regime change in Iran, neoconservatives appear to be trying to influence the internal debate by arguing that this is Trump’s opportunity to be Ronald Reagan.


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When asked about “confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing in world affairs,” 22 percent of those surveyed as part of a recent Pew Research Center global poll expressed confidence in Donald Trump and 74 percent expressed no confidence.


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A much-awaited new State Department volume covering the period 1951 to 1954 does not reveal much new about the actual overthrow of Mohammad Mossadeq but it does provide a vast amount of information on US involvement in Iran.


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As debate continues around the Trump administration’s arms sales and defense spending, am new book suggests several ways to improve security and reduce corruption, for instance by increasing transparency on defense strategies, including “how expenditures on systems and programs align with the threats to national security.”


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Lobelog We walked in a single file. Not because it was tactically sound. It wasn’t — at least according to standard infantry doctrine. Patrolling southern Afghanistan in column formation limited maneuverability, made it difficult to mass fire, and exposed us to enfilading machine-gun bursts. Still, in 2011, in the Pashmul District of Kandahar Province, single…


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