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

The Rise of the Vulcans, Part II

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FEATURED ARTICLES

Rise of the Vulcans Redux

By Peter Certo

The purported “end of the neocon consensus” has hardly meant an end to hawkishness in the GOP fold. With the Republican candidates virtually all gunning for Iran, backing right-wing Israeli policies toward the Palestinians, and stabling a passel of neoconservative advisers (Ron Paul excepted), voters have plenty of clues about what the foreign policy of a new GOP administration would look like. And while some of the candidates have expressed wariness with neoconservative notions of armed democracy promotion, all the signs indicate that if a Republican wins next year, we will likely be in for a bit of George W. redux. Read article.

Turning the Tide on the Pro-Israel Debate

By Michael Flynn & Peter Certo

With key members of the "Israel Lobby" acknowledging the importance of providing a broader space to Israel’s critics, the indelibly beltway Politico recognizing the influence of such critics in a full-length feature, and core Democratic organizations showing an increasing sensitivity to inappropriate uses of the anti-Semite charge, is the United States finally willing to undertake a real debate on what are the best U.S. interests in the Middle East? Read article.

FEATURED PROFILES

Center for Security Policy

Long active in the promotion of neoconservative foreign policies, the Center for Security Policy, led by Frank Gaffney, has also distinguished itself as a banner member of the “Islamophobia network.”

Clarion Fund

A controversial film distribution company, the Clarion Fund has released several films that attack “Radical Islam” while promoting views on its website that call into question the trustworthiness of all Muslims.

Endowment for Middle East Truth

An “unabashedly pro-Israel and pro-American think tank,” EMET promotes the work of “pro-Israel” hawks in Washington, stokes fear of Islam and Muslims, and advocates a militarist U.S. posture toward the Middle East.

Block, Josh

Block, a former AIPAC spokesperson who defines himself as a progressive “pro-Israel” Democrat, has collaborated with neoconservatives and other hardliners to marginalize critics of Israel in the Democratic Party, in part by attempting to smear them as “anti-Semitic.”

Institute for the Study of War

Chaired by Liz Cheney and led by Kimberly Kagan, the ISW promotes hawkish stances on U.S counterinsurgency operations.

Kagan, Kimberly

A military historian, Kimberly Kagan heads the Institute for the Study of War, where she promotes the continuation of U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Keane, Jack

A decorated former general credited with helping conceive the Iraq “surge,” Jack Keane has used his military experience to promote long-term U.S. engagements abroad—and to turn a profit in the private sector.

UN Watch

The “nonpartisan” UN Watch, which devotes most of its energy to lambasting UN criticism of Israel, has counted on the financial support of the American Jewish Committee, the Becker Foundation, and a handful of other private donors in recent years.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Mass Tragedy Feared as Closure of MEK Camp Looms

U.S. officials fear that unless the MEK’s leaders approve of vacating their camp north of Baghdad, the residents could face violent raids from Iraqi forces or commit mass suicide.

Foreign Aid Spared Massive Cuts in 2012

Although Congress spared foreign aid the massive cuts favored by the GOP-led House, aid spending continues to pale beside Pentagon appropriations.

Iraq Intervention Ends with Scarcely a Whimper

The United States marked the formal end of its unpopular eight-and-a-half year war in Iraq with little fanfare.

Military Option Recedes amid Tug-of-War over Iran Policy

The Obama administration hasn’t shied away from confrontation with Iran, but some administration officials are resisting pressure from Congress to escalate the situation further.

Civil War Looms as Syrian Protests Grow Increasingly Complex

As the West ramps up its engagement with Syrian opposition figures, the behavior of armed opposition groups inside the country increasingly resembles that of the Assad regime.

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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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