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

Who are the “Eurocons”? AND Obama’s Mixed Message on Afghanistan

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Who Are the “Eurocons”?

By Tom Griffin

Neoconservatism is generally regarded as a distinctively American worldview, which is characterized in part by a deep-seated belief in the moral righteousness of U.S. military force. Europeans, however, are increasingly using the term in their own foreign policy debates. These “Eurocons,” who can be found across the European political spectrum, see the continent embroiled in a Manichean struggle between western democracy and Islamist totalitarianism. However, while the neocons and their European cousins have some shared convictions, there are also many differences, and the Europeans themselves often disagree on many issues. So who exactly are the Eurocons? Read full story.

 

Obama’s Mixed Message on Afghanistan

By Gareth Porter

Despite President Obama’s decision to surge troops in Afghanistan, he recently rejected the critical link needed to justify such a deployment—the allegedly indissoluble link between the Taliban insurgency and al Qaeda. Read full story.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Michael Ledeen
In his obsession with getting the U.S. to force regime change in Tehran, Ledeen argues that the real enemy in Afghanistan is Iran.

Center for Security Policy
Parroting rightwing media talking points, CSP recently questioned whether the Obama administration was really on the side of the United States.

Committee on the Present Danger
At a recent CPD roundtable promoting U.S. missile defenses, participants were presented a video pushing discredited threats, like terrorists employing nuclear-armed ballistic missiles or knocking out the nation’s infrastructure using EMP weapons.

Michael Rubin
This AEI scholar argues the U.S. should consider assassinating Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, claims Obama is eroding human rights, and has been accused of providing misleading translations of quotes from Iranian officials to push his anti-Iran agenda.

Sheldon Adelson
An important financial backer of rightist causes in Israel and the United States, in the last two years Adelson has seen his personal fortune plummet by $19 billion.

James Woolsey
Woolsey, a former CIA director who calls the “war on terror” the “Long War,” lambastes the Obama administration’s efforts to halt Israeli settlement growth in the West Bank as tantamount to accepting that Palestinians will kill Jews.

David Frum
Frum, a conservative writer based at the American Enterprise Institute who worked as a speechwriter in the Bush White House, recently rebranded his website aimed at building a new conservative majority “FrumForum.”

Douglas Feith
A former Pentagon official whose office generated information that was used to push the United States toward war with Iraq, Feith is now at the neoconservative Hudson Institute, where he advocates hawkish strategic weapons policies.

Max Boot
Boot, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a prolific op-ed writer, recently suggested that President Obama ask George W. Bush to go to Afghanistan to give President Hamid Karzai “some pointers on how to be a leader in wartime.”

Security Solutions International
Criticized for offering trainings to law enforcement agencies that promote prejudicial profiling of Muslims, SSI hypes the threat of “radical Islam” to market its anti-terror products in the United States and Israel.

UN Watch
Often accused of excessive bias toward Israel, the Geneva-based UN Watch has used a new UN report on war crimes during Israel’s 2008 offensive in Gaza as fodder for its condemnations of the Human Rights Council.

Philip Anschutz
The new owner of neocon mouthpiece the Weekly Standard is an Evangelical business tycoon whose media holdings provide a powerful voice for his rightwing views on taxes, national security, and family values.

John Bolton
The former UN ambassador notorious for his abrasive and arrogant efforts to free U.S. military power from international constraint recently suggested that Israel should consider a nuclear attack against Iran.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Public Most Unilateralist in 40 Years, Poll Finds
A recent poll suggests that the U.S. public has become more inward-looking and unilateralist than at any time since the early stages of the Vietnam War.

Obama Embraces Escalation in Afghanistan
In a highly anticipated speech, President Barack Obama announced the dispatch of 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan over the next seven months, while promising to begin withdrawing them within a year.

A New Counterinsurgency Front?
A think tank close to the Obama administration is urging Washington to ramp up U.S. aid and involvement in strife-torn Yemen.

Obama’s Mideast Mess
President Obama’s decision on a host of problems spanning the Greater Middle East could well determine his foreign policy legacy.

Realities Collide at Halifax “War Conference”
The inaugural Halifax International Security Forum, cosponsored by the Canadian government and the German Marshall Fund, highlighted Canada’s more militant role in NATO.

Right Seizes on Ft. Hood Killings as “Islamic Terror”
A chorus of hawks is using the killings at Ft. Hood to revive Islamophobic rhetoric. 

Allies Losing Hope for Major Changes in U.S. Foreign Policy
Obama appears to be dashing hopes both in the Arab world and in Latin America that he can bring major changes in U.S. policy toward their respective regions.

A Thaw in U.S.-Syrian Relations?
Since the Obama administration announced several months ago that it would appoint an ambassador to Syria, efforts to strengthen diplomatic relations between the countries have stalled.

Setbacks in U.S. Outreach to Muslim World
Recent setbacks from Palestine to Pakistan threaten to reverse whatever gains President Obama has made in restoring Washington’s badly battered image and influence among Muslims.

Sen. Kerry Warns Against Afghan Build-Up
An influential Democratic senator has warned against deploying tens of thousands more U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

A “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” Group Counters the Right
J Street, the relatively new “pro-Israel, pro-Peace” advocacy group, exceeded expectations for its inaugural conference here in Washington with over 1,500 participants attending the four-day event.

“Pro-Israel” Group’s Money Trail Veers Hard Right
StandWithUs, a rightist-leaning “pro-Israel” U.S. advocacy group determined to prove that moderate groups like J Street are working to undermine Israeli security, receives funding from donors accused of supporting anti-Muslim propaganda.

 

LETTERS

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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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