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

Bush’s Confusing Foreign Policy—the Middle East and North Korea; Plus Profiles on Global

FEATURED ARTICLES Peace Not Near on Middle East’s “Time Horizon” By Leon Hadar The Bush administration’s symbolic concessions on Iran may be a smokescreen for plausible deniability, and recent diplomatic steps taken by various Middle Eastern players should not be confused with a search for peace. The Middle East is a place where nothing is…

FEATURED ARTICLES

Peace Not Near on Middle East’s “Time Horizon”
By Leon Hadar

The Bush administration’s symbolic concessions on Iran may be a smokescreen for plausible deniability, and recent diplomatic steps taken by various Middle Eastern players should not be confused with a search for peace. The Middle East is a place where nothing is what it seems to be, where yesterday’s enemy is tomorrow’s ally, where commitments are made to be broken, and where “peace” is nothing more than a long cease-fire. Read full story.

North Korea: Hand-Wringing over Success
By John Isaacs

President Bush’s announcement in late June that the United States was taking North Korea off the sponsors of terrorism list thanks to Pyongyang’s progress in dismantling its nuclear weapons program was the culmination of a shift in administration policies that has astonished the world. The shift toward diplomacy has also infuriated many of the administration’s erstwhile supporters who, in John Bolton’s words, have begun to bemoan the “final collapse of Bush’s foreign policy.” Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Global Governance Watch
A joint initiative of the American Enterprise Institute and the Federalist Society, Global Governance Watch aims to be an "expanded and revamped version of NGOWatch," the much-maligned initiative accused of being a McCarthyite blacklist.

Erik Prince
After reaping millions in government contracts, the CEO of Blackwater claims his private military company is getting out of the security business, in part because he says it has been “unfairly” targeted by those who oppose the Iraq War.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Iran in the Spotlight at Christian Zionist Confab
By Ali Gharib

As demonstrated by panelists at the recent Christians United for Israel conference, neoconservatives are still beating the anti-Iran drums of war. Read full story.

Bush, U.S. Military Pressure Iraqis on Withdrawal
Analysis by Gareth Porter

The change in the Iraqi regime’s behavior over the past six months strongly suggests that the era of Iraqi dependence on the United States has ended. Read full story.

Scowcroft, Brzezinski Urge Bush to Drop Iran Preconditions
By Jim Lobe

Two respected foreign policy authorities urge the administration to engage Iran and avoid creating a “cauldron of conflict, bitterness, and hatred.” Read full story.

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Featured Profiles

Zalmay Khalilzad is Donald Trump’s special representative to the Afghan peace process, having previously served as ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq under George W. Bush.


Robert Joseph played a key role in manipulating U.S. intelligence to support the invasion of Iraq and today is a lobbyist for the MEK.


Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks, and one of the prime vacillators among Republicans between objecting to and supporting Donald Trump.


Elliott Abrams, the Trump administration’s special envoy to Venezuela, is a neoconservative with a long record of hawkish positions and actions, including lying to Congress about the Iran-Contra affair.


Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump second secretary of state, has driven a hawkish foreign policy in Iran and Latin America.


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


Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and is widely considered to be a future presidential candidate.


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From the Wires

François Nicoullaud, the former French ambassador to Iran, discusses the ups and downs of Iran-France relations and the new US sanctions.


Effective alliances require that powerful states shoulder a far larger share of the alliance maintenance costs than other states, a premise that Donald Trump rejects.


The new imbroglio over the INF treaty does not mean a revival of the old Cold War practice of nuclear deterrence. However, it does reveal the inability of the West and Russia to find a way to deal with the latter’s inevitable return to the ranks of major powers, a need that was obvious even at the time the USSR collapsed.


As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump appeared to recognize the obvious problem of the revolving door. But as the appointment of Patrick Shanahan, who spent 30 years at Boeing, as the Trump administration’s acting secretary of defense reveals, little has changed. America is indeed great again, if you happen to be one of those lucky enough to be moving back and forth between plum jobs in the Pentagon and the weapons industry.


Domestic troubles, declining popularity, and a decidedly hawkish anti-Iran foreign policy team may combine to make the perfect storm that pushes Donald Trump to pull the United States into a new war in the Middle East.


The same calculus that brought Iran and world powers to make a deal and has led remaining JCPOA signatories to preserve it without the U.S. still holds: the alternatives to this agreement – a race between sanctions and centrifuges that could culminate in Iran obtaining the bomb or being bombed – would be much worse.


With Bolton and Pompeo by his side and Mattis departed, Trump may well go with his gut and attack Iran militarily. He’ll be encouraged in this delusion by Israel and Saudi Arabia. He’ll of course be looking for some way to distract the media and the American public. And he won’t care about the consequences.


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