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

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Bill Schneider is a former CNN political analyst currently based at Third Way, a Wall Street-linked Democratic think tank.

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The National Interest is a realist-leaning foreign policy magazine founded by Irving Kristol and later taken over by the Nixon Center.

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The Weekly Standard is the flagship journal of neoconservative opinion and activism.

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The Washington Free Beacon is a news site published by the right-wing Center for American Freedom.

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Conservative journalist and diplomat best known for his prediction, made just before the stock market dropped, that the Dow Jones was on the verge of a tremendous upsurge, James Glassman is a former American Enterprise Institute fellow who hosts the TV show Ideas in Action and directs the George W. Bush Institute.

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Andrew Walworth is TV producer who served as executive producer of Ideas in Action, a weekly TV program hosted by James Glassman and produced by the George W. Bush Institute and Grace Creek Media.

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The erstwhile media mogul and conservative writer, Black was recently released from prison—after serving just over two years of his six-year sentence for fraud convictions—as a result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that limited the effect of a federal fraud law.

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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.

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Philip Merrill, a minor media mogul and former president of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, was found dead in the Chesapeake Bay in late June 2006, apparently the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot…

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Jon Lerner is a conservative political strategist and top adviser to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. He was a key figure in the “Never Trump” Campaign, which appears to have led to his being ousted as Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser.


Pamela Geller is a controversial anti-Islam activist who has founded several “hate groups” and likes to repeat debunked myths, including about the alleged existence of “no-go” Muslim zones in Europe.


Max Boot, neoconservative military historian at the Council on Foreign Relations, on Trump and Russia: “At every turn Trump is undercutting the ‘get tough on Russia’ message because he just can’t help himself, he just loves Putin too much.”


Although overlooked by President Trump for cabinet post, Gingrich has tried to shape affairs in the administration, including by conspiring with government officials to “purge the State Department of staffers they viewed as insufficiently loyal” to the president.


Former Sen Mark Kirk (R-IL) is an advisor for United Against Nuclear Iran. He is an outspoken advocate for aggressive action against Iran and a fierce defender of right-wing Israeli policies.


A military historian, Kimberly Kagan heads the Institute for the Study of War, where she has promoted the continuation of U.S. war in Afghanistan.


A “non-partisan” policy institute that purports to defend democracies from “militant Islamism,” the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is an influential base of hawkish advocacy on Middle East policy.


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From the Wires

Other than the cynical political interests in Moscow and Tehran, there is no conceivable rationale for wanting Bashar al-Assad to stay in power. But the simple fact is, he has won the war. And while Donald Trump has reveled in positive press coverage of the recent attacks on the country, it is clear that they were little more than a symbolic act.


The reality is that the Assad regime is winning the Syrian civil war, and this matters far less to U.S. interests than it does to that regime or its allies in Russia and Iran, who see Syria as their strongest and most consistent entrée into the Arab world. Those incontrovertible facts undermine any notion of using U.S. military force as leverage to gain a better deal for the Syrian people.


An effective rhetorical tool to normalize military build-ups is to characterize spending increases “modernization.”


The Pentagon has officially announced that that “long war” against terrorism is drawing to a close — even as many counterinsurgency conflicts  rage across the Greater Middle East — and a new long war has begun, a permanent campaign to contain China and Russia in Eurasia.


Revelations that data-consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used ill-gotten personal information from Facebook for the Trump campaign masks the more scandalous reality that the company is firmly ensconced in the U.S. military-industrial complex. It should come as no surprise then that the scandal has been linked to Erik Prince, co-founder of Blackwater.


As the United States enters the second spring of the Trump era, it’s creeping ever closer to more war. McMaster and Mattis may have written the National Defense Strategy that over-hyped the threats on this planet, but Bolton and Pompeo will have the opportunity to address these inflated threats in the worst way possible: by force of arms.


We meet Donald Trump in the media every hour of every day, which blots out much of the rest of the world and much of what’s meaningful in it.  Such largely unexamined, never-ending coverage of his doings represents a triumph of the first order both for him and for an American cult of personality.


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