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

Defense Contractors Operating with Weak Oversight; Who’s Benefitting from the Georgia Crisis;

FEATURED ARTICLE

Going Soft on the Contractors?
By Nick Schwellenbach

In prosecuting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the “war on terror,” the Bush administration has relied on a huge number of contractors to do everything from building barracks to serving meals to soldiers and performing other vital jobs in conflict zones. But the Pentagon agency charged with oversight of defense contracts has been stymied by a crippling combination of too much work, too little time—and too much deference toward contractors—resulting in what one senator called a “debacle and an embarrassment.” Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Committee for the Liberation of Iraq
The short-lived committee, whose members were an influential cadre of hawkish Beltway think-tankers and politicians, closed up shop in 2003 after what it termed the “successful liberation of Iraq.”

Peter Rodman (1943-2008)
A Kissinger protégé who supported the Project for the New American Century and served as an assistant to ex-Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, Rodman passed away in early August.

Jack Kemp
A member of the revived Committee on the Present Danger, the former Republican congressman and standout NFL quarterback has championed the “war on terror,” arguing that “radical Islamists have declared war on freedom, democracy, and modernity.”

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Iran Could Benefit from Georgia Crisis
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

The U.S. invasion of Iraq has increased Iran’s political leverage in the Middle East, and the crisis in Georgia could further boost that clout. Read full story.

An End to Pax Americana?
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

The Russian invasion of Georgia seems to have marked a definitive end to the “unipolar moment”—as well as to Bush administration plans to impose its will on Eurasia. Read full story.

“Ally” Musharraf Facilitated Taliban
Analysis by Gareth Porter (Inter Press Service)

Pakistan’s willingness to help the United States in the “war on terror” was partly myth created by the Bush administration. Read full story.

Legal Battle Continues for Ex-Detainee
By William Fisher (Inter Press Service)

A Canadian citizen wrongly detained in the “war on terror” will get another day in court, but the Bush administration may invoke the state secrets privilege—a tactic it has used excessively, some say, to cover up embarrassing mistakes. Read full story.

LETTERS

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Featured Profiles

Bernard Lewis was a renowned historian of Islam and the Middle East who stirred controversy with his often chauvinistic attitude towards the Muslim world and his associations with high-profile neoconservatives and foreign policy hawks.


John Bolton, the controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN and dyed-in the-wool foreign policy hawk, is President Trump’s National Security Adviser McMaster, reflecting a sharp move to the hawkish extreme by the administration.


Michael Joyce, who passed away in 2006, was once described by neoconservative guru Irving Kristol as the “godfather of modern philanthropy.”


Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s second secretary of state, is a long time foreign policy hawk and has led the public charge for an aggressive policy toward Iran.


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.”


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.


Since taking office Donald Trump has revealed an erratic and extremely hawkish approach to U.S. foreign affairs, which has been marked by controversial actions like dropping out of the Iran nuclear agreement that have raised tensions across much of the world and threatened relations with key allies.


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From the Wires

Soon after a Saudi-led coalition strike on a bus killed 40 children on August 9, a CENTCOM spokesperson stated to Vox, “We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the U.S. sold to them.”


The West has dominated the post-war narrative with its doctrine of liberal values, arguing that not only were they right in themselves but that economic success itself depended on their application. Two developments have challenged those claims. The first was the West’s own betrayal of its principles: on too many occasions the self interest of the powerful, and disdain for the victims of collateral damage, has showed through. The second dates from more recently: the growth of Chinese capitalism owes nothing to a democratic system of government, let alone liberal values.


Falsely demonizing all Muslims, their beliefs, and their institutions is exactly the wrong way to make Americans safer, because the more we scare ourselves with imaginary enemies, the harder it will be to find and protect ourselves from real ones.


Division in the ranks of the conservative movement is a critical sign that a war with Iran isn’t inevitable.


Donald Trump stole the headlines, but the declaration from the recent NATO summit suggests the odds of an unnecessary conflict are rising. Instead of inviting a dialogue, the document boasts that the Alliance has “suspended all practical civilian and military cooperation between NATO and Russia.” The fact is, NATO was a child of the Cold War, when the West believed that the Soviets were a threat. But Russia today is not the Soviet Union, and there’s no way Moscow would be stupid enough to attack a superior military force.


War with Iran may not be imminent, but neither was war with Iraq in late 2001.


Donald Trump was one of the many bets the Russians routinely place, recognizing that while most such bets will never pay off a few will, often in unpredictable ways. Trump’s actions since taking office provide the strongest evidence that this one bet is paying off handsomely for the Russians. Putin could hardly have made the script for Trump’s conduct at the recent NATO meeting any more to his liking—and any better designed to foment division and distrust within the Western alliance—than the way Trump actually behaved.


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