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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…

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

Bret Stephens is a columnist for the New York Times who previously worked at the Wall Street Journal and the neoconservative flagship magazine Commentary.


Donald Trump’s second attorney general, William Barr is the focus of a growing controversy over the Robert Mueller report because his decision to unilaterally declare that the the president had not obstructed justice during the Mueller investigation.


The Republican Jewish Coalition is a right wing Jewish advocacy groups that promotes an aggressive pro-Israel and anti-Iran policy.


Erik Prince, former CEO of the mercenary group Blackwater, continues to sell security services around the world as controversies over his work—including in China and the Middle East, and his alleged involvement in collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia—grow.


The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of the more effective U.S. lobbying outfits, aims to ensure that the United States backs Israel regardless of the policies Israel pursues.


Gina Haspel is the first woman to hold the position of director of the CIA, winning her confirmation despite her history of involvement in torture during the Iraq War.


United against Nuclear Iran is a pressure group that attacks companies doing business in Iran and disseminates alarmist reports about the country’s nuclear program.


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From the Wires

The new government will, once again, be the most right wing in Israel’s history. But this time, the length of the new government’s tenure will depend more on Netanyahu’s legal troubles than on the political dynamics of the coalition.


Given such a dismal U.S. record on non-proliferation, why should North Korea trust U.S. promises of future sanctions relief and security guarantees in exchange for denuclearization? If anything, the case of the JCPOA has demonstrated that regardless of its pledges the United States can reinstate sanctions and even bully private multinational companies to divest from Iran.


As Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi crown prince and de facto ruler Mohammad bin Salman clamor for a war against Iran, they seem to have conveniently forgotten the destruction and mayhem wrought by the American invasion of Iraq 16 years ago.


President Trump’s announcement that he would recognise Israeli sovereignty over the western part of the Golan Heights destroys the negotiating basis for any future peace between Israel and Syria. It also lays the groundwork for a return to a world without territorial integrity for smaller, weaker countries.


The Senate on Wednesday passed a measure mandating the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the Saudi/UAE-led war against Houthi rebels in Yemen. The vote marks the first time since the War Powers Act of 1973 became law that both chambers of Congress have directed the president to withdraw American forces from a conflict.


The Trump administration’s failed “maximum pressure” approach to Iran and North Korea begs the question what the US president’s true objectives are and what options he is left with should the policy ultimately fail.


In the United States, it’s possible to debate any and every policy, domestic and foreign, except for unquestioning support for Israel. That, apparently, is Ilhan Omar’s chief sin.


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