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

Defense Cuts; Whither the Hawks; and More

FEATURED ARTICLE

Democrats Remold Military Budget
By John Isaacs | May 10, 2007

Despite vociferous support from some Republicans and from hardline outfits like the Center for Security Policy, a number of controversial weapons programs—like designing new nuclear weapons, placing missile defense sites in Europe, and developing space-based weapons—are being targeted for cuts by the Democrat-controlled Congress. Read full article.

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Mugged by Reality?
Jim Lobe | May 8, 2007

Recent events, including Condoleezza Rice‘s overture to Syria and a growing list of hawks departing from the administration, suggest that Vice President Dick Cheney‘s power is declining in an administration that seems to have been mugged by reality. Read full article.

See also: THE DEPARTED, A SPECIAL SECTION

Last week’s resignations of J.D. Crouch II and Meghan O’Sullivan, two officials in the National Security Council who were closely involved with the implementation of Iraq War policies, helped spark considerable speculation about the future direction of Bush administration foreign policy. Wrote the Associated Press’s Matthew Lee this week: "Top members of President Bush’s national security team are leaving in one of the earliest waves of departures from a second-term administration—nearly two years before Bush’s term ends. As rancor in the nation rises over handling of the war in Iraq, at least 20 senior aides have either retired or resigned from important posts at the White House, Pentagon, and State Department in the past six months."

Notable about many of the officials and advisers who have exited early is their close association with the effort to push for war in Iraq and an expansive "war on terror." In this special section of Right Web News, we provide a rundown of some of the more controversial and hardline figures who have been a part of this exodus.

Right Web Profile: J.D. Crouch II
One of the architects within the National Security Council of the "surge" strategy in Iraq, Crouch, who announced his resignation late last week, is the most recent casualty in the ranks of the administration’s Cheney crowd.

Right Web Profile: John Bolton
The controversial former U.S. ambassador to the UN has returned to his old stomping grounds at neocon central, the American Enterprise Institute, where he continues to harangue about the UN, the threat posed by Islam’s "theological revolution on the march," and the dangers of diplomacy.

Right Web Profile: Paul Wolfowitz
Rumsfeld’s Number 2 at the Pentagon, Wolfowitz left the Defense Department to head the World Bank, where his work has proved as controversial as it was while he was in the administration.

Right Web Profile: Donald Rumsfeld
The embattled former Pentagon chief was forced to step down in November 2006 after six tumultuous years, during which he bungled the invasion of Iraq, failed to adequately respond to the growing insurgency there, and dismissed accusations of torture and mistreatment of detainees at places like Abu Ghraib.

Right Web Profile: Richard Perle
As chair of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, a post he left after scandals erupted regarding alleged conflicts of interest between his government service and private business dealings, Perle was one of the leading advocates for invading Iraq after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Right Web Profile: Douglas Feith
Feith left his post at the Pentagon just as investigations began heating up over his alleged mishandling of intel to justify the invasion of Iraq. He then took up a teaching post at Georgetown University, where he teaches a class on the Bush administration’s "war on terror."

Right Web Profile: Robert Joseph
Joseph, a close associate of hardline outfits like the Center for Security Policy and a skeptic of pursing diplomatic strategies with U.S. opponents, resigned from his post as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security just as negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program began showing signs of progress in early 2007.

Right Web Profile: Stephen Cambone
A long-time Rumsfeld sidekick, Cambone served as the first-ever undersecretary of defense for intelligence. Before stepping down shortly after Rumsfeld’s ouster, he labored to justify the ill-fated invasion of Iraq and the abuses suffered by detainees as part of the "war on terror."

Right Web Profile: Peter Rodman
A Kissinger protégé who aligned himself with the clique of hardliners and neoconservatives in the Bush administration, Rodman, now based at the Brookings Institution, resigned from the Pentagon shortly after his boss Donald Rumsfeld was pushed out.

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Right Web Profile: Mario Loyola
A former Pentagon consultant and frequent contributor to right-wing outlets like the National Review, Loyola is a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, where he regularly applauds the war effort and warns about the "pessimism of the center."

Right Web Profile: Stephen Hadley
Supporting the Iraq "surge" and searching for a "war czar" have been among Hadley’s claims to fame since taking over as the president’s national security adviser.

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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.


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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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