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

Hyping the EMP Threat; New Profiles of John Nagl, United Against Iran, Seth Cropsey and more

FEATURED ARTICLE

The EMP Threat: Lots of Hype, Little Traction

By Robert Farley

In September, a network of hawks from the Christian Right to the neocons held a conference aimed at raising alarm about a purely theoretical threat. Titled “Protecting America Against Permanent Continental Shutdown From Electromagnetic Pulse,” the conference featured speakers who argued that “rogue” states like North Korea and Iran, as well as terrorists, are poised to wreak havoc on the United States by blasting nuclear weapons above the country, releasing an electromagnetic pulse that would shut down much of its infrastructure. That there is little evidence of EMP’s ostensibly far-reaching impact—or that anyone has developed EMP-optimized weapons—has not stopped hawks from making outlandish claims, like that within a year of an EMP attack, 9 out of 10 Americans would be dead. Despite the hype, it appears that only zealots take the threat seriously. Read full story.

See also:

  • Right Web Profile: The EMP Commission
    Despite challenges to its credibility, the work of this congressional commission continues be cited by hardliners to revive Cold War-era fears of nuclear annihilation and justify aggressive policies toward Iran and North Korea.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

John Nagl
One of the foremost U.S. experts on counterinsurgency, Nagl is president of the Center for a New American Security, an influential inside-the-beltway think tank with close ties to the Obama administration and neoconservatives.

Seth Cropsey
The former head of the Bush administration’s International Broadcasting Bureau, Cropsey has moved to the neocon-led Hudson Institute, where he writes screeds accusing President Obama of “appeasing” the Russians and attacking his efforts at rapprochement with the Muslim world.

Henry Sokolski
This longtime foreign policy hardliner is one of a chorus of rightist voices criticizing the recent agreement between Iran and the U.N. Security Council’s five permanent members (plus Germany) regarding its nuclear program.

United Against Nuclear Iran
While highlighting on its website that State Department heavyweights Richard Holbrooke and Dennis Ross are cofounders, this right-leaning advocacy group recently ran a TV commercial implicitly criticizing the Obama administration’s Iran policy.

Thomas McInerney
Tightly connected to military contractors and to several militarist advocacy groups, this retired general argues that President Obama is naïve about the threat from “radical Islam” and should increase troops in Afghanistan.

Jon Kyl
One of the Senate’s key foreign policy hawks, Senator Kyl recently advocated using U.S. muscle to force “regime change” in Iran.

Irving Kristol (1920-2009)
The “godfather” of neoconservatism passed away in mid-September.

 

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From the Wires

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.


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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.


With President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talking openly about a possible “escalation between us and the Iranians,” there is a real risk that some combination of the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia could initiate a war with Iran. If there’s one lesson to be learned from U.S. wars since 9/11, it’s “don’t start another one.”


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