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

Is Obama the second coming of de Gaulle? Profiles on the Center for a New American Security, Dan Sen

FEATURED ARTICLE Waiting for Obama By Leon Hadar Some Israelis fear that Barack Obama is the second coming of Charles de Gaulle–a leader of a powerful global patron who is willing to turn his back on the Jewish state if it goes to war with Arab neighbors. Thus far, however, the Obama administration has merely…

FEATURED ARTICLE

Waiting for Obama
By Leon Hadar

Some Israelis fear that Barack Obama is the second coming of Charles de Gaulle–a leader of a powerful global patron who is willing to turn his back on the Jewish state if it goes to war with Arab neighbors. Thus far, however, the Obama administration has merely repeated long-held U.S. policy goals in the region, albeit ones that contrast sharply with the neoconservative-tendencies of the Bush presidency. As Middle East observers wait for Obama to launch his Middle East peace initiative in the coming months, they wonder, can the president fill the political vacuum in Israel and Palestine and start pressing the two sides to consider making painful compromises. Read full story.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Center for a New American Security
The go-to security policy think tank for the Obama administration, the Center for a New American Security is staffed with a host counterintelligence enthusiasts, some of whom seem right at home working closely with neoconservatives.  

Dan Senor
The former spokesman for the coalition authority in Iraq, Senor is the cofounder of the neoconservative-led Foreign Policy Initiative, where he alternatively applauds the Obama administration’s hard line in Afghanistan and bemoans its “weakness” on Iran.  

Dennis Ross
It remains unclear whether Dennis Ross’s new post in the National Security Council will increase or diminish his impact on Mideast policymaking.

Paul Wolfowitz
The former Pentagon number two and ex-head of the World Bank added his voice to the chorus of hardliners denouncing President Obama’s “weakness” in confronting the election crisis in Iran.

American Conservative Union
A core member of the traditional Right, the ACU has helped drive the Republican Party further right since the election of President Obama.

David Addington
Dick Cheney’s right-hand man on everything from evading congressional oversight of “war on terror” policies to authorizing the use of torture, Addington is one of several Bush lawyers who has had trouble finding work since leaving government service.

 

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Report Urges Continued U.S. Diplomatic Push
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A new report from veteran Middle East hands urges the Obama administration to proceed cautiously with Iran, but move quickly to broker formal talks between Israel and Palestine.

Behind Detainee Release, a U.S.-Iraqi Conflict on Iran
By Gareth Porter

The recent release of five Iranians held by the U.S. military in Iraq highlights growing differences between Washington and Baghdad over Iranian policy in Iraq.

Is Obama Slouching Toward War With Iran?
By Tony Karon

Although the Obama administration clearly believes an Israeli attack on Iran would be disastrous, recent events seem to point to a concerted campaign to make the Iranians think an attack is coming, a strategy that could have severe unintended consequences.

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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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