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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

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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.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

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

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and two-time failed presidential candidate, is a foreign policy hawk with neoconservative leanings who appears set to become the next senator from Utah.


Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman and longtime “superlobbyist” who has supported numerous neoconservative advocacy campaigns, has become embroiled in the special prosecutor’s investigation into the Donald Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.


Jon Lerner is a conservative political strategist and top adviser to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. He was a key figure in the “Never Trump” Campaign, which appears to have led to his being ousted as Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser.


Pamela Geller is a controversial anti-Islam activist who has founded several “hate groups” and likes to repeat debunked myths, including about the alleged existence of “no-go” Muslim zones in Europe.


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.”


Although overlooked by President Trump for cabinet post, Gingrich has tried to shape affairs in the administration, including by conspiring with government officials to “purge the State Department of staffers they viewed as insufficiently loyal” to the president.


Former Sen Mark Kirk (R-IL) is an advisor for United Against Nuclear Iran. He is an outspoken advocate for aggressive action against Iran and a fierce defender of right-wing Israeli policies.


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From the Wires

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Other than the cynical political interests in Moscow and Tehran, there is no conceivable rationale for wanting Bashar al-Assad to stay in power. But the simple fact is, he has won the war. And while Donald Trump has reveled in positive press coverage of the recent attacks on the country, it is clear that they were little more than a symbolic act.


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The reality is that the Assad regime is winning the Syrian civil war, and this matters far less to U.S. interests than it does to that regime or its allies in Russia and Iran, who see Syria as their strongest and most consistent entrée into the Arab world. Those incontrovertible facts undermine any notion of using U.S. military force as leverage to gain a better deal for the Syrian people.


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An effective rhetorical tool to normalize military build-ups is to characterize spending increases “modernization.”


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The Pentagon has officially announced that that “long war” against terrorism is drawing to a close — even as many counterinsurgency conflicts  rage across the Greater Middle East — and a new long war has begun, a permanent campaign to contain China and Russia in Eurasia.


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Revelations that data-consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used ill-gotten personal information from Facebook for the Trump campaign masks the more scandalous reality that the company is firmly ensconced in the U.S. military-industrial complex. It should come as no surprise then that the scandal has been linked to Erik Prince, co-founder of Blackwater.


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As the United States enters the second spring of the Trump era, it’s creeping ever closer to more war. McMaster and Mattis may have written the National Defense Strategy that over-hyped the threats on this planet, but Bolton and Pompeo will have the opportunity to address these inflated threats in the worst way possible: by force of arms.


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We meet Donald Trump in the media every hour of every day, which blots out much of the rest of the world and much of what’s meaningful in it.  Such largely unexamined, never-ending coverage of his doings represents a triumph of the first order both for him and for an American cult of personality.


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