Right Web

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

Joe Lieberman the Neocon

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Joe Lieberman
The former senator from Connecticut has joined the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he co-chairs with former Sen. Jon Kyl the American Internationalism Project. As one commentator put it, Lieberman “should feel right at home there…. His tenure at AEI will allow him to continue to pontificate to a sympathetic audience about why he regards even mild opposition to his intransigent bellicosity as benighted obstructionism.”

Michael Goldfarb
Michael Goldfarb is a neoconservative pundit, activist, and consultant who has proven adept at funneling anonymous Republican donations into high-profile advocacy efforts. Sensationalistic reports published by the Washington Free Beacon—a conservative blog of Goldfarb's Center for American Freedom—have cemented his reputation as a self-styled provocateur with little regard for the facts.

Institute for the Study of War
Founded in 2007, the Institute for the Study of War is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that has supported long-term U.S. military intervention abroad, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. Led by Kimberly Kagan, the group has increasingly attracted the support of military contractors with active stakes in the wars the group supports prolonging.

Charles Krauthammer
Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer is a trailblazing “pro-Israel” ideologue and an unapologetic advocate for U.S. overseas military intervention—but don’t call him a “neoconservative.” At a recent event hosted by the right-wing National Review, Krauthammer dismissed the neoconservative label as an “epithet” for “Jewish conservative,” suggesting that affording any scrutiny to neoconservative foreign policy was tantamount to anti-Semitism.

Gatestone Institute
The Gatestone Institute is a New York-based advocacy organization that is tied to neoconservative and other right-wing networks in the United States and Europe. The brainchild of Sears-Roebuck heiress Nina Rosenwald, Gatestone has played host to far-right anti-Islamic ideologues like Geert Wilders and produced a slew of commentaries railing against the purported influence of Sharia law in Europe and North America, the alleged nuclear ambitions of Iran, and the supposed malfeasances of Palestinians.

Nina Rosenwald
An heir to the Sears Roebuck fortune, Nina Rosenwald has been dubbed “the sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate” for her philanthropy supporting right-wing and anti-Islamic groups in the United States. She is the founder of the Gatestone Institute, an offshoot of the neoconservative Hudson Institute that has rolled out the red carpet for anti-Islamic polemicists like Geert Wilders and produced a slew of commentaries inveighing against Iran, Palestinians, and the purported creep of Sharia law.

Kimberly Kagan
Kimberly Kagan is founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a hawkish counterinsurgency think tank. With her husband Frederick—an American Enterprise Institute fellow often credited with helping to conceive the Iraq “surge”—Kagan has proven an influential advocate for a protracted counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan, receiving extraordinary accommodations from General David Petraeus during his tenure in the country. While she was advising Petraeus, Kagan continued to receive a paycheck from ISW, which is funded by military contractors with active interests in Afghanistan.

From the Wires

U.S. “Rebalancing” to Asia/Pacific Still a Priority
Amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and a brewing dispute over Chinese hacking, the Pentagon insists that the Obama administration's "pivot" to the Asia-Pacific region will not be derailed by defense cuts.

AIPAC on the Defensive
While its base remains active and invested, AIPAC is increasingly confronting a political landscape in which its membership seems more out of touch with Americans—Jewish or otherwise—than ever.

U.S. Wasted Billions of Dollars on Iraqi Reconstruction
A report by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has concluded that the U.S. wasted billions of dollars rebuilding Iraq by farming projects out to unreliable contractors and failing to account for local needs and circumstances in planning projects.

What Went Right at Almaty
Iran and the P5+1 powers are finally negotiating instead of just talking.

Obama and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: It’s Time to Act
As President Barack Obama travels to Israel and Palestine in the spring, Washington’s unconditional backing of Israel could soon begin to harm U.S. interests and security in Arab Muslim countries.

After Unprecedented Fight, Hagel Confirmed as Obama’s Pentagon Chief
Despite a massive effort by “pro-Israel” neoconservatives to derail his nomination, the Senate has voted to confirm Chuck Hagel as the next secretary of defense.

Former Hostages Call for Broadened Dialogue with Iran
On the eve of renewed P5+1 negotiations in Kazakhstan, at least two former hostages of the U.S. embassy crisis in Iran have called on the United States to engage with more direct dialogue with Iran.

Saudi Arabia Seen Unlikely to Seek Nukes If Iran Gets One
A new report suggests that, due to a combination of factors, countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey would be unlikely to seek nuclear weapons in the event that Iran develops one.

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Featured Profiles

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.


A military historian, Kimberly Kagan heads the Institute for the Study of War, where she has promoted the continuation of U.S. war in Afghanistan.


A “non-partisan” policy institute that purports to defend democracies from “militant Islamism,” the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is an influential base of hawkish advocacy on Middle East policy.


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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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