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

Missing the Point in Pakistan; Plus, Profiles on the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and I

FEATURED ARTICLE

Missing the Point on Pakistan
Commentary by Najum Mushtaq

The recent missile strike inside Pakistan’s terrorist-infested tribal areas revealed that despite the millions of dollars spent by the United States to improve security in the country, the situation is one of spiraling instability. But pumping millions into Pakistan to prevent the nightmare scenario of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons, a policy pushed by conservative think tanks and many Bush administration officials, misses the larger issue. Washington’s time and money would be better used to persuade Pakistan’s entrenched nuclear-military establishment to let go of its nuclear weapons entirely and concentrate on fighting terrorism.
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FEATURED PROFILES

Foundation for Defense of Democracies
A supposedly nonpartisan think thank aimed at fighting the causes of terrorism and promoting democracy, many of FDD’s Democratic supporters resigned recently after it targeted House Democrats in misleading attack ads.

Defense of Democracies
When its tax-exempt status got in the way of aggressive lobbying, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies created a brand new organization. Its first project was a controversial ad campaign that has raised concerns about partisanship.

Max Kampelman
A longtime supporter of hawkish groups like the Committee on the Present Danger and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Kampelman, an arms control negotiator under Reagan, has more recently advocated global nuclear disarmament.

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When the Brass Doesn

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Featured Profiles

Haim Saban is a media mogul and major donor to the Democratic Party known for his hardline stance on Israel and opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.


Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and is widely considered to be a future presidential candidate.


Brian Hook is the director of policy planning and senior policy advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and is the head of the Iran Action Group.


Josh Rogin is a journalist known for his support for neoconservative policies and views.


Laurence Silberman, a senior justice on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was a mentor to controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and has been a vocal supporter of right-wing foreign and domestic agendas, including the campaign to support the invasion of Iraq.


The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, advocates regime change in Iran and has strong connections with a wide range of top political figures in the U.S.


Eli Lake is a columnist for Bloomberg View who has a lengthy record of advocating for aggressive U.S. foreign policies towards the Middle East.


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From the Wires

Jobs should not be an excuse to arm a murderous regime that not only appears to be behind the assassination of a U.S. resident and respected commentator but is also responsible for thousands of civilian casualties in Yemen—the majority killed with U.S-supplied bombs, combat aircraft, and tactical assistance.


The contradictions in Donald Trump’s foreign policy create opportunities for both rivals and long-standing (if irritated) US allies to challenge American influence. But Trump’s immediate priority is political survival, and his actions in the international arena are of little concern to his domestic supporters.


While the notion that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is decades old, it has been bolstered in recent years, by the campaign to add to the definition of anti-Semitism any criticism that singles Israel out and doesn’t apply the same standard to other countries. The bottom line is that this entire effort is designed not to combat anti-Semitism but to silence criticism. 


Short-term thinking, expedience, and a lack of strategic caution has led Washington to train, fund, and support group after group that have turned their guns on American soldiers and civilians.


Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.


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