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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…

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

Zalmay Khalilzad is Donald Trump’s special representative to the Afghan peace process, having previously served as ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq under George W. Bush.


Robert Joseph played a key role in manipulating U.S. intelligence to support the invasion of Iraq and today is a lobbyist for the MEK.


Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks, and one of the prime vacillators among Republicans between objecting to and supporting Donald Trump.


Elliott Abrams, the Trump administration’s special envoy to Venezuela, is a neoconservative with a long record of hawkish positions and actions, including lying to Congress about the Iran-Contra affair.


Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump second secretary of state, has driven a hawkish foreign policy in Iran and Latin America.


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy and close ties to prominent neoconservatives.


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.


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From the Wires

François Nicoullaud, the former French ambassador to Iran, discusses the ups and downs of Iran-France relations and the new US sanctions.


Effective alliances require that powerful states shoulder a far larger share of the alliance maintenance costs than other states, a premise that Donald Trump rejects.


The new imbroglio over the INF treaty does not mean a revival of the old Cold War practice of nuclear deterrence. However, it does reveal the inability of the West and Russia to find a way to deal with the latter’s inevitable return to the ranks of major powers, a need that was obvious even at the time the USSR collapsed.


As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump appeared to recognize the obvious problem of the revolving door. But as the appointment of Patrick Shanahan, who spent 30 years at Boeing, as the Trump administration’s acting secretary of defense reveals, little has changed. America is indeed great again, if you happen to be one of those lucky enough to be moving back and forth between plum jobs in the Pentagon and the weapons industry.


Domestic troubles, declining popularity, and a decidedly hawkish anti-Iran foreign policy team may combine to make the perfect storm that pushes Donald Trump to pull the United States into a new war in the Middle East.


The same calculus that brought Iran and world powers to make a deal and has led remaining JCPOA signatories to preserve it without the U.S. still holds: the alternatives to this agreement – a race between sanctions and centrifuges that could culminate in Iran obtaining the bomb or being bombed – would be much worse.


With Bolton and Pompeo by his side and Mattis departed, Trump may well go with his gut and attack Iran militarily. He’ll be encouraged in this delusion by Israel and Saudi Arabia. He’ll of course be looking for some way to distract the media and the American public. And he won’t care about the consequences.


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