Right Web

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

Neoconservative Resurgence in the Age of Obama. Also profiles on Newt Gingrich, and more

FEATURED ARTICLE Neoconservative Resurgence in the Age of Obama By Daniel Luban Despite their political plunge, neoconservatives—and the think tanks that sustain them—have been surprisingly skilled at reinventing themselves and forcing the Obama administration to give them a seat at the table. They have choreographed a clever “carrots and sticks” dance—throwing support behind the president…

FEATURED ARTICLE

Neoconservative Resurgence in the Age of Obama
By Daniel Luban

Despite their political plunge, neoconservatives—and the think tanks that sustain them—have been surprisingly skilled at reinventing themselves and forcing the Obama administration to give them a seat at the table. They have choreographed a clever “carrots and sticks” dance—throwing support behind the president when he has taken positions compatible with their dogma, and excoriating him when he has contravened it. They have also proved adept at making alliances with the liberal interventionists, like those at the Center for a New American Security, who are strikingly influential in and out of the Obama administration. Read full story.

 

FEATURED PROFILES

Newt Gingrich
AEI fellow and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is enjoying a splashy media comeback as a harsh and vociferous critic of the new administration.

Eliot Cohen
A neocon admired by some liberal hawks, Cohen disparages the Obama administration’s pursuit of diplomacy as shallow and merely an effort not to be like Bush.

Stephen Hadley
His tendency to play loose with the facts while a top official in Bush’s National Security Council has not dampened Hadley’s marketability. He now commands lucrative fees through a high-profile speakers bureau.

 

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Republicans Attack Obama’s Israel-Palestine Policies
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The close alignment of some Republican Party stalwarts with Israel’s rightwing government signals a significant political shift on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Under Pressure from Hawks, Obama Tacks to the Right
By Daniel Luban | Posted: August 19, 2009

Apparently in response mounting pressure from hawks, the Obama administration is moving toward a harder line on Iran.

Holbrooke Heralds U.S.-Afghan Pre-Election Engagement
By Danielle Kurtzleben | Posted: August 19, 2009

Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke told an audience at the Center for American Progress that when it comes to U.S. civilian efforts in Afghanistan, concepts of victory and defeat are irrelevant.

J Street’s Muslim Funding for Peace
By Eli Clifton | Posted: August 19, 2009

Right-wing commentators are furiously working to discredit the liberal J Street organization, which lobbies for a two-state solution in Israel-Palestine, because a tiny percentage of its donors have Arab or Muslim names.

Violent Afghan Police Return to Helmand Province, Bolstered by U.S. & UK Troops
By Gareth Porter | Posted: August 05, 2009

U.S. and UK forces in Afghanistan’s Helmand province are working to bring back the provincial police. But there is a big problem: Not only are the police linked with a local warlord, they’ve committed horrific abuses.

 

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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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