Right Web

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

Obama’s Foreign Policy; Farewell to Cheney; The AEI Breakup; Profiles on Weyrich, Neuhaus, and

FEATURED ARTICLES President Obama: A Realist Interventionist? By Leon Hadar President Obama might turn out to be a foreign policy pragmatist, eschewing the grand strategies and big-label crusades that inspire the minds of Washington’s cognoscenti. After eight years of the Bush administration’s foreign policy fantasies, the notion of an Obama administration muddling through foreign policy…

FEATURED ARTICLES

President Obama: A Realist Interventionist?

By Leon Hadar

President Obama might turn out to be a foreign policy pragmatist, eschewing the grand strategies and big-label crusades that inspire the minds of Washington’s cognoscenti. After eight years of the Bush administration’s foreign policy fantasies, the notion of an Obama administration muddling through foreign policy choices should be welcomed, even by those who will inevitably be disappointed when Obama fails to live up to their high expectations. Read full story.

Neoconservatism in a New Era

By Nick Rogers

With a new president taking office who campaigned against George W. Bush’s foreign policy agenda, a burning question among many pundits is, “Whither the neocons?” Out of power and out of fashion, what exactly will be their post-Bush agenda? Prominent thinkers Joshua Muravchik and Michael Ledeen weigh in on how neocons should move forward and what some of their priorities might be in the future. Read full story.

Cheney: Master Bureaucrat

By Daniel Luban

From his first day in office, former Vice President Dick Cheney served as the most aggressive hawk among the top administration leadership. As Barton Gellman documents in his recent biography, Angler, Cheney used the Vice President’s office with secrecy and skill to unite the administration around shared goals of an aggressively nationalist foreign policy, a disdain for diplomacy, and an utterly unfettered executive power in time of war. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

American Enterprise Institute
The departure of key neoconservative writers from AEI leaves in question the think tank’s commitment to the militarist foreign policies it helped promote during the Bush presidency.

Dennis Ross
George Mitchell’s appointment as Middle East envoy may have stymied Ross’ lofty ambitions, but recent reports claim that the Clinton-era advisor who maintains strong ties to neocons may win a high-level post in the Obama administration advising on Mideast policy, possibly focusing on Iran.

Elliott Abrams
The Iran-Contra veteran and champion of Likud-aligned U.S. Mideast policies in the Bush administration has landed at the Council on Foreign Relations.

William Kristol
The editor of the Weekly Standard and founder of the Project for the New American Century, Kristol’s stint as an op-ed writer for the New York Times lasted all of one year.

Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009)
Called “a Roman Catholic beacon of the neoconservative movement of today,” the influential Neuhaus, who was frequently found at the crossroads of politics and religion, died in early January 2009.

Paul Weyrich (1942-2008)
A fervent Cold Warrior and longtime conservative leader, Weyrich opposed many of the foreign policies of the Bush administration, including the Iraq War. He passed away in December.

Reuel Marc Gerecht
Like fellow neocon Michael Ledeen, Gerecht, a former CIA officer, found a perch at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies after getting ousted from AEI.

Joshua Muravchik
A former scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Muravchik was one of several scholars whose recent departure from AEI has spurred talk of a “purge” at the neoconservative-led think tank.

ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Bush Foreign Policy Legacy Widely Seen as Disastrous
By Jim Lobe | Posted on January 20, 2009

Few historians would apparently disagree with Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal’s comment that "the Bush administration has left you [the United States] a disgusting legacy.” Read story.

Bush Plan Eliminated Obstacle to Gaza Assault
By Gareth Porter | Posted on January 20, 2009

Bush administration efforts to undermine Hamas appear to have paved the way for the recent Israeli assault on Gaza. Read story.

Israeli Attack Seen as Complicating Obama’s Plans
By Jim Lobe | Posted on January 7, 2009

The president-elect’s stated goal of improving the Israeli-Palestinian situation has been complicated before he even starts his job. Read story.

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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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