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

Paul Ryan’s Wilders-Geller-Rand Worldview

FEATURED PROFILES Geert Wilders Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders’ fierce anti-Islamic activism has made him a favorite of the American right. Pamela Geller The acerbic anti-Islamic activist Pamela Geller thinks that President Obama is attempting to restore “the universal caliphate” and shares VP candidate Paul Ryan’s attraction to the novelist Ayn Rand, who once argued that…

FEATURED PROFILES

Geert Wilders

Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders’ fierce anti-Islamic activism has made him a favorite of the American right.

Pamela Geller

The acerbic anti-Islamic activist Pamela Geller thinks that President Obama is attempting to restore “the universal caliphate” and shares VP candidate Paul Ryan’s attraction to the novelist Ayn Rand, who once argued that “Arabs are one of the least developed cultures.”

Elliott Abrams

Iran-Contra veteran Elliott Abrams is a well-known neoconservative ideologue who works as a senior fellow on Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and has advised Paul Ryan on foreign policy matters.

Paul Ryan

Though better known for his austere budget proposals, Paul Ryan shares Mitt Romney’s faith in American exceptionalism, believes that America is under attack by “Islamic fascists,” and is a proponent of aggressive U.S. military intervention abroad.

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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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