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

Pentagon Reined in Cheney’s Plans for Iran Strikes; Plus, Profile on Douglas Feith, Thomas McI

FEATURED ARTICLE Pentagon Reined in Cheney’s Plans for Iran Strikes Analysis by Gareth Porter (Inter Press Service) A proposal by Vice President Dick Cheney to strike Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps bases last summer was apparently thwarted by the Pentagon because of concerns that it could spark an all-out war. But that was before Adm. William…

FEATURED ARTICLE

Pentagon Reined in Cheney’s Plans for Iran Strikes
Analysis by Gareth Porter (Inter Press Service)

A proposal by Vice President Dick Cheney to strike Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps bases last summer was apparently thwarted by the Pentagon because of concerns that it could spark an all-out war. But that was before Adm. William Fallon was dismissed as head of Central Command and replaced with Gen. David Petraeus, a Cheney ally. Read full story.

FEATURED PROFILES

Douglas Feith
A former Pentagon official whose office generated information that was used to push the United States toward war with Iraq, Feith recently published a memoir in which he blames others for the missteps in Iraq.

Thomas McInerney
Connected to various military contractors and hardline advocacy groups, the Fox News analyst and retired general received talking points from the Bush administration as part of a Pentagon program to influence U.S. views on the “war on terror.”

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Olmert Takes a Break; Hagee Wins Applause
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At the annual meeting of the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the presidential candidates pledged their support for Israel, the group’s agenda veered to the right, and controversial Christian Right leader John Hagee earned enthusiastic applause. Read full story.

A Foregone Conclusion
By Jim Lobe (Inter Press Service)

The Bush administration’s arguments for invading Iraq were largely unsupported by the evidence provided by the U.S. intelligence community, according to a long-awaited Senate report. Read full story.

Protesters Draw Attention to Guantanamo
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As the Bush administration continues to defend indefinite detentions of prisoners in the “war on terror,” protesters go to trial. Read full 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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