Right Web

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

Heather Wilson

  • House of Representatives, R-NM (1998-2009)

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Heather Wilson is a former Republican congresswoman from New Mexico. The first woman veteran in U.S. history to serve in Congress, Wilson represented New Mexico’s Albuquerque-based first district from 1998 until 2009, launching failed Senate bids in 2008 and 2012.

A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy (1982), she was a Rhodes Scholar and earned her masters and doctoral degrees in international relations from Oxford University in England. After leaving the Air Force in 1989, she served as Director for European Defense Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council staff at the White House under President George H.W. Bush. In 1991 Wilson founded Keystone International Inc. to work with senior executives in large American defense and scientific corporations with business development and program planning work in the United States and Russia.[1]

Although she cultivated a moderate political persona during her time in office,[2] Wilson’s support for the Bush administration’s Middle East policies and nuclear arms ambitions won her the support of both the president and the vice president.

Wilson supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq and opposed congressional efforts to force early U.S. withdrawal from the conflict. She also supported the Bush administration’s efforts to tighten sanctions on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and voted to approve funds supporting a “democratic transition” in the country.[3]

As chair of the National Security Subcommittee of the House Policy Committee, Wilson helped shape an increasingly militarist foreign policy early in the Bush administration. The committee's February 2003 report Differentiation and Defense: An Agenda for the Nuclear Weapons Program, for example, helped to push nuclear policy towards research and development of small "bunker busting" nuclear weapons, an agenda already outlined in the Bush administration's Nuclear Posture Review. The review, which was leaked to the media in January 2002, was reportedly heavily influenced by the work of the National Institute of Public Policy, a think tank devoted to promoting militaristic strategic weapons policies, many of whose collaborators served in the George W. Bush administration’s Deterrence Concepts Advisory Panel.

Under Wilson’s leadership, the National Security Subcommittee helped develop the House Policy Statement on Missile Defense. This policy statement suggested that the president was correct to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense Treaty with the Soviet Union and endorsed the Bush administration's plans for global missile defense projects.

Late in her congressional tenure, Wilson became increasingly critical of the Bush administration’s surveillance tactics, calling in February 2006 for a full congressional investigation after revelations that the administration had ordered the warrantless wiretapping of communications by U.S. citizens. She was the first Intelligence Committee Republican to make such a demand.[4]

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney each spoke at fundraisers for Wilson throughout her congressional career, with Cheney helping to raise over $100,000 for Wilson’s Senate bid at a fundraiser as late as 2007.[5]

Campaign Finance

In virtually all of her campaigns, Wilson has received large amounts of money defense contractors and the energy and natural resource industries. Her top career contributors included Lockheed Martin and Yates Petroleum.[6]

In 2002 Wilson received $1,000 from the American Dream Political Action Committee, run by Austin, TX Republican Henry Bonilla. The PAC, which was aimed at supporting ethnic minority Republican candidates, was found to have spent a mere 10 percent of its resources on donations to candidates and the executive director was found to have embezzled much of the PAC's money. Nearly half of the $10,500 in donations in 2002, or $5,000, went to Bonilla, and only one other donation went to a minority Republican congressional candidate: Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Cuban American from Florida. Wilson was one of the other three recipients, none of whom were minorities. (The other congressional donations went to Rep. Steve Buyer, a white attorney from Indiana; and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a white Dallas businessman).[7]

 

Share RightWeb

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Sources

[1] Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, “Heather Wilson,” http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=w000789.

[2] See, for example, Michael Coleman, “Wilson Record a Maverick Streak, Not GOP Buckin’,” ABQ Journal, March 12, 2006,http://www.abqjournal.com/opinion/coleman/441222opinion03-12-06.htm.  

[3] OnTheIssues.org, “Heather Wilson on War and Peace,” http://www.ontheissues.org/international/Heather_Wilson_War_+_Peace.htm.

[4] Eric Lichtblau, “Republican Who Oversees N.S.A. Calls for Wiretap Inquiry,” New York Times, February 8, 2006,http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/08/politics/08nsa.html?hp&ex=1139461200&en=cabc2935edc1c5a4&ei=5094&partner=homepage&_r=0.

[5] Aaron Blake, “Wilson pulls $110,000 at Cheney fundraiser,” The Hill, November 16, 2007, http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/866-wilson-pulls-110000-at-cheney-fundraiser.

[6] See OpenSecrets.org, Heather Wilson career profile, http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=Career&type=I&cid=N00006546&newMem=N&recs=20.

[7] Gary Martin, "PAC's numbers a real nightmare," San Antonio Express-News, July 26, 2003, p. 11B.

Share RightWeb

Heather Wilson Résumé

Affiliations

  • Association of Commerce and Industry1992-1995
  • Chamber of Commerce 1992-1995
  • Quality New Mexico: Board of Directors
  • Republican Policy Committee: Former Member


Government

  • U.S. House of Representatives (R-NM):1998 to 2009
  • US Air Force: 1978-1987
  • NATO: Defense Planning Officer,1987-1989
  • National Security Council: Defense Policy and Arms Control Director, National Security Council, 1989-1991
  • New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department: Cabinet secretary, 1995-1998


Business

  • Keystone International: Founder and President, 1991-1995


Education

  • Oxford University: MPhil (1984); DPhil in International Relations, Rhodes Scholar, 1985
  • United States Air Force Academy: B.S. in International Politics, 1982

Related:

Heather Wilson News Feed

Three takeaways from UTEP President Heather Wilson's first State of the University address - El Paso TimesUTEP President Heather Wilson delivers her 1st State of the University Address - KVIA El PasoUTEP kicks off new year with new President Heather Wilson - KTSM News Channel 9Mining Minds: Special Lighting to celebrate UTEP President Heather Wilson's 1st Fall Convocation - El Paso Herald-PostJohn Costello: Opoien column ignores the cost of bringing F-35s to Madison - Madison.comThe latest sales tax permits issued in Lubbock - LubbockOnline.comPresident Wilson kicks off the new semester - The ProspectorRichland County News Mansfield native retires from Air Force after 24 years of service Camryn Justice - News 5 ClevelandA Speech for the Next SECAF to Launch a New Era of Spacepower - War on the RocksCompeting of the minds: Air Force Spark Tank 2020 open for submissions - Robins Rev UpWhite House sends Air Force secretary pick Barrett's nomination to the Senate - SpaceNewsAir Force four-star general: We need 225 bombers - Fox NewsAir Force X-37B space plane breaks record for consecutive days in orbit - AirForceTimes.com'Hometown unsung heroes' Two Valley firefighters recognized for important IT work with Anchorage Fire Department - Mat-Su Valley FrontiersmanGeneral says the US Air Force needs a lot more bombers to stand up to China and Russia - Business InsiderAlgoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing Liberal candidate Heather Wilson preparing for second run-in with NDP incumbent - CBC.caEXCLUSIVE: AFRL Top Tech Picks? AI, Autonomy & Sensor Networking Likely - Breaking DefenseFriday the 13th: Superstitions are all around you, but you might not know it - KUTV 2NewsSDA Will Control Many Sat Buys, But NOT NROs: Tournear - Breaking DefenseAir Force Special Operations Command Advancing Laser Weapons System - Signal Magazine

Right Web is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

The Right Web Mission

Right Web tracks militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy.

For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

Featured Profiles

The brainchild of Sears-Roebuck heiress Nina Rosenwald, the Gatestone Institute is a New York-based advocacy organization formerly chaired by John Bolton that is notorious for spreading misinformation about Muslims and advocating extremely hawkish views on everything from Middle East policy to immigration.


Conrad Black is a former media mogul closely connected to rightist political factions in the United States who was convicted in July 2007 for fraud and obstruction of justice and later pardoned by his friend President Trump.


David Friedman is U.S. Ambassador to Israel under Donald Trump. He is known for his extreme views on Israel, which include opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state and support for Israeli settlements.


Jason Greenblatt is the Special Representative for International Negotiations for President Donald Trump primarily working on the Israel-Palestine conflict.


The neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies has re-established itself as a primary driver of hawkish foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, during the Trump administration.


Rupert Murdoch is the head of News Corp, the parent company of Fox News, and a long-time supporter of neoconservative campaigns to influence U.S. foreign policy.


Shmuley Boteach is a “celebrity rabbi” known for his controversial “pro-Israel” advocacy.


RightWeb
share